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Bring on the Grounded Year of the Ox!

Happy Lunar New Year!How is 2021 going for you? Have you made time 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, February 12 is the start of the Lunar New Year. Because it starts with the second new moon after Winter Solstice, it begins on a different date every year between January 21 and February 20.

It’s not part of the Chinese Lunar New Year to make resolutions, but Chinese astrology encourages reflection. Chinese astrology has a lot of symbolism and is used more to explore your inner nature and unconscious instincts. It’s often used to help reflect on how to navigate your inner life and relationships.

Year of the Metal OxThe Chinese zodiac has 12 years in its cycle, each one represented by an animal, which interacts with the cycle of the 5 elements – a key concept from Taoism. 2021 is the Year of the Metal Ox, the second animal in the cycle. The story goes that the Emperor called all the animals to travel across China to him and their order would determine their place on the calendar. With his hardworking nature and spiritual dedication, the Ox was in front. But the Rat hitched a ride and as the Ox was swimming across the river, the bold and clever Rat jumped off and landed first. (This is why 2020 was the Year of the Rat – which seems kinda fitting, huh!)

Astrologers say that people born in the Year of the Ox are grounded, hardworking, and calm. While Ox are known for their slow and steady discipline to slog through the mud and till the fields, their dedication to spirituality and personal responsibility results in graceful transformation. Ox are slow and peaceful, but they are also powerful, have stamina, and take care to pace themselves and not overwork or exhaust their energy so they can continue to sow the seeds of change at every season.

In Chinese astrology, the Metal Ox is known to restore order and bring about harmonious changes through honesty, cooperation, and a calm methodical approach. The weight of this responsibility can feel heavy and requires patience. But the Ox’s fair and reliable nature and ability to align with the rhythms of nature can be trusted to prepare the soil for ideas, intentions, and visions that will flourish and improve circumstances for many over time.

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 Ox. Take a moment to both ground yourself and connect with your spiritual nature. Ask yourself:

  • What challenges can I turn into opportunities?
  • How can I align myself with my natural rhythms?
  • What kind of new foundation do I want to build? Where do I want to be more consistent?
  • Where can I be more patient and where could I use more stamina to follow through on my commitments?
  • How do I want to prepare my fields for prosperity?
  • How can I pace myself so that I can enjoy the work as well as the harvest?

If your intentions and resolutions include improving your health and well-being in 2021, get in touch to schedule an acupuncture appointment for immune boosting, pain relief, or stress reduction.

If you want to explore how to accomplish more of what you want in 2021, while aligning with natural rhythms and pacing yourself so you can enjoy both the journey and the harvest, please join us for our Goals from the Inside Out workshop coming up in 2 weeks (details below).


Upcoming Events

Goals From The Inside Out: Less Doing, More Enjoying the Journey! A Virtual Zoom RetreatSaturday, February 27, 2021, 10AM-12:30PM and 1:30-4PMHosts: Julie Gleeson, Founder of The Art of Living Inc, and
Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc from Thrive Acupuncture and Wellness Corp.
Tuition: $175 or Register with a Friend for $150 per person
More information and register to save your spot: https://insideoutgoals.eventbrite.com

  • Do you struggle with New Year’s resolutions?
  • Do you abandon your goals too early?
  • Once you reach your goal, do you often still feel unsatisfied?
  • Do you want a more imaginative path to happiness and success, that supports evolution and growth along the way?

In this workshop we’ll help you tap into wisdom that allows you to have the experience you want to have, no matter what is going on around us. Once you start to see this for yourself, you will re-discover how to effortlessly access natural peace of mind, connection, and joy at any moment!

We will also share a new way to set goals that balances your head and your heart. You’ll stop making the journey about achieving something through force of will. You will naturally begin experiencing the ease of accomplishing, all while enjoying the journey!

More information and register to save your spot at https://insideoutgoals.eventbrite.com


Save the date for the Next Design Retreat
A Virtual Zoom Retreat
Friday-Sunday, March 12-14, 10:00-12:30 and 2:00-5:00 PST each dayHosts: Julie Gleeson, Founder of The Art of Living Inc, and
Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc from Thrive Acupuncture and Wellness Corp.

After a successful inaugural Online Design Retreat last October, we’re planning to do it again this March. We’ve known this work is so powerful and were thrilled at how well we were able to do it virtually. The participants have been telling us how life changing it was for them, so I wanted to let you know the dates as soon as we set them.

Check out what the design retreat is all about on my events page.

Further information and the link to register coming soon. Let Christina know if you have questions or are interested.


Growing More Peaceful Membership Community Weekly Virtual Zoom ConversationTuesdays 4pm – 5pm PST every week

If you like the idea of quieting the noise in your head, come join us this and every Tuesday afternoon for a zoom conversation where we take a breather from all the noise and make room to grow more peaceful, even now:

Here’s some of what people have been telling us they get from the sessions:

  • “I felt so grounded after listening last Tuesday. My mind was quiet. I was relieved. Body and mind at peace.”
  • “For me, these meetings reinforce that concept of quieting the intellect/monkey mind and waiting to hear the whisper of one’s inner wisdom/common sense. I learn this again and again, and yet it is not the first place I turn, so obviously I need the repetition of the lesson!”
  • “The meetings also give me a sense of community, a feeling of unity of purpose that lingers after the close of the hour. “

We’re so confident in how helpful this conversation is that the first month is FREE, so you can come check it out without any pressure. Click this link to our event page for all the information about the community and the link to register.


Visionary Vibes Time!
A Sound and Yoga Journey with Jules via Zoom
Sunday, February 21 from 4:30 – 6PM PST

February brings us a big dose of the progressive, humanitarian energy as 6 planets (yes SIX) gather in the visionary sign of Aquarius! The last time so many planets were in Aquarius was February of 1962. What a wonderful opportunity to take the lessons collectively learned and see how we can experience and even improve upon them as individuals.

“Take a little trip… take a little trip… take a little trip with…” Sound Healer Jules Sears (also Thrive’s Office Manager) and Yogini Elise Collins as they create a wonderful blend of vibrational healing and restorative yoga that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home wherever you are in the world!

More info and to reserve your spot at Eventbrite or Facebook.com/events


Busy ScheduleIn the new year, there’s always a renewed interest in health and a lot of patients making appointments, but this year the schedule is even more full. We think there’s several reasons, including: 1) we have less appointments because of C-19 cleaning/distancing and 2) patients are loving the new online booking system and booking more appointments further out.

We’re so grateful to be helping so many people get the new year off to a healthy start, and we want to make sure you have all the info to get the appointments you want.

We’re always reviewing the schedule and adjusting so that everyone can get the appointments they need. As we saw the schedule getting more full we started seeing less new patients each week to make room for existing patients to make follow up appointments. But still some patients are surprised they can’t get last minute appointments at their preferred times.

Booking Your Appointments:We’re recommending people schedule their appointments further out, especially if you have certain times you like (ie: if it is in the late afternoon and evening or a set time each week). The easiest way to do this is to hop on our new online booking system and make some appointments https://thrive-acupuncture.janeapp.com/login. If you have any trouble or want our help, please call or email us.

Waitlist:The new online booking system even has a waitlist feature where you can add your name for a specific day with times that work for you. Jules can also use it on her end and add your name if you let her know. Then we’ll contact you if anything opens up. It’s been working out really well and we’ve been able to get a lot of people in for an appointment from the waitlist

Thanks to everyone who has been cancelling as soon as they know their schedule has changed because that’s what allows us to accommodate patients on the waitlist!


What We’re Treating In The Clinic—AllergiesThe best time to treat allergies with acupuncture, herbs, diet, and lifestyle modifications is right now–before spring allergy season hits full strength. This year people have been motivated to keep their respiratory systems strong and get ahead of their allergies. And some patients started to feel a few of their symptoms pop up early when the warm weather brought on some early blossoms.

Acupuncture and herbs are great at preventing allergies, reducing symptoms, and helping you reduce your medications. There’s also lots of truly effective self care that you can do. I suffered from respiratory and immune system imbalances, including allergies, so I have all sorts of tools in my tool-belt to share with you. And I love helping people get their respiratory system back in balance and get their life back!

Established patients
can make an appointment at our new online booking site. You were emailed a personal link in December to set up your profile and use this site in an email titled “Welcome to Thrive Acupuncture and Wellness”. Everyone has been loving the new site, but if you need any help or want the welcome link again, let us know. You’re also always welcome to call or email us to make an appointment.

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.


Insurance changes for 2021Did you see our previous newsletters outlining the insurance changes happening in our office in 2021? The short summary is that we’re going Out of Network with all insurances. If you’re not sure if this will affect you, take a look at all the details here and let us know if you have any questions.

The effective date for being Out of Network with Blue Shield is April 1, 2021. For those who have Blue Shield policies with In Network coverage in our office, you can use your In Network benefits until March 31, 2021.

The effective date for being Out of Network with Sutter and United is March 11, 2021. For those who have Sutter and United policies with In Network coverage in our office, you can use your In Network benefits until March 10, 2021.
Gong Xi Fa Cai (Happy New Year)!

Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc

Posted in acupuncture, Allergies, Events, Facebook Private Group, Insurance, Mental Health, Seasonal Health, Sound Healing, Sydney Banks, Three Principles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mind Experiment: What is Mine to Do

Happy New Year!Time is a man-made construct and not everything changes just because it is a new year, but I like new beginnings, so I embrace the new year greetings.  It’s a good reminder that every moment is an opportunity for a fresh start.

I enjoyed taking some time off at the end of the year to rejuvenate and spent the time resting, mountain biking, putzing around the house and garden, and reflecting.  As a small business owner of a physical medicine practice during a pandemic, last year was crazy busy.  There were a lot of new tasks to do, plus a lot of things to figure out or even reinvent.  I did a pretty good job finding moments to allow my mind to quiet and make room for insight and intuition—the only way I could make it through the enormous number of changes with some sense of calm and sanity!  And over the break I really enjoyed having even longer periods of time for quiet.

Mind Experiment: What is Mine to do Right Now?

The question that arose for me at the end of my break was: how do I bring that feeling of quiet, reflection, being guided, and wonder at the simple things in life into the new year? Little did I know that so quickly there would be even more political chaos that would make this question even more important and challenging to answer.  Fortunately, I came up with a way to point myself in the direction of resiliency that’s been really helpful for me, especially lately, so that’s what I’m going to share with you today.

Mind Experiment:  Over the next two weeks check in on a regular basis and ask yourself with curiosity “What is mine to do right now?”  It’s especially important to ask yourself this question if you feel yourself getting out of balance, tense, frustrated, angry, or scared.  Even better, it is helpful to ask yourself this anytime you think of it.

