Saturday, April 28, 2018

Acupuncture and the Black Panther Party

Protests of the closing of the Lincoln Detox Center 

It’s the 1960’s, the Civil Rights Movement has gained momentum. Martin Luther King, Jr is marching to end Jim Crow. In the neighborhoods, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense is changing daily life in the streets. They organize to oppose police brutality, educate people of their rights, and create social programs, such as Free Breakfast for School Children. As a response, drugs were pumped into their communities.
Heroin addiction was quickly destroying people and their families. To combat this onslaught, the Black Panthers used acupuncture. In 1970, they took over the rundown Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx and turned it into the Lincoln Detox Center. Here they administered acupuncture to thousands of patients, successfully helping them with addiction, until a forced shut down in 1979 by an army of 200 police officers closed their doors.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Needles in Your Face. It's What You Want!

Why would you put needles in your face? Because of sinuses and the hell they cause when congested. I got a not so subtle reminder of how horrible it is to have sinus trouble last weekend. I caught a bug that plugged my ears and throat along with all the sinuses in my head. My eyes were itchy and I kept sneezing and coughing. Misery! Especially when trying to sleep. What’s an acupuncturist to do? Stick needles in it, of course.

There are points on the sides of the nostrils that will instantly start draining all the sinuses in your head. If you’ve come to see me for a cold or allergies, you know what I’m talking about. For those of you who have not, you’re wondering if getting these points hurts. Well I’m not rubbing rose petals on your face, but it really isn’t that bad. I have a more difficult time ripping off a band-aid than I did looking in the mirror and popping those needles in. It only took 20 minutes or so before I felt significant relief. I had been sitting there with my face trying to scrunch up into itself and a sneeze that was just about to happen, but not happening. You’ve been there. It’s awful.  All of that was gone. And I got to think to myself “How awesome is acupuncture?”

If you have sinus trouble, whether from a cold or allergies, or even if you’re to the point of chronic sinusitis, acupuncture can help you. Needles in your face. It’s what you want!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Patient Interview #4 with "S"

My patient "S" is a good example of someone that started acupuncture with a specific issue to address, then discovered effects and benefits in many different areas of her life as her treatments continued. 

Me: How did you first discover acupuncture?
S: I first discovered acupuncture thanks to my doctor’s recommendation. I had just gotten an MRI to find an explanation for my recurring headaches and increased migraines. My neurologist said that he could see no reason for me to be having daily headaches, so he prescribed several medications to help get rid of them once they start. I wasn’t eager to take a bunch of pills to cure an existing problem, so my doctor recommended I try some alternative forms of relief to hopefully help prevent the pain in the first place. A quick Google search led me to U-District Community Acupuncture!

Me: How long have you been getting acupuncture?
S: I’ve been getting acupuncture for nearly a year and a half.

Me: How often do you get acupuncture?
S: Once a week at least!

Me: Have you noticed any impact on your life? Can you describe this a bit?
S: My headaches have all but disappeared entirely! I no longer have daily headaches, and the headaches I do get from time to time are no longer due to stress and tension. I am more relaxed and able to focus better in general. My sleeping, breathing, and posture have all improved immensely. Acupuncture has also really helped me learn to listen to my body. When I am feeling stressed, I feel the physical side-effects of that stress. Thanks to my regular sessions, I’ve learned which muscles and joints I have a tendency to put too much pressure on or tense up without noticing, which would often cause headaches and body aches that I thought were uncontrollable. I now am much more aware of my physical self and am therefore able to take better care of it and, as a result, my mental self.

Me: What do you like about the U-District Community Acupuncture Clinic?
S: Absolutely everything! The location is particularly convenient for me, and the low cost makes weekly visits a viable option. The atmosphere is always great; low lights, clean air, and soothing music help me to quickly relax. I also really love that I am sharing the space with others. I enjoy knowing that I am surrounded by people who are receiving the same wonderful benefits that I am. It is a truly comforting feeling knowing that you are part of a community of people who are seeking to better their lives in a unique but powerful way. 

