Happy Lunar New Year!

Happy Lunar New Year!

How is 2020 going for you? Have you been moving so fast that you haven’t made space for rest and reflection? Or do you already wish you had a do-over for your New Year’s Resolutions? If so, you’re in luck. Not only is every moment a chance for a new beginning, January 25 through February 8 is the Chinese Spring Festival which celebrates the closing and beginning of the lunar years. Because it starts on the second new moon after Winter Solstice, it begins on a different date every year between January 21 and February 20.

Year of the Metal RatThe Chinese zodiac has 12 years in its cycle, each one represented by an animal, which interacts with the cycle of the 5 elements. 2020 is the Year of the Metal Rat.  The Rat is the start of a new cycle and it’s the start of a new decade, so it’s an auspicious time for new beginnings and possibilities.

Astrologers say that people born in the Year of the Rat are hardworking, clever, and on purpose. While Rats are known for bold action, they listen to their inner guidance systems to navigate change. Rats have the energy, vision, and will power to get a lot done, but they don’t venture out until they have done their internal housekeeping first, ensuring a secure, well-stocked home base and a strong support network.

In Chinese astrology, the Metal Rat is known as a champion for social justice and restructuring, so it is reassuring that the Rat is also known for grounded practicality and inspired action.  The Rat’s ability to sniff out what is useful and valuable but also what to leave behind will help us make room for favorable changes. 

Commit to Creating the Experience You Want to HaveThe Chinese do not traditionally make New Year’s Resolutions, however they do celebrate the transition from winter to spring. It is a good time to reflect and plant the “new idea seeds” that will sprout in spring. You can start by asking yourself:  How do I make time and space to bring out my best sense of reflection? What is the new direction and experience I want to have?

If you’re having trouble, maybe it’s time to take a lesson from the Rats. Take a moment to connect with your keen senses and inner guidance.  Ask yourself:

  • What are my highest values and most cherished relationships that I want to nourish? 
  • How can I move forward quickly while being fluid, thinking on my feet, and listening for guidance?  
  • How can I use my natural survival instincts and thrive regardless of circumstances? 
  • Who is my support network?

    If your intentions and resolutions include improving your health and well-being in 2020, I can help you with that.  Get in touch and we can arrange an acupuncture appointment for a tune-up to boost immunity, pain relief, or stress reduction.  If you’re interesting in trying something new to help you tune into your natural vibrations, come join us at our inaugural sound healing workshop with Jules–details just below!

Upcoming Events:If you’ve been in the office in the last 3 months you’ve met our new office manager Jules Sears.  While it’s obvious that she’s great at all things acupuncture office related (she’s been managing acupuncture offices for over 10 years) you might not know that she’s an amazing sound healer.

Come join us for her inaugural sound healing workshop at Thrive.  Space is limited, so click this link to register and save your seat for:

Intro to Acu Tuning Forks with Jules Sears
Tuesday, February 18th from 6-7
at Thrive Acupuncture and Wellness

In this fun and interactive workshop, you’ll experience a mini Tuning Fork Tune Up and learn how specially designed tuning forks can stimulate, balance, and promote wellness and deep inner harmony.

New Year, New Insurance?Have there been any changes to your insurance?  Make sure to let us know before your next appointment so we can re-verify your benefits.  It’s a busy time of year for verifications, so it’s taking our billing department 48 hours verify benefits.  And acupuncture is like the black sheep of insurance.  The billing department has to call and talk to someone and ask all sorts of acupuncture specific questions.  But we’d rather do that now than get surprised when your claims come back.  Everyone hates insurance surprises!

If you have Blue Shield in 2020:  Click this link and check out this information.  There are some big changes for some plans and we’re trying to help all our patients get informed.  Let us know if you have questions about your ability to use your insurance in our office.

If you want to lodge a complaint that ASH is managing your acupuncture benefits for your Blue Shield Covered CA plan:  A representative of ASH told a colleague that not enough providers want to work with ASH. It’s possible that Blue Shield might change and opt out of ASH for 2021 and hopefully sooner!  If Blue Shield members like you contact Blue Shield and complain, it can help!

Call 888-256-3650: Ask to log a formal complaint about your health insurance. Get a reference # at end of call.
Online: login to your account, scroll to bottom, “send message about” > choose benefits inquiry.

Sample Script:
“I want to voice my complaint please. I do not want American Specialty Health (ASH) to manage ANY portion of my Blue Shield Health Insurance, especially not acupuncture. I’ve chosen Blue Shield as my health insurance company and agreed to pay its premium for Blue Shield’s high quality of care and reputation.

I do NOT want any portion of my health insurance plan to be subject to the poor reputation and horrible care that ASH offers. If ASH is managing part of my Blue Shield plan, I am getting HMO benefits for PPO prices.

Please remove ASH from managing any portion of my Blue Shield plan in 2020.”

What We’re Treating in the ClinicSometimes things come in obviously seasonal waves, but right now I’m not quite sure why so many people are seeking treatment for their digestion.  The good news is that digestion responds very quickly to acupuncture.  I think that’s because acupuncture is communicating through your circulation and there is so much blood flow to and from the digestive system.  The other good news is that I have lots of herbal and dietary recommendations to help you get your digestive system back in balance.  So whether it’s constipation, loose stools, bloating, cramping, nausea, food sensitivities, lack of hunger, excess hunger, heart burn–you name it, I got you.

Existing patients can book online here.  Make sure you get a confirmation email and click “CONFIRM” in that email.  You are also welcome to call or email us if you prefer to schedule that way, or you’re not finding any appointments that work for you online.

New patients need to call or email us to set up their first appointment because there is just too much information we need to share with you.

One Last RecommendationI want to let you all know about a workshop in Santa Rosa that I’m really excited about.  The workshop is based on the same understanding that I share in my Wisdom Workshops and is the basis for my deep understanding of our innate wellbeing that I talk with all my patients about at their acupuncture appointments–The Three Principles as discovered by Sydney Banks.  You can find out more info and register here:

Feb 15-17th, 2020
at Sonoma Academy

Please reach out if you have any questions or let me know if I’ll see you there.  I’m not involved in putting on the workshop, I just wanted to share this opportunity with you since people normally travel very far to see to see these speakers.

One of the workshop leaders, Dicken Bettinger, is one of my go-to teachers of this material.  He, along with the other workshop leader, Natasha Swerdloff, wrote Coming Home: Uncovering the Foundations of Psychological Well-being which we have in our lending library.  He’s known to embody and convey wisdom, love, and humorous stories that light people up and help them effortlessly experience a beautiful feeling.

Gong Xi Fa Cai (Happy New Year),
Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc

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