What might this look like? 
10 days ago on Wednesday, when the electoral votes were going to be officially turned in, I was aware there would probably be some political news.  When I got to work I asked myself “What is mine to do right now?”  And the answer was “Get your charts ready and settle in for treating patients.”  So that’s what I did with my all my heart. 

Part way through the morning, a patient mentioned some newsworthy things were happening on Capitol Hill. I asked myself “What is mine to do right now?” and the answer was “Keep your focus on the patients and how you can help them.”

At my lunch break the answer was “Check in on the news.”  So I did, but only for a short bit because I also knew that soon the answer would be “Settle in for helping patients in the afternoon who are going to be stressed with their concerns of what is happening on Capitol Hill.” 

A few patients in the afternoon asked me if I knew what was going on.  I told them I was aware, but that I don’t spend a lot of time looking at the news when I am at work because it does not help the acupuncture they are here for.Several of them said, “Good, don’t look. The news will be there tonight.”  I agreed.

Since then, I keep asking myself this question “What is mine to do right now?”  Sometimes the answer is work, sometimes it’s take care of myself by eating while relaxed, getting outside for some exercise, or getting a good night’s sleep.  Sometimes the answer is to check in with friends and family.  And sometimes the answer is check in on the news, educate myself about history, civics,and what I can do to support the political change I am called to support.

Why does this question help you get back into balance?
You can only do one thing at a time.  All the claims of multitasking are false.  Multitasking is really a series of switching between doing different things, one at a time, for very short periods of time.

When there is chaos, either near or far, it can be tempting to think you need to monitor it.  But is that really yours to do? For some people and in certain situations the answer is yes.  I know people that stayed up to watch all the votes be counted on January 6 and were grounded in their decision.  And I know people that turned the news off because they needed to get a good night’s sleep.  Both of those decisions can bring you back to balance if you are listening to your answer from inside of you.The problem comes when people think they can monitor the chaos while they are working, for example.  For most people monitoring the news is not part of their work and so that’s not going to bring them back into balance.

Why does this question help the world?
There are people whose “thing” is to affect change on a large-scale level.  But most people are mostly affecting change locally. Even the people working on large-scale global change toggle back and forth between influencing locally and globally.

Locally may be right in front of your nose.  For me most of the time it’s my patients, my husband, friends, and family.When I get back into balance and am in service of those people, that’s the best I can do to get my good intentions to ripple out into the world. Sometimes locally for me means local politicians, organizations, or my spiritual community.  What is yours to do right now will change from moment to moment.  Know that it’s totally ok if what is yours to do right now is local or even personal.

The world could use more people who are clear on what is theirs to do in that moment AND then put their whole heart into doing that. 

“Being in the moment introduces you to a new world.
Being in the moment connects you to your true identity.
This connection brings you peace and contentment.
You are no longer a victim of your thoughts,
rushing here and there, to the past or to the future,
but at peace with the quiet strength inside of you.
This state gives you clarity, calmness, and
allows insight to emerge.
This peace is our birthright.”

–Elsie Spittle, Nuggets of Wisdom


Give this mind experiment a try by asking yourself “What is mine to do right now?” and listening for your answer.  Let me know how it goes!


Upcoming Events
Goals From The Inside Out: Less Doing, More Enjoying the JourneyA Virtual Zoom Retreat
Saturday, February 27, 2021, 10AM-12:30PM and 1:30-4PM
Hosts: Julie Gleeson, Founder The Art of Living Inc, and Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc Thrive Acupuncture and Wellness Corp.
Tuition: $175 or Register with a Friend for $150 per person
More information and register to save your spot: https://insideoutgoals.eventbrite.com

  • Do you struggle with New Year’s resolutions?
  • Do you abandon your goals too early?
  • Once you reach your goal, do you often still feel unsatisfied?
  • Do you want a more imaginative path to happiness and success, that supports evolution and growth along the way?

In this workshop we’ll help you tap into wisdom that allows you to have the experience you want to have, no matter what is going on around us.  Once you start to see this for yourself, you will re-discover how to effortlessly access natural peace of mind, connection, and joy at any moment!

We will also share a new way to set goals that balances your head and your heart. You’ll stop making the journey about achieving something through force of will. You will naturally begin experiencing the ease of accomplishing, all while enjoying the journey.

More information and register to save your spot at https://insideoutgoals.eventbrite.com


New Year Vibes Time! A Sound and Yoga Journey with Jules via Zoom
This Sunday, January 17 from 4:30 – 6PM PST

Are you curious about Sound Healing?  You’re in luck, because Thrive’s Office Manager Jules Sears is a certified Sound Practitioner who for over 11 years has shared the healing energies of musical frequencies!

In this virtual workshop, enjoy a lovely blend of vibrational healing and restorative yoga from the comfort of your own home wherever you are in the world!

More info and to reserve your spot at Eventbrite or  Facebook.com/events


Save the date for the Next Design RetreatA Virtual Zoom Retreat
Fri-Sun, March 12-14, 10:00-12:30 and 2:00-5:00 PST each day
Hosts: Julie Gleeson, Founder The Art of Living Inc, and Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc Thrive Acupuncture and Wellness Corp.

We had a successful inaugural Online Design Retreat last October so we’re planning to do it again this March.  We know this work is so powerful and we were thrilled at how well we were able to do it virtually.  The participants have been telling us how life changing it was for them, so I wanted to let you know the dates as soon as we set them.

Check out what the design retreat is all about on my events page.

Further information and the link to register coming soon.
Let Christina know if you have questions or are interested.


Growing More Peaceful Membership CommunityIf you like the idea of quieting the noise in your head, come join us this and every Tuesday afternoon for a zoom conversation where we take a breather from all the noise and make room to grow more peaceful, even now:

Here’s some of what people have been telling us they get from the sessions:

  • “I felt so grounded after listening last Tuesday. My mind was quiet. I was relieved. Body and mind at peace.”
  • “For me, these meetings reinforce that concept of quieting the intellect/monkey mind and waiting to hear the whisper of one’s inner wisdom/common sense. I learn this again and again, and yet it is not the first place I turn, so obviously I need the repetition of the lesson!”
  • “The meetings also give me a sense of community, a feeling of unity of purpose that lingers after the close of the hour. “

We’re so confident in how helpful this conversation is that the first month is FREE, so you can come check it out without any pressure.  Click this link to our event page for all the information about the community and the link to register.


What We’re Treating In The Clinic—Hand PainSometimes it makes sense that we have a lot of patients coming in for the same thing—allergies are seasonal and migraines are more common when the weather changes.  But other times certain conditions come in clusters and we don’t know why. Right now we’re treating a lot of hand pain.  It could be the cold weather.  It could be that people are on their devices a lot more.  And it could just be random.  In any case I love helping people get rid of their hand pain so they can get back to life.

Acupuncture is great at reducing inflammation and pain, increasing circulation, soothing swollen joints, getting tendons to work better so fingers don’t get stuck, and even getting nerve signals to work better which increases grip strength and reduces tremors. 

Established patients can make an appointment at our new online booking site.  You were emailed a personal link in December to set up your profile and use this site in an email titled “Welcome to Thrive Acupuncture and Wellness”.  Everyone has been loving the new site, but if you need any help or want the welcome link again, let us know.  You’re also always welcome to call or email us to make an appointment.

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.


Insurance changes for 2021If you didn’t see our previous email here’s a link with all the information about insurance changes happening in our office in 2021.  The short summary is that we’re going Out of Network with all insurances.  If you’re not sure if this will affect you, take a look at all the details here and let us know if you have any questions.

The effective date for being Out of Network with Blue Shield is April 1, 2021.  For those who have Blue Shield policies with In Network coverage in our office, you can use your In Network benefits until March 31, 2021.

The effective date for being Out of Network with Sutter, Optum and United plans is March 11, 2021. For those with these current In Network coverage, you can use those benefits until 3/10/2021.

We’ll follow up when we have effective dates for other insurance carriers.  We expect them to have effective dates sometime between the end of January to end of March.


Happy Mind Explorations,
Here’s to more time spent doing what is ours to do with all our heart!
Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc

Posted in acupuncture, Events, Facebook Private Group, Joint Pain, Mental Health, Mind Experiment, Painful Injuries, Sound Healing, Three Principles, Trauma | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Would Christina Do? 9 Months Into the pandemic

I normally try and keep the newsletters short, but this one is jam packed, so please scroll down to the parts that interest you:

  • Coming Soon: Our New Practice Management Software!—If you’re a patient please read this part as it will affect you
  • What Would Christina Do?—9 Months Into the pandemic what have I learned that’s hopeful?
  • Holiday Gift Ideas—give the gift of health
  • Upcoming Events
  • Insurance Changes in 2021—in case you missed it, plus the effective date for Blue Shield
  • End of year schedule

 


Coming Soon—Our New Practice Management Software  If you’re a patient, please read this as it will affect you.  We’re transitioning to a new practice management software.  Yippee!!!

Shortly we’ll be sending out a Welcome Email from the new system that will require action on your part.  The welcome email will give you a personalized link to set up a username and password so you can access your patient profile and book appointments online.  We’ll be using the new system starting January 2021, but since our last day in the office in 2020 is December 18, we’re excited to help everyone set up their profile in the new system soon.

Through your patient profile we’ll need you to enter a credit card to store for future touch-less payments and update any info like emergency contacts etc.  We’ll also be emailing you our updated online consent forms through the new system.  Please submit them before your your first appointment in 2021. 

While we weren’t looking for more change in 2020, we are truly looking forward to this one!  All the challenges of 2020 really highlighted that the old system had problems and was wasting our time and energy.  We did extensive research and talked to lots of colleagues to find a new system that would be better for us and YOU.  And we’ve been really impressed at how intuitive and well set up the new system is.  Jules and I both say at least once a day “I can’t wait to be in the new system!”

For those who like details, the new system will handle our:

  • Schedule:  There’s so many improvements to the scheduler we can’t list them all, but on the top of our list is that the new system emails you right away when we make an appointment for you while you are in the office (so when you get home it will be easy to confirm you got it in your calendar correctly) and the online scheduler is much easier to use.  PLUS it allows you to cancel and reschedule online!
  • Intake & Consent forms: Current patients will be able to update their profile information (emergency contact, address, etc.) and sign updated consent forms online.  New patients will fill out all that plus their initial intake forms online—no more new patients showing up with their paperwork still at home!
  • Payment processing: The new system has fully integrated payment processing which means we can more elegantly and effortlessly:
    • Store a credit card(s) on file with bank level encryption for touch-less payments.  You’ll be able to log into your account and update the card(s) anytime.
    • Provide receipts that are much clearer for your records, with the ability to send Superbills (medical invoices with proper coding) for submitting to HSA/HRA accounts.
    • Send you invoices for any outstanding balances that you can pay online.
  • Charts: The improvements here probably won’t be too noticeable on your side unless you need a copy of your chart, but Christina is excited to have charts that are easier to navigate.
  • Practice management:  There’s a bunch of other improvements to things that we do daily like tracking packages, recording insurance payments, and running reports.  You won’t know it’s working better except that we might feel more relaxed about it all.