Ultimately, I love the U-District Community Acupuncture Clinic because Susie is a goddess who works miracles every single week.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Patient Interview #3 with "M"

This is the third interview of a series showing how different patients of U-District Community Acupuncture use the clinic to keep themselves healthy. This is "M".

Me: How did you first discover acupuncture?
M: I discovered acupuncture six years ago, at a community acupuncture clinic in the greater Philadelphia area.  I started attending a community acupuncture clinic in Seattle six months after I moved here, and found it greatly reduced my anxiety.  I enjoy the energetic aspect of acupuncture as well – I feel incredibly relaxed during treatment, and enjoy feeling subtle energetic shifts.  I’ve had the most success with treatments from Susie, and so I’ve been getting almost all of my treatments at U District Community Acupuncture.

Me: How long have you been getting acupuncture?
M: For about six years, in the last three years I’ve gotten acupuncture more consistently. 

Me: How often do you get acupuncture?
M: I receive a treatment once every two or three weeks.

Me: Have you noticed any impact on your life? Can you describe this a bit?
M: I am much more centered and calm than before I started acupuncture.  I have a panic disorder, and went through a serious bout of PTSD last year, including serious symptoms, such as panic attacks and dissociation.  In addition to therapy and medication, receiving consistent acupuncture treatments with Susie was a life saver.  I found a treatment to be just as effective as Xanax! In addition, Susie’s treatments help me with Asthma, allergies, depression, and migraines. 
In addition, acupuncture helps me more connected to my body and it’s healing potential.  Feeling energy shifts within my body during treatment helps me be mindful of balance and imbalance in my body, and ways I can discern what activities, foods, or medications are life-promoting for me.  

Me: What do you like about the U-District Community Acupuncture Clinic?

M: I love Susie! Susie is a relatable, compassionate healer.  Of all the acupuncturists I’ve seen, Susie’s treatments are most effective for me.  Her treatments are an absolute bargain for her quality of attention and care.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Patient Interview #2 with "C"

Community Acupuncture is about getting as much acupuncture as you want and need to keep yourself healthy. But how does a person know how much that is? This is the second installment of my interview series showing how different patients of U-District Community Acupuncture use the clinic to do just that. This interview is with "C".

Me: How did you first discover acupuncture?

C: Through Lori King years ago. Lori and I were friends and she opened an acupuncture clinic on Capitol Hill for a few years until she moved out of Seattle.
I discovered UCA through my Doctor Richard Kovar and his Nurse assistant over at Country DR clinic.  

ME: How long have you been getting acupuncture?

C: I have been doing acupuncture off and on for over 10 years.
I have now been going to UCA for over 4 months

Me: How often do you get acupuncture?

C: Around 3 to 4 times a week, depending on my needs.

Me: Have you noticed any impact on your life? Can you describe this a bit?

C: When I first came in I was having intense shoulder pain. My neck was super tight and I right hip was acting up with sciatica pain from an old injury. I had fallen off an 8 foot ladder and hit my right arm on the recycle bin on my way down to the ground.
My medical doctor was concerned that I might get a frozen shoulder if I did not really work with it. So he and his nurse helper suggested I go to the UCA for acupuncture. My shoulders have certainly loosened up and I am pain free.   I am no longer having sciatica pain and I am sleeping at night again!
While I was going to UCA I also went threw some personal challenging emotional times over the holidays with my family of origin and then the loss of a parent.
The treatment I received for that helped me immensely. It put me in such a relaxed state that very much felt like a deep healing mediation.
I truly felt it helped to balance me out and keep me focused on the daily things of life.  It allowed me to de-stress and re-energize myself. It helped me to be fully present with my parent who suffered extreme dementia and after his passing to gently move through my grief.

Me: What do you like about the U-District Community Acupuncture Clinic?

C: I tend to be sensitive to spaces and the energy of a space.
I was super happy to discover UCA has a very tranquil and healing energy. That goes beyond the Zen visuals and sounds.  The space is warm, inviting and open. It has the options for one to be reclined in a very comfy recliner or when you need it to lay completely flat on a massage table.  The space invites you to easily drift in to a deep state of relaxation to let the needles do their work. I often forget it is a community space and feel like I am the only one in the room. That was pleasantly surprising!

