Thursday, February 16, 2017

Patient Interview #2

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

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

3 Best Post-Acupuncture Habits

#1 Drink water
Acupuncture stimulates your “Qi” to move. Qi is your vital energy that is flowing throughout your body. It is needed to nourish all of your organs, muscles, and tissues. In order for Qi to flow smoothly, the body needs water to help its transport.

#2 Eat           
Giving your mind and body fuel to burn after an acupuncture treatment is a good idea. Acupuncture works to build up and move your Qi. Having food in your system to supply your body’s building blocks will help to further progress in your health and well-being goals.

#3 Relax
The effects of your acupuncture treatment will still be running their course even after the needles are out. You don’t want to leave your appointment and go to the gym for a strenuous workout or out for a 20 mile bike ride. It’s best to keep activities light for a few hours after receiving acupuncture. That way you will gain the full benefit of your treatment.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Treatment Epiphany

I did a great job screwing up my back last week. Carrying around my two small children and washing a big dog that didn't want to be washed had me barely able to stand up straight. I couldn't work and shuffled to my clinic to put a sign on the door. While I was there I thought why not put in a few needles and take a nap? I was out for 2 hours! And I woke significantly improved. I don't think I would have gotten relief to the extent that I did if I had stayed for a shorter amount of time. My body decided the length of the treatment, not the clock. I want to extend that opportunity to you! When you come in for a treatment, I'll ask you if you wish to be woken at a certain time, or if you want to stay until you naturally come to, (the last needles will be pulled one hour after closing time). It will be all up to you.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Community Acupuncture is Revolutionary

What makes CA revolutionary?
It’s in the hands of the people who use it. It isn't insurance companies or the government that tells you how often you get to go. You don’t need a doctor referral to prove you need it. You can use it how you want, when you want. No 3rd party involvement.

Anyone can access community acupuncture. Whether or not you get the opportunity to heal has nothing to do with your level of income. People of all backgrounds come together, pooling their resources and making a healing space.  It is done collectively and that is in direct opposition to the isolation so prevalent in our society. In community acupuncture the solidarity of many brings a better life to each individual patient.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Headaches and Acupuncture

Sinus headaches.
Hormonal headaches.
Headaches from stress and tension.
Headaches from too much time on the computer.
What to do? There’s aspirin, Tylenol, and ibuprofen…But what if that doesn’t work? And what if headaches are happening everyday?  

Acupuncture is the solution.  By receiving regular treatments, acupuncture can drastically reduce or even get rid of chronic headaches.  How long would you need to be getting acupuncture? How many treatments and for how long is different for each person. Treatment plans depend on the severity of the headaches, how often they happen, and how long you’ve been getting them.

How effective the treatments are also depends on how much you’re able to avoid what is triggering them. If your headaches are caused by computer work and you need to be on the computer for hours everyday, it will take longer for the acupuncture to help you as we fight an uphill battle. But even with this type of scenario, acupuncture will significantly reduce your headaches, whether it be they are less intense, don’t last as long, or don’t occur as often.