Keep an eye out for the welcome email from Thrive Acupuncture and Wellness that will invite you to create your profile in the new system called Jane.  No doubt there will be learning curves for all of us so we appreciate your patience and constructive feedback about the patient experience as we make the transition over the next few weeks.


What Would Christina Do?—9 Months into a PandemicI actually have some hopeful information regarding the pandemic as we move into winter.  I believe that there are lots of things you can do to help both prevent contracting C-19 and also stop the symptoms from getting bad if you do get it.  When you have these remedies on hand you can relax a little bit, knowing that you are taking care of yourself.  I’ve been in contact with colleagues from all over the world and am happy to share with you what I’ve learned 9 months into this pandemic.

Is C-19 that bad or is it just like any other flu?  There are lots of unknowns but it looks like it is minor for a lot of people, like a bad flu for some people, really bad for others, and sometimes it’s surprisingly bad for healthy people.   A troubling consequence many acupuncturists are treating is lingering symptoms of fatigue, brain fog, cough, loss of taste and smell, and circulation issues.  It’s being called long COVID and sometimes even people that have minor symptoms during C-19 have lingering symptoms.  The reason why acupuncturists are so tuned into this is because that’s when patients turn to us.  Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine shine at treating chronic conditions and western medicine doesn’t really have anything for those patients.

But wait Christina I thought you said you have some hopeful information that might help us relax a bit?  The good news is that I’ve also heard from colleagues all over the world that herbal and supplement strategies are effective at preventing C-19 from developing into a really bad acute or chronic illness. 

So what would Christina do 9 months into this pandemic?

Prevention:  I’m still doing all the prevention herbs, supplements, and lifestyle choices I have  written about in detail here.  Here’s a quick review of what I’m doing for prevention:

  • Chinese herbs:  I take immune boosting and antiviral herbs daily and consider them the foundation of my wellness plan.  I normally do this just during cold and flu season, but these herbs are effective and commonly prescribed without side effects, so I’m staying on them for this extended cold and virus “season”.
  • I’m also taking Elderberry Syrup, Probiotics, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Zinc, Iodine, Cod Liver Oil (with Vit A, D, & K), using Xlear Nasal Spray, getting regular Acupuncture, eating a healthy Whole Foods Based Diet, keeping holiday Sugar to a Minimum, getting regular Exercise, and prioritizing time to relax and get good Sleep.

If all that seems like too much, I have some other good news that is the most hopeful for me.  I’ve heard from patients of mine and from colleagues all over the world that if you start taking high doses of antiviral, immune boosting, and phlegm reducing herbs and supplements at the start of C-19, the symptoms don’t get out of hand or linger.  If people don’t want to focus on prevention, they can still have these on hand to stop the virus in its tracks.

Of course there is no guarantee, but I’ve heard this often enough that I’m hopeful about it!  Seeing so many different colleagues approaching it differently with success has been really interesting.  It seems that people do really well with a shotgun approach of high doses of antiviral herbs, anti-phlegm remedies, and supplements that are commonly used to support your immune system.

Just in Case I Get Sick:  This whole time I’ve had Chinese herbs on hand to start taking if I actually get sick and recently I made a plan for supplements as well.  I commonly have lots of these things around, but I stocked on large dosages and set them aside with a dosage plan for me and my husband so we can get started right away if we even think we are getting sick.  Having this plan in place feels reassuring to me.  So here’s what I have on hand for treating a virus:

  • Antiviral / Anti-phlegm Chinese herbs
  • Vitamin C: enough to take to bowel tolerance
  • Vitamin D: enough to take a super dose for 3 days, a large dose for a few more, and then a healthy dose until feeling better
  • N Acetylcysteine
  • Vitamin A
  • Zinc Lozenges
  • Fresh ginger and lemons to make tea and Traditional Medicinals Breath Easy tea

Just because I know I have these things at the ready, I haven’t reduced my hand washing, mask wearing, and distancing because that is an important part of prevention.

If you would like help getting a plan together for yourself and want to get some herbs or supplements, please let us know. 

The Chinese herbs and probiotics are available in our office.  I’m happy to talk with you about the different herbal options and find a plan that is a good fit for you.

The other supplements are available at our online dispensary, Wellevate.  If you create an account and log in you can see 2 protocols I have created called Virus Prevention Supplements (to take as prevention) and Virus B-Gone Supplements (to have on hand to take if you get a virus).  Those protocols have the exact same high-quality supplements I’m taking and have on hand so you can see if you want to get any of them.  Remember I’m happy to talk with you about supplements and dosages that are right for you for maintenance or if you do contract the virus or other colds and flus. 

So I’m feeling pretty hopeful that this pandemic won’t last forever and in the meantime there are some pretty simple things we can have on hand to stay healthy and prevent any viruses from getting out of hand or lingering.  That’s a much better perspective than I had 9 months ago.


Holiday Gift IdeasWe have lots of healthy gifts in stock so you can support your loved one’s health and the health of our small business.  Just come and get them before December 18.

  • Herbal Medicinal foot soaks—these sachets smell and feel great and are actually a very effective way to treat lots of symptoms such as pain, inflammation, circulation, stress, anxiety, insomnia.  Because they are strong herbal medicine there are some contraindications, but we have a complete write up on it that we can go over with you to figure out if it is a good gift.
  • Herbal Salves for Dry Skin—who doesn’t have dry skin with all this hand washing?  I’ve put these to the test and can say they are a lifesaver.  The Chinese herbs in them help with soothing and repairing skin.
  • Herbal Salve for Pain—my new favorite non-menthol pain cream that patients are now raving about, because sometimes I don’t want to smell or feel menthol when I have pain.
  • Herbal Pain Patches—these are menthol heavy but people loooooove them.  Plus they have herbs to treat the pain, not just disguise it
  • Herbal Sensory Lubricant—women and their partners love this stuff.  It’s great for supporting vaginal health, treating dryness and thinning skin that are common as women age, as well as enhancing pleasure.
  • Essential Oil Inhalers—support your lungs with these inhalers the size of a lip balm. Healthy and better smelling than your mask!
  • Gift Certificates for Acupuncture—it’s been exciting to see so many new patients this year who decided it was finally time to try acupuncture.  Most of them say “I wish I had come in sooner.”  A gift certificate is the perfect way to help your loved ones take the plunge or support those who already come to Thrive.

Jules has a passion for all our products and is happy to help you pick something out and get you instructions to pass on.


Upcoming Events: Growing More Peaceful Membership CommunityIf you like the idea of quieting the noise in your head and increasing your feelings of love and understanding, come join us this and every Tuesday afternoon through December 22, then resuming January 5, for a zoom conversation where we take a breather from all the noise and make room to grow more peaceful, even now:

Here’s some of what people have been telling us they get from the sessions:

  • “I have to tell you that I have felt so much better mentally in general since the Tuesday meeting. Thank you.”
  • “For me, these meetings reinforce that concept of quieting the intellect/monkey mind and waiting to hear the whisper of one’s inner wisdom/common sense. I learn this again and again, and yet it is not the first place I turn, so obviously I need the repetition of the lesson!”
  • “I felt so grounded after listening last Tuesday. My mind was quiet. I was relieved. Body and mind at peace.”
  • “The meetings also give me a sense of community, a feeling of unity of purpose that lingers after the close of the hour. “

We’re so confident in how helpful this conversation is that the first month is FREE, so you can come check it out without any pressure.  Click this link for all the information about the community and the link to register.


Insurance changes for 2021If you didn’t see our last email here’s a link with all the information about insurance changes happening in our office in 2021.  The short summary is that we’re going Out of Network with all insurances.  If you’re not sure if this will affect you, take a look at all the details here and let us know if you have any questions.

The one update we have is that the effective date for being out of network with Blue Shield is April 1, 2021.  For those who have Blue Shield policies with In Network coverage in our office, you can use your In Network benefits until March 31, 2021.  We’ll follow up when we have effective dates for the other insurance carriers.  We expect them to have effective dates between end of January to end of March.


End of year ScheduleOur last day in the office for 2020 is Friday December 18.  We’re looking forward to resting, reflecting, and rejuvenating so we can be back to serve our community Monday January 4.

Acupuncture: We do have some openings for acupuncture through the end of the year, but they are starting to fill up so let us know soon if you want to get on our table before December 18.  We will turn off our current online scheduler shortly when we activate the new system, so if you can’t get on there, just give us a call or email, which is welcome anytime if that’s easier for you.

Herb Refills: If you need herbal refills let us know asap.  There’s usually a flurry of refills that last week and with distancing protocols it would be nice to space them out a bit.

Since some people have been asking, I’ll mention that as primary care providers in CA, acupuncturist offices should be able to stay open even if there are increased stay at home orders.  We feel confident in our sanitization and safety protocols and thank everyone who has been so careful about not coming in if they have been sick or been around someone who has been sick.  There truly has not been a more important time for natural medicine and I’m grateful that I get to keep helping patients. 


Sending so much love out to each of you!
Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc

Posted in acupuncture, Facebook Private Group, Immune Boosting / Immunity, Insurance, Office Happenings, Recommended Products, Three Principles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Insurance Changes for In Network Coverage in 2021

Please read if you use or intend to use Acupuncture Insurance benefits.

If you have been using In Network insurance coverage in our office OR are planning to change your insurance in 2021, please read.  We hate fine print, and right now we’re pretty averse to more change, but more than anything, we hate insurance surprises!

The change: We’re about to start the process to get out of our contracts with all insurance providers and switch to only billing for Out of Network benefits in our office

  • What insurance companies ARE affected?  If you use In Network benefits in our office this will affect you.  The most common plans affected are Blue Shield, Cigna, Sutter, United, and a few other plans that are managed by the same administrators.
  • What insurance companies are NOT affected?  If you use Out of Network benefits in our office or pay without using insurance, this change will not affect you.  The most common Out of Network plans are Aetna and Anthem Blue Cross, but there are lots of other plans with Out of Network benefits.

Why are we going Out of Network?  There was a change to insurance fee schedules this year that has reduced the reimbursement for acupuncture by 25-55% across the US.  We can’t survive as a small business in northern CA with this reduction in pay, especially now while we have reduced treatments and increased costs associated with Covid-19 distancing and cleaning.  The change began mid-year without warning from some of the companies that we have contracts with and will continue to take effect for the rest of the companies.