I love that it so affordable and that allows me to do great self-care. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Patient Interview #1 with "A"

Acupuncture in a community setting has many advantages. With the cost being affordable, one of these advantages is patients being able get as much acupuncture as they want and need to maintain a healthy life. But what does that look like, using acupuncture as you want and need? This can be different for each individual. I am going to post a series of interviews with a few patients to help illustrate the many ways to use community acupuncture.

Interview #1 with be with "A".

Me: How did you first discover acupuncture?

A: I was born and raised in Vancouver BC, where we've always had a thriving Chinese population who have brought so much good to our city, including Chinese medicine. Acupuncture was a regular part of my medical care all through my teen years and beyond (it eventually became so ubiquitous that it is now partially covered by the BC medical plan, so that everyone can receive it!). Everyone I knew growing up received treatments, from kids to adults to seniors. I got to see its effects on people as they aged, and how much better they fared than those who did not receive it, especially with things like arthritis, menopause, and sleep issues. It was our most common and effective form of health care, and I learned that it can uplift an entire population. 

Me: How long have you been getting acupuncture?

A: I got my first treatment when I was 13 years old, for help with stomach issues and a bad cold. So that's 30 years as of this writing, but I can't remember life before acupuncture, and I don't want to ;) 

Me: How often do you get acupuncture?

A: I consider acupuncture to be a vital part of my overall health and wellness, so I aim for once a week or twice a month. I have a few chronic conditions in my body that have dramatically improved with regular sessions, especially when combined with Chinese herbs. There are so many things that acupuncture helps me with, including menstrual cramps, boosting my immunity during cold and flu season, and seasonal allergies. In fact, I can't remember the last time I took any kind of medication or drug for these conditions, because the acupuncture has made my body's natural healing powers so much stronger! 

Me:Have you noticed any impact on your life? Can you describe this a bit?

A: More than anything, acupuncture has helped me tune into my body and better understand its natural powers of healing. When something doesn't feel right, I know that my body is sending me a powerful message that I can listen to and take action on (my first action is always acupuncture!). I'm also much more aware of the food I eat, and the way it affects my total system. I don't crave the things that used to give satisfaction but cause inflammation, because I honor what my body needs to thrive. Acupuncture has also helped me connect to a deep sense of calm and wellness, especially during times of high stress, because the treatments put me right in the moment, and calm everything down while the needles are doing their work. This is increasingly important to me since the recent election results, especially since it's looking like my Obamacare might be taken away, and it's quite stressful to contemplate going forward in life with no health insurance.

Me: What do you like about the U-District Community Acupuncture Clinic?

A: The minute I walk into the treatment room I feel all the worries of my day melt away. The warmth of the room, the gentle music and water sounds, and the healing energy relax my body and mind in a deep way. I feel like the room itself is a mirror of the inner "healing room" that exists in every person, where we can retreat and recharge. I so look forward to my weekly appointment with Susie, who is the most gifted healer I've ever worked with, and I believe everyone deserves to experience the benefits of the clinic. I spend a lot of time recommending it to my friends in person and on social media, because I've seen and experienced first-hand how acupuncture can change lives!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Pad & Tampon Drive for Homeless Women

Why do a drive for feminine hygiene products? They are a necessity for those who menstruate. Being without them can lead to a variety of medical problems. There’s a reason the word “hygiene” is in the name. But pads and tampons are treated as an extra. That’s like saying toilet paper is extra.
 But unlike toilet paper, there isn’t a cheap version of them. They are expensive! Which is one of the many reasons UCA is doing a Pad and Tampon Drive for Homeless Women. It will be going on for the entire month of January. When you bring in an unopened package of any kind of feminine hygiene product, you take $5 off of payment for your acupuncture treatment.
(This offer doesn’t apply to package deals).

All donations will go to Mary's Place