Colds and Flus

How to beat a cold with acupressure:

In the past, when people called me with a cold, I told them to come in. Acupuncture is great for the immune system! In the last few years, I have changed my policy. I now prefer you stay home if you’re contagious (how long is that?). I have patients who are immune-compromised*. This means I want to prevent their exposure, and also that I can’t work if I am sick at all – and losing a week or more of income is pretty rough (despite all the kitty snuggles).

li4So – here are some handy dandy acupressure points you can use for yourself. In all cases, press firmly with a fingertip for a few seconds, on both left and right sides. Continue reading

Cupping

You may have seen the news coverage of Michael Phelps and other Olympic athletes getting cupping. What the heck is it and how does it work?

cupping therapyDespite what that ridiculous article says, it IS ancient Chinese traditional medicine. The Chinese have been using heated cups for millennia. Practitioners warm the air inside the cup, then place it on the skin. A seal is formed. As the air cools, a vacuum is created. Standing cups are left in place. Another technique, moving cupping, involves sliding the cups around without breaking the seal. In both cases, the point is for the vacuum to separate the layers of skin and muscle and break up fascial adhesions.

Yes, it absolutely works! The reason I don’t do it in my office is that the dark circles are actually bruises – they are visual proof of broken capillaries bleeding under the skin. The vacuum created in cupping is strong enough that it does a little damage along with the good. I personally prefer to use myofacial release to break up the adhesions, sticking to the rule of “First, do no harm.” I get the same great results without any blood vessel trauma.

Next time you’re in the office, ask to see the cupping equipment. I keep a few cups around because they’re great conversation starters and they are beautiful, but sometimes modern innovation can provide a better solution.

 

Acupuncture for Fertility

I’ve been using acupuncture for fertility and pregnancy support with my patients for years. My success rate is fairly high – I like to joke that “I get girls pregnant like a boss!” – due in large part to a brilliant set of classes I had at OCOM, the #1 acupuncture school in the nation. We learned about all the different ways bodies can slip out of balance, and how to correct them. In the OB/GYN focused classes, we looked at how to coax the menstrual cycle back to regularity. We studied methods to encourage uterine wellness and the father’s vitality, too, increasing both sperm count and motility.* We learned how to support a pregnant woman’s body, and treat any pain she might have, without using the moving** points that could bring on a miscarriage. Of course, we learned the points we shouldn’t use with a pregnancy, and the one to bring on a “Precocious Baby” – that one you needle at the change of each trimester. As the due date approaches, we can turn a breech baby. We can even evict an overdue one – something that’s helped a few of my patients avoid a medical inducement.

Acupuncture for fertility is less expensive and less invasive than IVF and IUI!

Acupuncture for fertility is less expensive and less invasive than IVF or hormonal drugs like Clomid, and highly successful.

But before we can worry about maintaining the health of a pregnancy, sometimes we have to use acupuncture for fertility to get us there. My patients have ranged from young, healthy women who were just eager to start their families, to older ladies who had endured unsuccessful IVF.

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In 10 years of practice, I’ve only ever had two women fail to get pregnant. One turned out to have fallopian blockages. The other is still trying (after taking a year-long break), but has some complications we’re working with (UPDATE 2018: She’s now pregnant!) (SECOND UPDATE 2019: Look at this cute baby bear she made!)

Part of being a good practitioner is constant learning. I am taking a Continuing Education class now on acupuncture for fertility, and one of the big takeaways for me is how early you should start. I generally like a few months to even out the hormones and regulate the cycle, but this latest class pointed out something interesting about our eggs. They start to stir from their life-long slumber about 5 months before they are released. To truly give them the best blood flow and hormonal support, treatments should be ongoing during this ramp-up period.

“The dormant follicle is awakened from it’s primordial state of rest about 5 months before it will be selected for ovulation. It is at this time that the egg will start reacting with its environment. […] Hormone regulating factors in the ovary start to influence the content of the follicular fluid. Blood flow, nourishment and hormonal cues within the body influence the state of follicular fluid. Regulatory proteins, hormones and growth factors begin to appear about the time the egg starts to undergo division 3 months before it is released. If nourishment is poor, hormonal cues have been interrupted, or if the blood flow has been compromised the egg has less chance of being healthy. The egg’s health is determined during the growth phase when protein synthesis occurs.” Treatment of IVF and IUI with Acupuncture & Herbs, Sophie Butcher, LAc, FABORM

I’ve also learned a fantastic massage technique to shunt more bloodflow to the reproductive system. I can teach you this, so your partner can do it for you every day.

So… if you are looking to make a new human, think ahead. Stop smoking and drinking (yes, BOTH parents) a little earlier than expected. Clean up your diet so that egg gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs. And of course, if you need some help, acupuncture for fertility is a great option. It’s both less expensive and less invasive than IVF and IUI, and works beautifully to support those procedures if you do acupuncture with them.

I’d love to help you grow your family!

* The good news is that these points aren’t close to the genitalia. Men are often especially relieved to hear I only need access to the lower back, ankles, and ears.