When?  Sometime in 2021 between mid-January and end of March we won’t be In Network with any insurance anymore.  Each insurance plan has a different process and timeframe for getting Out of Network.  As we get confirmations and effective dates for the different insurances, we will share them with you.

Can you still use your insurance in our office in 2021 after the change is effective?  That depends on your plan.  If your plan has Out of Network acupuncture benefits, we can still bill directly for you.  In the new year we can run a verification to see what your Out of Network benefits are in 2021 and explain how they would work in our office.  Some Out of Network benefits are really good and the patients pay very little.  Some Out of Network plans aren’t worth using because it’s less money to pay our Time of Service discounted rate.  Some plans don’t have Out of Network acupuncture benefits. 

What can you do now?  If you want to find out before the new year if your current plan will have Out of Network acupuncture benefits in 2021, you can call your insurance or your broker and ask them.  They will not tell us what your 2021 benefits are at this time, but they will tell you.  Now is the time for many people to choose their insurance for 2021.  If you have the option, choose a plan that has good Out of Network acupuncture benefits.

What are my other options? For those that don’t have Out of Network coverage or opt not to use it, the Time of Service discounted rate will apply with the following options:

  1. Per Treatment Payment:  $100.00 each visit.
  2. Prepayment Plans Terms and Conditions:  This office offers two prepayment plans for patients paying at the time of service. In return for the patient’s agreement to prepay for a specific number of visits in advance, the patient is offered free treatment(s):
    —$500: With the purchase of 5 treatments at $100/treatment, the patient receives one treatment for free, for a total of 6 treatments. ($83.00 per treatment)
    —$900: With the purchase of 9 treatments at $100/treatment, the patient receives two treatments for free, for a total of 11 treatments. ($81.00 per treatment)

Sad times for Chinese Medicine

I don’t like this change and I don’t like having to tell you about it.  Most acupuncturists I know are making the same hard decision.  It’s not if, but when they will go Out of Network.  Which means there will be less options for patients.  Many patients will be forced to change the frequency of treatments or give up treatments entirely, which makes me really sad.  I first got enough acupuncture to make a difference when my treatments were partially covered by insurance so I know what a difference it can make.  We’ve been exploring how to make it work in our office because we don’t want anymore changes, but we just can’t find a way.  We have to change in order to survive.

What happened that changed the fee schedule?  The simple explanation is that Medicare created an Acupuncture Fee Schedule and the other insurance companies are aligning to it and reducing their reimbursement for acupuncture. 

For those that like details…In January 2020 it was announced that Medicare would cover acupuncture for chronic low back pain.  The problem is that Acupuncturists are not in the Medicare system so we can’t actually treat the patients and it will literally take an act of Congress to change that.  There are some clauses in the coverage that look like they intended for acupuncturists to be able to perform the treatments under MD supervision.  But how that should work and how to bill for it have not been defined, so no one is providing the treatments.

On top of all that, the coverage is only for 12 visits a year for a certain type of back pain and only if the patient has failed to respond to several other specific treatments.  If your back pain has failed other treatments and it’s been going on long enough to rule them out, you most likely need more than 12 acupuncture treatments a year.  As you can see, it’s not a benefit that can be used the way it’s set up, but it’s reducing acupuncture reimbursements anyway.

Questions:  Please contact us with any of your questions or concerns.  We will do our best to help you understand what we know about how this will affect you.

And don’t forget to use your acupuncture benefits for the rest of 2020 and into 2021 while they are effective in our office, no matter what kind of insurance you have!

Here’s to adaptability and resiliency for us all!

Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc

Posted in acupuncture, Insurance, Office Happenings, Treatment Plans and Packages | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Mind Experiment: Neutral Challenges


The Power of Neutral in a Noisy WorldIt feels like the world is getting more noisy lately.  From the ever changing guidelines of the pandemic, and attention grabbing headlines about politics, to opinions about what to do about all these wildfires, I don’t think the noise around us is going to slow down anytime soon.  The good news is that you can quiet down some of the noise in your head. 
 
Now I want to be clear about something really important—I’m not talking about ignoring what’s going on around us or trying to be positive about it.  I am talking about reducing the nagging anxious, frustrated, and fearful thoughts in your head for just enough time so that you get a little relief and gain some clarity.  With just a little bit more clarity you’ll be able to know what is yours to do and you can put your energy into that.  And more importantly you’ll know what is not yours to do so you can get back to feeling a little bit more like yourself.
 
With all the noise around us, I’m going to give you a really specific, succinct mind experiment you can try out to see if it brings you some relief and quiets down some of the noise in your head.
 
Mind Experiment: Over the next 2 weeks use the word challenge to describe all the noisy stuff going on around you.  Replace the emotional words you use to describe what is happening with this neutral word, and see what you notice as far as the noise in your head and the sensations in your body. 
 
Here's a few examples

Go From
I am so tense about all these stressors, they’re never ending!
To
I am so tense about all these challenges, they’re never ending!
 
Go From
I can’t believe how much F’d up news there is lately!
To
I can’t believe how many challenges there are lately!
 

You can see in the above examples that I’m not suggesting you be positive, just more neutral.  Because trying to be positive about something you are upset about just feels fake.  Aiming for more neutral frees up some room for fresh thinking. 

At first glance you may not want fresh thinking about the things you are upset about, but how’s that working for you?  It’s actually helpful to get a little space between your upset thoughts.  In that space you won’t do an about face about what is important to you.  But you might start to see something new about where you want to put your energy.  Just a little bit of space between your noisy thoughts is all you need to be able to hear your own common sense and gain some clarity.  And the world needs more common sense and clarity right now.
 
Over the next several weeks while the world seems pretty noisy all around us, start calming down the noise in your head by aiming for neutral.  One simple way to do this is to us the word challenges to describe the situations that are feeling noisy to you.  See if you notice some relief from the noise in your head.  Or if your body releases a little bit of tension.  I think you’ll be surprised by the power that comes from aiming for neutral. You may even want to try it on for longer than 2 weeks.
 
Let me know how it goes!
 


2 Upcoming Events…
Design Retreat OnlineWhen I was younger I was really struggling with romantic relationships (this retreat is not about romantic relationships, but follow me for a second).  I had an insight that was so helpful it improved all my relationships so much that people around me started asking me for relationship advice—work, family, and yes even romantic relationships.  My insight was “Everyone has their own reality.”  I saw this so deeply that it was truly helpful for me to share it with people, and they then had their own insights about their relationships. 
 
It wasn’t until years later that I started seeing that everyone’s version of reality was actually where they hold their power, creativity, inspiration, and peace.   That’s why I’m excited that I’m co-hosting a retreat that is all about understanding, at a deep level, what your unique design is.  And for the first time we’re doing the retreat online.  We're offering the inaugural online version at a discount and kept it to only 5 spaces, and we just had one space open up.  If you’re interested, get in touch as soon as possible.  I’d love to chat and see if it’s a good fit for you.  
 
So, what is Design?  It is easier to point in the direction of Design than actually describe what it is.
 
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression.  It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

–Martha Graham

When the 'energy' of your design is captured and surrounded by language it serves as a reminder, a touch point that allows you to reset back to what is a balanced state for you.  Knowing your Design allows for a relaxation and understanding of all those things that seemed not to fit.  One client said it was like dominoes all falling in a row, looking back through the lens of her design.  She could see the trajectory as just one thing.

One other side effect of going through the Design discovery process is you will forevermore listen to others through the lens of what makes them unique.  
 

Date: October 23-25
10:00-12:30, 2:00-5:00 each day
Over Zoom

Further information and the link to register is at my co-hosts website:
https://theartoflivinginc.com/upcoming-events/

 


Growing More Peaceful Membership CommunityIf you like the idea of quieting the noise in your head, come join us this and every Tuesday afternoon for a zoom conversation where we take a breather from all the noise and make room to grow more peaceful, even now:

Here’s some of what people have been telling us they get from the sessions:

  • “I have to tell you that I have felt so much better mentally in general since the Tuesday meeting. Thank you.”
  • “For me, these meetings reinforce that concept of quieting the intellect/monkey mind and waiting to hear the whisper of one's inner wisdom/common sense. I learn this again and again, and yet it is not the first place I turn, so obviously I need the repetition of the lesson!”
  • “I felt so grounded after listening last Tuesday. My mind was quiet. I was relieved. Body and mind at peace.”
  • “The meetings also give me a sense of community, a feeling of unity of purpose that lingers after the close of the hour. “

We're so confident in how helpful this conversation is that the first month is FREE, so you can come check it out without any pressure.  Click this link for all the information about the community and the link to register.
 


What We’re Treating In The Clinic—PTSD, Stress, AnxietyDid you know there is a famous ear acupuncture protocol for PTSD?  I can add it to full body treatments focused on whatever else your main health focus is.  I’ve been using it a lot lately because so many people are telling me they are experiencing some kind of trauma triggered response.  I always put some points in for stress reduction and to reset your nervous system because we all need that with our modern go go go lifestyle.  But these extra ear points supercharge the stress reduction part of the treatment so patients feel more relaxed, at ease, grounded, and resilient.
 
So many new patients have been telling me they came to get acupuncture to support _______  (fill in the blank with back pain, headaches, digestion, you name it), but the reason they thought acupuncture would be the best solution is because they had it before and it was the best way to calm down their stress, which they know is contributing to their main complaint.

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.
 
 


I am always grateful for your support in the form of a referral or a positive online reviewMy practice is accepting new patients–it's what's been keeping this small business alive.   That is not what I would have predicted in a global pandemic.  I thought people that know and trust us would feel comfortable coming in, but most others would be wary of trying anything new.  However it turns out that more people are now motivated to get and stay healthy.  And they’ve realized that western medicine does not have all the answers–especially for stress reduction, immune boosting, pain, and chronic conditions with underlying inflammation.  I think people have also realized that small medical practices like ours have a lot of control over our sanitization and safety protocols to help keep them as safe as possible. 

So while there are still patients that are choosing not to come in for appointments, our business is being kept alive with new patients.  We get a boost of energy because we love helping people learn about different options for their healthcare and help them to thrive for a long time.  And we’re grateful for their trust and their business. 
 
The best ways for us to connect with new patients that are a great fit for our brand of wellness care are through your personal referrals and online reviews. 
 
If you know someone who is facing a health challenge or is just wondering how to stay healthy in our current world, ask them if they have considered acupuncture.  If they are interested, have them call or email us so we can answer their questions. 
We know that the number one concern is that getting stuck with acupuncture needles will hurt.  You can tell them that most people get really relaxed and even fall asleep during their treatment – which would not be happening if they were in pain!  If your referral gets in touch with us, we can explain that Christina practices a style of acupuncture which is really gentle while still being extremely effective, and that she is well known for treating needle phobic people.  Many of those patients end up loving acupuncture and referring their needle phobic friends!    

The number one question people have is "Will it work?"  That's where it's helpful to both share your experience and have them get in touch with us.  We can let them know if we've treated their condition before and what to expect.  
 
And if you’ve enjoyed your care here, we’d really appreciate you taking the time to leave us a personal review online. Pretty much everyone who researches online and chooses us, ends up being a great fit here.  That is because when they read personal reviews, they can feel that we’re the place for them.  It would really help us out for you to leave a personal review on Yelp and Google Business (just scroll down to "Write a review") so more of our people can find us and get the help they need.

Here's to a renewed interest in health and being open to new options for health care–two of our favorite things!
 


Sending so much love out to each of you!  Hope you enjoy the Neutral mind explorations.
Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc
 

Posted in acupuncture, Mental Health, Mind Experiment, Sydney Banks, Three Principles, Trauma | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Love your Lungs: Practical Support for Bad Air Quality

How To Love Your Lungs: Practical Support for Bad Air QualityIf you’ve worked with me at all you probably know that I’m not one to make hard rules about self care.  I’m always encouraging you to follow your common sense and listen for what resonates with you.  Look for things you will actually do, and what sounds fun. YES, being healthy can be fun and easy!  However, I'm going to get serious about your respiratory health in this newsletter.  I love your lungs and I want you to love on them too!
 
Fire season started early this year and there is a novel respiratory virus around, so there truly has never been a more important time to support the health of your respiratory systemThe recent fires will not be done smoldering for a while.  And while the skies were drizzling and the air was clear on Wednesday, the weather folks predict the smokey air is coming back to Sonoma County this weekend and going to stick around for a while.  It’s not too late to get a plan to navigate poor air quality. 
 
Part of the reason I feel so strongly about this is based on our past 3 summers of long stretches of smoke from fires.  I’ve seen first hand that people who are good about protecting themselves from bad air quality have more resilience to colds, flus, and viruses.  I haven't run a clinical trial, but as someone who focuses on supporting immune systems, I've seen lots of case studies. It’s clear to me that when cold and flu season comes around, those that struggle with bad coughs or lingering upper respiratory symptoms often tell me they weren't so good at protecting themselves from the smoke.
 
So please take a look at all the ideas I have below about how to take care of your respiratory system when we have smokey air and pick some of them to implement.  Like always, it’s your body and you get to decided when the risks outweigh the benefits of avoiding smoke – yes, sometimes taking that walk and talk with your friend, or getting out in your garden is worth it. 

Monitor Air Quality:  You can’t always tell by just looking out your window how the air quality is.  If you have a long view, like I do from my front porch, and things look hazy, that’s not good air.  But most of the time I take a look at the app from IQ Air called AirVisual.  You can go to their website and download their free app onto your phone.  It has data from lots of local sensors and shows you the recent history so you can get a good feel for how things are locally for you.  The air quality can vary drastically from where I live near the Fairgrounds to where Thrive is up by Fountaingrove.  With that info you can make the decisions that are right for you about opening windows, going outside, etc.  When looking at air quality sites you want to make sure they collect data from multiple locations.  The last I read, the national weather service bases their air quality info from one sensor in Sebastopol and extrapolates with air flow mapping.
 
Stay Inside When Possible:  Make conscious choices about when to spend time outside.  We’ve had about 2 weeks of "spare the air days" in a row.  We’re in a marathon, not a sprint.  If you consider the long term exposure to particulates and toxins in the air, your decisions will probably be more cautious. 

  • If the air quality is less than ideal, stay inside as much as possible with the windows closed and an air purifier on.  Where I live, the morning tends to have better air quality so I’ve been getting out first thing to tend the garden.  
  • If you don’t have central A/C, like so many houses in Sonoma County, it may finally be time to buy a portable A/C unit.  We did a couple summers ago and it was a life saver over the past couple of weeks—we could keep the windows closed but still have at least one place in the house that was a comfortable temperature during a heat wave.
  • Find a way to exercise indoors.  I love exercising outdoors—that’s one of my main motivators for exercise—but it’s empowering to have the option to exercise indoors.  That way I don’t feel like I have to compromise by either choosing exercise in unhealthy air or not exercising at all.  I’ve been doing online Pilates and my husband brought our bike trainer into the living room from the backyard.  

Masks:  I know we all have mask fatigue, but if your air quality is moderate and you’re going to be outside, it’s a good idea to put on a respirator mask that filters the particles.  There’s also a lot of confusion about if it’s ok to wear a respirator mask or if we can buy them since we want to make sure health professionals have access to them.  

  • We had a small supply of 3 lightly used N95 masks in the back of our cupboard so take a look around at home–now is the time to pull them out.
  • If you don’t have any N95s or you want to get some more, you can buy KN95 masks without any special health provider qualifications.  I know they have them at amazon and Friedman's.  KN95 masks are very similar to N95s. The main difference is that the straps go around your ears so the seal is not as tight, but they do have a wire you can shape around the nose to get a good seal.
  • Want to make your masks last longer?  I use a washable cloth mask on top of my KN95 masks at work to keep the outside of the mask clean so I can reuse the masks a few times.  The cloth mask on top also helps keep the KN95 in place for me.  I tie the cloth mask behind my head so I don't have too many things behind my ears.  If the cloth mask has ear straps, I string a ribbon through and tie that behind my head.  I put each lightly used KN95 mask in a paper bag to air out for at least 72 hours between uses.

Air Purifier:  If you’ve lived in Sonoma County over the past 3 summers you probably already own at least one air purifier for your home.  Is it time to replace the filters? A few patients in the market for another have asked me what I recommend since we got more for the office recently–there’s one in each treatment room to help clean the air of viruses and now also smoke.  I chose the Winnix 5300-2 because it moves a lot of air and has good carbon and HEPA filtration.  One of the main things you want in an air purifier is to move a lot of air through it.  The more air it moves the more it purifies.  We got ours off amazon, but you can shop around for them. 
 
Detox:  In addition to particulates, the smokey air contains gasses and toxins that get in your bloodstream.  The first stop for blood purification is the liver, so I focus my detox efforts on the liver. 

  • I've been drinking Traditional Medicinals EveryDay Detox tea.  They have a few different flavors and you can buy them at Oliver's and Whole Foods.
  • Other easy liver detox support includes:

If you have specific concerns or sensitivities to detoxing I can prescribe custom herbal formulas to support your individual needs.

Conscious breathing: Take a few minutes every so often to take some calming, deep breaths. Give thanks to your lungs for all the work they do. In Chinese medicine, the lungs hold onto grief and sadness, so think of what you want to release as you exhale and then inhale peace and serenity.  Essential oils, such as eucalyptus, rosemary, geranium, cinnamon, and peppermint, support respiratory health and perk up your spirit.  We have some inhalers with blends of essential oils that can easily fit in your pocket or purse and allow you to quickly give your lungs some love. 

 
It's starting to feel like we're out of the woods with the recent fires which is a relief!  Take some time now to make a plan for supporting your respiratory system through any future bad air quality.  It's not too late – it's actually the perfect time.  
 


What We’re Treating In The Clinic–Stress, Respiratory Systems, and DetoxThe past couple of weeks have not been easy for a lot of people with the local fires.  Nervous systems and respiratory systems are taxed.  So many people were coming in asking me if I think they are having allergies with irritated sinuses, eyes, throats,  lungs, and headaches.  Nope, it was poor air quality.  The air may not have seemed that bad a lot of the time, and to be honest we're all tired of feeling limited and confined inside.  But that meant more people were going outside without any respirator mask even though we've had over 2 weeks with almost daily "spare the air" warnings for the greater Bay Area. 

I’ve been thrilled to be able to work and help people since my home was very safe AND my office was open–over the past 3 years my office was often evacuated or without power during the fires. 

So many people told me that making an appointment for acupuncture was the best decision they made all week.  They also said they felt more relaxed, their breathing felt better, and their headaches were gone when they got up from the table, so they knew it was helping them. 

Like I said before, there truly has never been a more important time to support the health of your respiratory AND nervous systems.  Acupuncture, cupping, and custom herbal formulas offer so much support. 

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.

The number one question people have is "Will it work?"  That's where it's helpful to both share your experience and have them get in touch with us.  We can let them know if we've treated their condition before and what to expect.  
 
And if you’ve enjoyed your care here, we’d really appreciate you taking the time to leave us a personal review online.  Pretty much everyone who researches online and chooses us, ends up being a great fit here.  That is because when they read personal reviews, they can feel that we’re the place for them.  It would really help us out for you to leave a personal review on Yelp and Google Business (just scroll down to "Write a review") so more of our people can find us and get the help they need.

Here's to a renewed interest in health and being open to new options for health care–two of our favorite things!
 


Sending you, our community, the animals, the plants, and the whole world so much love!
Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc
 

Posted in acupuncture, Body Experiment, Diet, Immune Boosting / Immunity, Respiratory Health, Sanitary protocols, Seasonal Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why have a Pulse Oximeter at home?

Our New Device—The Pulse Oximeter—and Why You Want To Get OneThose of you that have been in for acupuncture since we reopened in May have experienced a new medical device—the pulse oximeter.  It’s loosely clamps onto your finger and measures your oxygen saturation and your pulse rate.

Why measure your oxygen saturation?I think knowing your baseline oxygen saturation is a good thing right now.  Not surprisingly, people that get pneumonia from Covid-19 have low oxygen saturation.  But there are 2 weird things in Covid-19 patients:

  • Some patients don’t show any breathing problems even though chest x-rays show pneumonia and their oxygen saturation is well below normal.
  • Some patients have such extremely low oxygen saturation that they should have passed out, but they are awake and alert.

So it’s a good thing to know what your baseline is while you are healthy in case you get sick and need to monitor your oxygen saturation.

What is normal?Normal oxygen saturation is between 94%-100% at sea level.  Some patients with COVID-19 have oxygen saturation as low as 50%.  I’ll measure it at your appointment and let you know what your normal level is.

Why do you want to have one at home? Pneumonia and low oxygen saturation without symptoms is known as “silent hypoxia” and it often goes unnoticed because it’s hard to detect without the normal symptoms.  But it’s very easy to measure and detect with this simple device.  If you come down with virus or cold-like symptoms, it’s recommended that you measure your oxygen saturation twice a day.  Then you can rest assured or seek treatment early.

Where to get one? They sell them online and at drugstores.  They were hard to get your hands on at the start of the pandemic, but there are lots in stock now.  We just ordered this high quality one to replace the one I got in a pinch back in April: https://innovo-medical.com/collections/innovo/products/ip900ap.