**Chinese medicine considers most pain to be a form of energy (Qi) and/or blood stagnation. Points that move Qi and blood to clear that stagnation are extremely useful – but can be dangerous while carrying a child.

Minimal shoes on sale at Soft Star

Hey all you heathy feet fans – Soft Star (a soft leather shoe company in Corvallis) is having their annual clearance sale! Check their sizing charts and read carefully – no returns on these!AdultCategoryLanding

I am not associated with Soft Star in any way. I just like their style. :)

Update: I bought these two! The moccasins are fleece-lined. :)

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The “Dash”

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The “Moccasin”

 

I’ll grant you that they aren’t the most professional looking, but they ARE comfy (after about 20 min of breaking them in) and good for your feet. The brown ones have the advantage for me of sort-of working for my historic habit. My persona is a Roman matron in 50 BC, and her clothes are supposed to cover most of her feet. The toes peeking out are exactly like a period Roman shoe!

The perfect Valentine’s gift…

heart rosesI have pretty gift certificates to give to your sweetie… or hint to your sweetie that’s what you’d love… or just to treat yourself! Available in any denomination or for any service – the perfect Valentine’s gift!

To make it extra easy, I can email you an invoice that’s secure and payable by credit card. Or you can swing by the office!

Returning Veterans Project

I just submitted my Returning Veterans Project stats for the year (they get government funding based on our hours). I treat vets suffering from PTSD, TBI, and other mental and physical injuries that prevent them from returning to a happy, productive life. This is a free service provided by healthcare practitioners like me in WA and OR who feel we need to do more to support out troops *after* they come home. Honestly, the VA isn’t equipped to help these kids and I feel like somebody has to!

This year I donated 76.5 hours, for a total of 359 since I started in 2011. That makes me really happy. If you want to help, too, contact them directly or use the donation box in my waiting room. :)

New location!

The office is moving on September 7th to the Cascade West building:

12655 SW Center Street, 
Suite 530
Beaverton, OR 97005 
The new space has generous parking, is air conditioned and ADA accessible, close to bus and MAX lines… it even has a gorgeous view, and I don’t just mean the lovely massage therapist, Sally Leonard, who will be working with me!

Until the construction is finished, I will be seeing patients as usual in my SE office (3806 SE Belmont St). 

Easy Advanced Massage class 2/21: NO exp req


Saturday, Feb 21st, 10am-1pm and 2-5pm (two identical classes – pick one), I’m holding another session of my intensive, 3 hr hands-on medical massage class. The concepts are easy to understand, but you’ll get advanced results. Learn how to ease tight muscles and relax your loved ones with a gentle, intelligent touch. NO massage or anatomy experience required! I’ll show you how to use the neurological system into tricking muscles into behaving, and how to erase scar tissue.

This class is appropriate for every body, since I will show you how to tailor your work to your partner’s needs. Please note that you will be learning Osteopathic techniques, NOT traditional massage. Techniques include Trager, myofascial, exhaustion release, counterstrain, and percussion. Handouts will be provided. If the class goes smashingly well, we may have time for a 6th bonus technique. Bring a partner or come alone: We will practice on each other.

The class is limited to 8 people to ensure that I can provide lots of hands-on feedback and instruction: Make your payment now to reserve your spot! $75 per person, or $130 for a pair. Please call 503-964-3422 if you have any questions! I hold this massage class once or twice a year. You can always swing by the office, or I take Paypal (sharon@rosecityacupuncture.com), using the friends & family option is best. You can also mail a check or I can send you a credit card invoice email. :)

This will be the last time I can hold this class until I get into a new venue, so I encourage you to come if you can!

NOTE: as of 1/29 I have 3 spaces left for 10-1, and one left for 2-5.

FYI…

UPDATE 6/13/13: The recovery went well and I am back at work! It’s terrific to be out of pain! Feel free to book an appointment or give me a call. :)

Most of you know I’ve been battling with De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. This is a chronic inflammation of a tendon in my left wrist that controls the thumb. Actually it’s the sheath that the tendon passes though.

I have been using conservative treatments for about a year, including ice, rest, PT, bracing, lots of natural topical and systemic stuff, a cortisone shot, and of course myofascial release and acupuncture. If I were not so relentlessly active with my hands, that would have been sufficient. I’ve helped patients avoid surgery with similar conditions in the past, which made my situation that much more frustrating. In the end, though, this was a case where a quick surgical procedure to release the tendon was my best long-term option. Rest helped only while I rested… as soon as I resumed my usual crafty/weightlifting/combat/massage activities it came back. I had the double-sheath construction that pre-disposed me to the problem.

I had the procedure this morning and it went well. I’m so happy to finally have the issue resolved! I’ll be available for acupuncture starting Thursday, 5/9 (my right hand is unaffected). It will be a few weeks at least before I can do massage. During this recovery period, I am booking people manually rather than with the online system, so give me a call at 503-964-3422. :)
Sharon