Please share this helpful information with your loved ones.  I have one at home and so do my parents!


What We’re Treating In The Clinic–And How You Can Help!NEW Patients!  That is not what I would have predicted in a global pandemic.  I thought people that know and trust us would feel comfortable coming in, but most others would be wary of trying anything new.  However it turns out that more people are now motivated to get and stay healthy.  And they’ve realized that western medicine does not have all the answers–especially for stress reduction, immune boosting, pain, and chronic conditions with underlying inflammation.  I think people have also realized that small medical practices like ours have a lot of control over our sanitization and safety protocols to help keep them as safe as possible.

So while there are still patients that are choosing not to come in for appointments, our business is being kept alive with new patients.  We get a boost of energy because we love helping people learn about different options for their healthcare and help them to thrive for a long time.  And we’re grateful for their trust and their business.

The best ways for us to connect with new patients that are a great fit for our brand of wellness care are through your personal referrals and online reviews. 

If you know someone who is facing a health challenge or is just wondering how to stay healthy in our current world, ask them if they have considered acupuncture.   If they are interested, have them call or email us so we can answer their questions. 

We know that the number one concern is that getting stuck with acupuncture needles will hurt.  You can tell them that most people get really relaxed and even fall asleep during their treatment – which would not be happening if they were in pain!  If your referral gets in touch with us, we can explain that Christina practices a style of acupuncture which is really gentle while still being extremely effective, and that she is well known for treating needle phobic people.  Many of those patients end up loving acupuncture and referring their needle phobic friends!

The number one question people have is “Will it work?”  That’s where it’s helpful to both share your experience and have them get in touch with us.  We can let them know if we’ve treated their condition before and what to expect.

And if you’ve enjoyed your care here, we’d really appreciate you taking the time to leave us a personal review online.  Pretty much everyone who researches online and chooses us, ends up being a great fit here.  That is because when they read personal reviews, they can feel that we’re the place for them.  It would really help us out for you to leave a personal review on Yelp and Google Business (just scroll down to “Write a review”) so more of our people can find us and get the help they need.

Here’s to a renewed interest in health and being open to new options for health care–two of our favorite things!


Thrive Is Open To All PatientsA lot of patients have been asking so I’ll let you know that we are not in danger of closing.  As primary care providers of medicine in CA, we don’t expect to be asked to close down.  Additionally, we are well stocked with cleaning supplies and masks and have our sanitization procedures dialed in.

We closed during the initial period of shelter in place because there was so much unknown and we couldn’t get reliable supplies of the basic things we needed to operate safely (masks, hand sanitizer, cleaning product, or even paper towels!).  Although it feels like we are still lacking a lot of information, we’ve actually learned a lot since March.  We know that the main way the virus spreads is through respiratory droplets and that surface transmission is less of a concern than originally feared.  This does not mean we’ve reduced our sanitization, but it does mean that I’m confident in our mask wearing, air purifying, and surface sanitizing protocols to keep us AND you as safe as can be so we can continue to help as many people as possible.

Patients keep telling me that having acupuncture back in their life has really made a big difference in their health!  Everyone is reporting they feel more like themselves and their different imbalances are feeling a lot better–pain, stress and anxiety, hot flashes, sleep, digestion – you name it.   Plus they’re excited to be supporting their immune systems!

All the info about our COVID-19 screening and protocols can be found here on our website.

If you would like to schedule an appointment you can call, email, or use our online scheduler (don’t forget to click CONFIRM in the confirmation email, otherwise we won’t know you tried to make an appointment).  We’ll reach out to screen you.  If you would like to discuss your needs and whether it makes sense for you to come in, let us know and we’ll give you a call.


Join the Quiet Revolution: Growing More Peaceful Membership Community

Back in March I started hosting a weekly stress reduction zoom session with my mentor Julie Gleeson of The Art of Living, Inc.  We have been delighted, moved and touched by the feedback we have gotten from participants, so we’ve decided to continue to grow the community.

While we started this group because we wanted to support people who were overwhelmed with navigating the unknown of a pandemic, life has continued to unfold with heated upset and divisiveness that people are having big emotions about. The intention of Growing More Peaceful is not to ignore our anger, frustration, anxiety, or sadness, but to take a moment to put down nagging, all-consuming negative feelings that are distracting us from who we are and what is ours to do.  It’s worthwhile to take a breather and look in the direction of growing more peaceful, because that is just the thing that will give you the clarity, creativity, and energy to see what is yours to do that can help make the world a better place.

Here’s some of what people have been telling us they get from the sessions:

  • “I have to tell you that I have felt so much better mentally in general since the Tuesday meeting. Thank you.”
  • “For me, these meetings reinforce that concept of quieting the intellect/monkey mind and waiting to hear the whisper of one’s inner wisdom/common sense. I learn this again and again, and yet it is not the first place I turn, so obviously I need the repetition of the lesson!”
  • “I felt so grounded after listening last Tuesday. My mind was quiet. I was relieved. Body and mind at peace.”
  • “The meetings also give me a sense of community, a feeling of unity of purpose that lingers after the close of the hour. “

We’re so confident in how helpful this understanding is that the first month is FREE, so you can come check it out without any pressure.  Click this link for all the information about the community and the link to register.


Sending you, our community, the animals, the plants, and the whole world so much love!
Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc

Posted in acupuncture, Covid19 screening, Facebook Private Group, Immune Boosting / Immunity, Mental Health, Respiratory Health, Sanitary protocols, Seasonal Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deep Listening: A Mind Experiment

Deep ListeningMaybe I’m an optimist, but I’m excited that it seems the US is poised to tackle racism and injustice at a deeper level.  I know it’s causing big emotions, but I’d rather that the large scale challenges are out in the open.  Because it’s not that racism and injustice didn’t exist before, but there is a momentum right now that I’ve never experienced to shine a light on it and do something about it.

I’m hopeful that much of the conversation is encouraging listening and learning from others, self-reflection, and deepening understanding to prepare yourself to be a good advocate for justice.  I think beginning by listening is so important because it provides the opportunity for a change of heart.  Large or small changes happen faster and more effectively from a change of heart.  Once you truly see something, you can’t unsee it and your actions will change.

Such a large scale challenge can feel overwhelming, so today I’m going to share something you can start working on right now—your listening.  I’ve been exploring this lately and it’s been really helpful for me.  I’m ready to level up my own self-reflection, understanding, learning, and advocacy for anti-racism, justice, equity, and inclusion.  And I’m starting with improving my listening.

Did you know there are several ways to listen?  And that there is a time a place for different kinds of listening?  They fall into 2 main categories:

  • Advocacy Listening is listening to challenge ideas.  This kind of listening can be good at work, especially if you’re a lawyer, but is not so good at home where you want to foster connection.
  • Synergistic Listening, or what I call Deep Listening, is listening for collaboration or to be impacted.  With this, you’re listening beyond the words and fostering connection, creativity, and problem solving.  At first glance it may seem that there are limits about where and when to use this kind of listening.  It can sound kind of “woo woo” or just plain vulnerable to open yourself up to having your point of view changed, but it’s surprisingly effective in all kinds of situations.

Mind Experiment: Explore deep listening over the next 2 weeks and notice how you feel and what results come from the conversations.  First start by taking a few days to notice how others and you are listening.  Then pick what feels like a safe conversation to start to practice deep listening and opening up to being impacted.

How do different kinds of listening look and feel?

> Advocacy listening looks and feels like:  Listening for confirmation, to make a point, waiting for your turn, or to process what you think they are saying.  This kind of listening can feel arrogant, inflexible, and defensive.

> Deep listening looks and feels like:  Listening for fresh thinking, connection, understanding, to take them in, to what they are trying to express, or for a feeling.  This kind of listening builds rapport, respect, warmth, and creativity.  The best way to foster deep listening is to put aside judgements, get curious, and ask open ended questions that you don’t know the answer to.

When you look at these two options, advocacy listening sounds kind of boring.  Why bother having a conversation if we’re mainly listening for what we already know?  Deep listening offers the opportunity for the unknown, which sounds a whole lot more interesting.

And deep listening is really effective in many situations.  I think it seems pretty obvious that you want to foster more connection, warmth and respect with loved ones.  But it’s equally important to foster those feelings with teams, neighbors, and coworkers.  In one of my previous careers I led teams of scientists who were preparing documents, presentations, and questions for the FDA.  Those prep meetings were full of really smart, opinionated, intellectual people.  So how did I lead them?  With deep listening, curiosity, and open ended questions that brought about respect, creativity, and effective problem solving.  I didn’t need to have all the answers, thank goodness, because my really smart team members with differing views could come together and come up with the best solutions.

So go ahead and give deep listening a try:

  1. Start by taking a few days to notice what kind of listening is going on around you.  It can be easy to look outside of yourself and see what others are doing. 
  2. Then start to notice what kind of listening you are doing at different times. 
  3. And then try on deep listening.  Asking open ended questions that we don’t know the answer to is unusual in our culture.  As you do it more you will you will get better at it.  It’s like strength training for your listening muscles.  

I’d love to know how it goes.  I’m sure the world needs more of this kind of listening and it starts with each one of us.

If this resonates with you and you’re curious about exploring this more, check out our Growing More Peaceful Membership Community below where we’re looking at this topic and more.


Thrive Is Open To All Patients
We are treating all patients in our clinic and feel comfortable with the safety and sanitization protocols we’ve implemented.  Patients have been loving getting acupuncture and I’ve been loving helping patients with it!  Patients keep telling me that having acupuncture back in their life has really made a big difference in their health!  Everyone is reporting they feel more like themselves and their different imbalances are feeling a lot better–pain, stress and anxiety, hot flashes, sleep, digestion – you name it.   Plus they’re excited to be supporting their immune systems!

 

Here’s what you need to know about scheduling appointments for acupuncture.
We ask that all patients who come into the clinic:

  1. Not have a fever or felt feverish for 2 weeks.
  2. Not have any possible COVID-19 symptoms for 2 weeks.
  3. Not have had close contact with anyone who has been sick or with possible COVID-19 for 2 weeks. 

When you make an appointment Jules will contact you to screen you.  And and every time you arrive for your appointment, we’ll take your temperature and we’ll need you to confirm that there have been no changes to the above 3 points.

We won’t be charging the late cancellation fee for anyone that needs to reschedule at the last minute because they think they might be sick or been exposed to someone who is sickWe actually appreciate you being extra cautious in this way because we want to stay open and available to help as many patients as possible.

Please also:

  • Be On Time.  With all the extra logistics we don’t have any wiggle room between appointments.  If you are more than 5 minutes late we may need to reschedule you. 
  •        If you arrive more than 15 minutes ahead of time, please wait in your car or outside.
  •        If there is someone in the lobby, please wait outside.
  • Wear a mask at all times.  Choose one that is comfortable.
  • Wear loose clothing so you do not need to disrobe and bring only what you need into the clinic.
  • Don’t bring any guests into the clinic.
  • Don’t come in with wet hair.

If you would like to schedule an appointment you can call, email, or use our online scheduler (don’t forget to click CONFIRM in the confirmation email, otherwise we won’t know you tried to make an appointment).  We’ll reach out to screen you.  If you would like to discuss your needs and whether it makes sense for you to come in, let us know and we’ll give you a call.


Join the Quiet Revolution: Growing More Peaceful Membership CommunityBack in March I started hosting a weekly stress reduction zoom session with my mentor Julie Gleeson of The Art of Living, Inc.  We have been delighted, moved and touched by the feedback we have gotten from participants, so we’ve decided to continue to grow the community.

While we started this group because we wanted to support people who were overwhelmed with navigating the unknown of a pandemic, life has continued to unfold with heated upset and divisiveness that people are having big emotions about. The intention of growing more peaceful is not to ignore our anger, frustration, anxiety, or sadness, but to take a moment to put down nagging, all consuming negative feelings that are distracting us from who we are and what is ours to do.  It’s worthwhile to take a breather and look in the direction of growing more peaceful, because that is just the thing that will give you the clarity, creativity, and energy to see what is yours to do and help make the world a better place.  

Here’s some of what people have been telling us they get from the sessions:

  • “I have to tell you that I have felt so much better mentally in general since the Tuesday meeting. Thank you.”
  • “For me, these meetings reinforce that concept of quieting the intellect/monkey mind and waiting to hear the whisper of one’s inner wisdom/common sense. I learn this again and again, and yet it is not the first place I turn, so obviously I need the repetition of the lesson!”
  • “I felt so grounded after listening last Tuesday. My mind was quiet. I was relieved. Body and mind at peace.”
  • “The meetings also give me a sense of community, a feeling of unity of purpose that lingers after the close of the hour. “

We’re so confident in how helpful this understanding is that the first month is FREE, so you can come check it out without any pressure.  Click this link for all the information about the community and the link to register.

 

 


TelemedicineFor those that prefer to stay home at this time, you’ll be glad to know that many of the conditions we treat in our clinic have been responding well to herbal medicine, diet, acupressure, and other lifestyle recommendations I’ve been doing via video telemedicine appointments.

Because these appointments get Christina’s undivided attention and require extra follow-up time, the current rate for these secure video appointments is:

  • 20 minutes: A quick check in – best for simple updates or changes to an existing condition and if you only want 1 recommendation: $60
  • 40 minutes: A longer check in – best for new or complicated conditions, if you simply want more time to talk, or you want several recommendations: $100
  • 60 minutes new patient: We will do a holistic health assessment, set goals and priorities, and I’ll give you a report of findings with a chinese medicine diagnosis and a treatment plan with herb, acupressure, supplement, lifestyle, and dietary recommendations: $120

We’ve been told that insurance companies are mandated to cover telemedicine appointments, but you never know with insurance. So if you want us to bill your insurance, we will collect the above fees at the time of service via Square invoicing and then bill your insurance.  We will refund you any amount we are able to collect.

If you would like to schedule a telemedicine appointment please call or email.  Our online scheduler can’t handle all the different appointment types at this time.


Keep Taking CareDon’t forget your common sense when it comes to staying healthy!  Keep washing your hands and limiting your possible exposure by avoiding unnecessary human to human interactions.  It’s still vital that we limit the possible spread of the virus to others by wearing a mask and being mindful of our proximity when going into public places.  And remember to spend some time each day picturing your good health, drink lots of water, eat nutritious foods, prioritize getting good sleep, get some movement, and make time for laughter.  I’ve been sharing more about what I’m doing for my health on Facebook if you want some inspiration.


Sending you, our community, the animals, the plants, and the whole world so much love!
Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc

Posted in acupuncture, Covid19 screening, Facebook Private Group, Immune Boosting / Immunity, Mind Experiment, Respiratory Health, Sanitary protocols, Seasonal Health, Telemedicine Appointments, Treatment Plans and Packages, Virtual Appointments | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Invitation to Join Membership Community

I wrote the first draft of this email a while ago and life has continued to unfold with heated upset and divisiveness.  Both in Sonoma County about how our Shelter in Place and Health Orders are being communicated and enforced, or not enforced.  And around the US as inequality and racism have been brought out in the open in a most horrific way.

I don’t normally talk about upsetting current events in the office or in my emails.  It doesn’t help acupuncture treatments to talk politics/current events and I think there are better resources for those issues than my emails.

But this doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s happening, don’t have strong feelings myself, or think we should ignore our strong feelings.  Anger has a place.  As a true emotion it helps us identify issues and develop autonomy so we know what is ours to do.

I mention this because in this email I’m inviting you to join a community called Growing More Peaceful.  This is not because I think we should ignore our anger, frustration, anxiety, or sadness.  This is because I think that it is worthwhile to take a moment to put down nagging, all consuming negative feelings that are distracting us from who we are and what is ours to do.  That is just the thing that will give you the clarity, creativity, and energy to see what is yours to do and help make the world a better place.  

I believe we’re all here to make different contributions.  Some people are designed to work on large movements.  But I am designed to help individuals and small groups of people, and the results ripple out.  That is why I feel moved to invite you to join our quiet revolution–an invitation that didn’t sound so irreverent  or appropriate (depending on your state of mind when you read this) when I originally wrote it.  

Sending you, our community, the animals, the plants, and the whole world so much love!


Join the Quiet Revolution: Growing More Peaceful Membership CommunityYou might remember that in March I started hosting a weekly stress reduction zoom session with my mentor Julie Gleeson of The Art of Living, Inc.  We have been delighted, moved and touched by the feedback we have gotten from participants, so we’ve decided to continue to grow the community.

Here’s some of what people have been telling us they get from the sessions:

  • “I have to tell you that I have felt so much better mentally in general since the Tuesday meeting. Thank you.”
  • “For me, these meetings reinforce that concept of quieting the intellect/monkey mind and waiting to hear the whisper of one’s inner wisdom/common sense. I learn this again and again, and yet it is not the first place I turn and obviously, I need the repetition of the lesson!”
  • “I felt so grounded after listening last Tuesday. My mind was quiet. I was relieved. Body and mind at peace.”
  • “The meetings also give me a sense of community, a feeling of unity of purpose that lingers after the close of the hour. “

Here’s all the information about the community and the link to register.  We’re so confident in how helpful this understanding is that the first month is FREE, so you can come check it out without any pressure.

 
We’ve been known to say that it’s possible to
effortlessly thrive regardless of your circumstances.

Join the online community that’s exploring how to adapt and reconnect to peace of mind and resiliency in the midst of massive change. We’ll share what we know that keeps us sane and grounded. And we’ll answer questions and help you reconnect to common sense and wisdom that will help you navigate your circumstances with more ease.

These uplifting conversations are based on the understanding of the Three Principles behind mental well-being as taught by the late Sydney Banks. But there’s no experience needed. And the other good news is that this understanding is extremely useful to anyone who learns about it – plus it doesn’t require any tools or techniques.

It’s actually revolutionary to look in this direction for wellbeing.  That’s why it’s so helpful to be in the conversation with a community that is looking at wellbeing from the inside out.  The more you take a breather and look in the direction of common sense and wisdom, the more effortless it is to fall into this space no matter your circumstances.  We hope you’ll join our quiet revolution.

Format:

  • Weekly 1 hour calls Tuesdays, 4-5 pm.  Calls will be recorded and available to listen to later.
  • Discount on future programs offered on Zoom or live/Zoom combination when it is safe to do that!
  • Discounted private consulting fees for Christina and Julie.
  • Access to short email, text and phone calls with us at no charge.

Registration:

The inaugural tuition for this community is $45 per month.  When we know more about how the economy will shake out, we may raise the fee for new members. Once you have joined at this rate, your fee will not increase as long as you continue your membership.

Hosts: Julie Gleeson and Christina Ness-Hawks combine over 30 years of understanding and sharing the principles to help their clients find peace of mind, understanding, and well-being. Their conversations are filled with warmth and humor, providing hope that all of us can discover an innate wisdom to guide us through life.

In the silence of our minds lies creative incubation,
bringing the wisdom and the joy we all seek.
-Sydney Banks, The Missing Link

We’re looking forward to continuing to grow more peaceful together!


Thrive is Open with Pre-ScreeningIt’s been great to be back in the office doing acupuncture!  Patients have been telling me that the acupuncture has really made a big difference in their health!  They were keeping it together with self care, but now they feel so much better.  Everyone is reporting they feel more like themselves and their different imbalances are feeling a lot better–pain, stress and anxiety, hot flashes, sleep, digestion, you name it.   We’re continuing to open up more appointment spots as more patients make appointments.

Here’s what you need to know about scheduling appointments for acupuncture.  (There’s more info on our website at this link for those that like details, but here’s the gist of it)

We ask that all patients who come into the clinic:

  • 1.  Not have a fever or felt feverish for 2 weeks.
  • 2.  Not have any respiratory symptoms or other possible COVID-19 symptoms for 2 weeks.  (We know that it may be allergies causing these symptoms, but right now we’ll have to do telemedicine to be extra safe–I can still hook you up with herbs etc.)
  • 3.  Not have had contact with anyone who has been sick or with possible COVID-19 for 2 weeks.  You and anyone close to you should be following social distancing recommendations and not travelled on a plane for 2 weeks.

Please also:

  • Wear a mask at all times.
  • Don’t come in with wet hair.
  • Wear loose clothing so you do not need to disrobe and bring only what you need into the clinic.
  • Be Punctual, but please don’t arrive to your appointment more than 15 minutes ahead of time.  With all the extra cleaning protocols we now have, we me not be able to accommodate you if you are more than 5 minutes late.
  • Don’t bring any guests into the clinic.
  • If there is a patient in the front room, please wait outside.

If you would like to schedule an appointment you can call, email, or use our online scheduler (don’t forget to click CONFIRM in the confirmation email, otherwise we won’t know you tried to make an appointment).  We’ll reach out to screen you.  

If you would like to discuss your needs and whether it makes sense for you to come in, let us know and we’ll give you a call.


TelemedicineFor those that prefer to stay home at this time, you’ll be glad to know that many of the conditions we treat in our clinic have been responding well to herbal medicine, diet, acupressure, and other lifestyle recommendations I’ve been doing via video telemedicine appointments.

Because these appointments get Christina’s undivided attention and require extra follow-up time, the current rate for these secure video appointments is:

  • 20 minutes: A quick check in – best for simple updates or changes to an existing condition and if you only want 1 recommendation: $60
  • 40 minutes: A longer check in – best for new or complicated conditions, if you simply want more time to talk, or you want several recommendations: $100
  • 60 minutes new patient: We will do a holistic health assessment, set goals and priorities, and I’ll give you a report of findings with a chinese medicine diagnosis and a treatment plan with herb, acupressure, supplement, lifestyle, and dietary recommendations: $120

We’ve been told that insurance companies are mandated to cover telemedicine appointments, but you never know with insurance. So if you want us to bill your insurance, we will collect the above fees at the time of service via Square invoicing and then bill your insurance.  We will refund you any amount we are able to collect.

If you would like to schedule a telemedicine appointment please call or email.  Our online scheduler can’t handle all the different appointment types at this time.


Keep Taking CareDon’t forget your common sense when it comes to staying healthy!  Keep limiting your possible exposure by avoiding unnecessary human to human interactions, keep up extra hygiene, sanitization, and washing your hands before and after touching your face.  It’s still vital that we limit the possible spread of the virus to others by wearing a mask and being mindful of our proximity when going into public places.  And remember to spend some time each day picturing your good health, drink lots of water, eat nutritious foods, prioritize getting good sleep, get some movement, and make time for laughter.  I’ve been sharing more about what I’m doing for my health on Facebook if you want some inspiration.


Sending you love and air hugs!

Here’s to health and resiliency for you and our community!
Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc

Posted in acupuncture, Covid19 screening, Events, Facebook Private Group, Immune Boosting / Immunity, Insurance, Mental Health, Office Happenings, Respiratory Health, Sanitary protocols, Seasonal Health, Sydney Banks, Telemedicine Appointments, Three Principles, Trauma, Treatment Plans and Packages, Virtual Appointments | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Would Christina Do?

Since we’ve been back in the clinic seeing patients for 2 weeks, people keep asking me, “What are you doing for your health Christina?” 


During the initial stages of the pandemic reaching the US, there was quite a frenzy among natural medicine practitioners about what supplements to take or not to take.  It seemed every day there was a new yet contradictory opinion.  I was following along quite closely and it was a little crazy making.  Until I had a moment of clarity that I already knew how to help people not get sick by boosting their immune system and stopping viruses from taking hold.

We have elderberry syrup to thank for my insight.  There was an online article that went viral, warning people that elderberry syrup could start the dreaded cytokine storm that was responsible for killing people who had COVID-19.  It went out like a bat signal among natural medicine practitioners—don’t kill your patients with elderberry syrup!  And then a day or so later several trustworthy, well educated natural medicine experts rebutted the article, explaining why it was based on untruths or misunderstandings.  Elderberry syrup was back to being a top recommendation for supporting your immune system and stopping viruses in their tracks.

That’s when I realized that I already knew how to optimize human beings’ immune systems and their ability to fight viruses.  Humans had not changed overnight just because there was a novel virus.  I’m still tuned in to what successes natural medicine practitioners have been having, and it turns out it’s pretty much what we already knew about supporting humans before the pandemic.  So that leads me back to what I’m doing for my health.


Phase 1:  Once I stopped getting caught up in the hysteria, I went back to the basics.  I asked myself “What’s always worked to keep me healthy?”
I came up with this plan:

  • Chinese Herbs—I consider Chinese herbs the foundation of my wellness plan and I will continue taking them because I don’t think virus concerns are going away anytime soon.  I’m taking one of the protocols I developed based on my years of specializing in helping people not get sick, research from the 2003 SARS-CoV epidemic, and reports from China about what herbs are helping people stay healthy from the current SARS-CoV2 virus.  I’ve been taking classes and staying in contact with colleague and forums to continue to stay educated.  And coincidentally I’ve actually been taking a similar protocol since early winter because there was a cold with a lingering cough going around and my husband had collarbone surgery in the new year so I was extra motivated to not get sick since late 2019.  I wrote a little bit more about the protocols I developed here, if you want more details.  I was able to get some more of the herbs in stock and and I’m happy to answer any questions if you would like to know more about which protocol would be right for you.
  • Elderberry Syrup—I add a bit to my Chinese herbs twice a day to increase the antiviral properties of my concoction.  The bonus is that it makes them taste better
  • Xlear Nasal Spray—I use this morning and night to sooth and clean my nasal passages, making them a better first line of defense.
  • Probiotics—I had been slacking on this before March because I’m human, so I got back on the pills we carry in the office and bought some fermented beets and curtido (south american sauerkraut) to add to my meals.  Then I made some of my own fermented curtido.
  • Acupuncture—I’ve been giving myself and my husband regular acupuncture because it’s my favorite way to support our wellbeing–physical, mental, and immune system balancing all at the same time!
  • Whole food based diet—It is still possible to eat a nutrient dense whole food diet with fresh produce even when you are shopping less than once a week.  My facebook posts have some yummy inspirations.
  • Less sugar—citrus has been in season and more seasonal fruits are coming available to satisfy that craving.
  • Exercise—my husband set up a stationary bike in the backyard.  It’s not mountain biking, but it’s better than nothing.
  • Time to relax, reset my nervous system, and good sleep—you’d think that being closed for patients for a couple months would mean you have less to do, but that’s not true if you’re still supporting your patients from afar, getting educated on the current strategies for virus prevention or early stage symptoms, working to save your small business, and getting ready to re-open.  So I consciously make the choice to prioritize not overworking, not stressing about things I cannot control, and creating moments of joy, sometimes several times a day!

Phase 2:  Now that I’m back in the office with patients and more people are out and about as things start to open up in Sonoma County, I’ve decided to add a few supplements to further boost my immunity and my overall health.

I try and get my nutrients from diet and lifestyle (the best way to get vitamin D is still sun exposure, and since I’m so pale, it doesn’t take very long!)  I decided to add these supplements since they are the essential nutrients than can sometimes be hard to get from your diet, even when you’re eating the most nutrient dense foods.

  • Magnesium
  • Vit C
  • Zinc
  • Cod Liver Oil with Vit A, D, K
  • Iodine

So now it’s time to ask yourself–What’s always worked to keep you healthy? Are you doing those things?  Also as Sonoma County opens back up and possible virus exposure increases, do you want to add anything else to your self care plan?

Let me know if you want any help with this.  We can work together virtually or in person to figure out what would be most helpful for you to prioritize.  That’s one of the things I love about Chinese Medicine—it has a unique diagnostic system that sees everyone an individual.

Check out Thrive’s new Online Dispensary!

And now, in addition to the usual Chinese herbs and natural supplements we carry in the office, we have set up an online dispensary where I got my high quality supplements for my phase 2 plan.  If you want to take a look at the dispensary and my favorites, you can sign up for an account at Wellevate.  After you create an account, click on the “Shop Dispensary” tab in the “My Practitioner” box to see the products I recommend.


Thrive is Open with Pre-ScreeningIt’s been great to see some of you back in the office for acupuncture!  After our first mini rush of patients who wanted acupuncture, we have now opened up some more appointment spots.  Next week we’re closed for Memorial day but open for half days Tuesday-Friday.  If you’re not ready to come into the clinic, we’re still offering telemedicine and all that info is further down.
Here’s what you need to know about scheduling appointments for acupuncture.  (There’s more info on our website at this link for those that like details, but here’s the gist of it)

We ask that all patients who come into the clinic:

  1. Not have a fever or felt feverish for 2 weeks.  
  2. Not have any respiratory symptoms or other possible COVID-19 symptoms for 2 weeks.  (We know that it may be allergies causing these symptoms, but right now we’ll have to do telemedicine to be extra safe–I can still hook you up with herbs etc.)
  3. Not have had contact with anyone who has been sick or with possible COVID-19 for 2 weeks.  You and anyone close to you should be following social distancing recommendations and not travelled on a plane for 2 weeks.

Please also: 

  • Wear a mask at all times.
  • Don’t come in with wet hair.
  • Wear loose clothing so you do not need to disrobe and bring only what you need into the clinic.
  • Be Punctual, but please don’t arrive to your appointment more than 15 minutes ahead of time.  With all the extra cleaning protocols we now have, we may not be able to accommodate you if you are more than 5 minutes late.
  • Don’t bring any guests into the clinic.
  • If there is a patient in the front room, please wait outside.
If you would like to schedule an appointment you can call, email, or use our online scheduler (don’t forget to click CONFIRM in the confirmation email, otherwise we won’t know you tried to make an appointment).  We’ll reach out to screen you.

If you would like to discuss your needs and whether it makes sense for you to come in, let us know and we’ll give you a call.  If you are immune compromised, over age 65, or have any other risk factors for COVID-19 (chronic lung disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes with complications, neurological condition that weakened your ability to cough,  Kidney or Liver disease, extreme obesity), please contact us before booking so we can talk and help you make an informed and safe decision.


Growing More Peaceful Membership Community

Come check out the last FREE stress reduction zoom session on May 26th.  People have been telling us they get a lot out of the sessions I’ve been hosting with my mentor Julie Gleeson of the Art of Living IncHere’s some of what people have been telling us they get from the sessions:

“I have to tell you that I have felt so much better mentally since our Tuesday meeting.”

“I felt so grounded after listening last Tuesday. My mind was quiet. I was relieved. My body and mind are finally at peace.”

“I felt more peaceful and you reminded me of so many things that are helpful.”

Register before noon on Tuesday at Eventbrite


https://growingmorepeaceful.eventbrite.com
Tuesday 4-5 PM, Free through May 26

Beginning June 1, the group will become a formal membership community of people interested in growing more peaceful in the midst of massive change. We have been delighted, moved and touched by the feedback we have gotten, and by the lovely feeling deepening on each successive call. Our intention is to continue to point us all in the direction of the innate design of being human. That very built-in design affords us the ability to come back into balance at any time, as long as we remember to get out of the way of the system. The format will be as follows:

  • Weekly calls each Tuesday, 1 hour, recorded and available to listen to later
  • Discount on future programs offered on Zoom or live/Zoom combination when it is safe to do that!
  • Discounted private consulting fees for Christina and Julie
  • Access to short email, text and phone calls with us at no charge

The inaugural tuition for this community is $45 per month (first month is free), and the link to register is below. When we know more about how the economy will shake out, we may raise the fee for new members. Once you have joined at this rate, your fee will not increase as long as you continue your membership.

Please register right away. Go to Julie’s events page here and then click on a link for the Growing More Peaceful. Even Now. Member Community.


Telemedicine

For those that prefer to stay home at this time, you’ll be glad to know that many of the conditions we treat in our clinic have been responding well to herbal medicine, diet, acupressure, and other lifestyle recommendations I’ve been doing via video telemedicine appointments.

Because these appointments get Christina’s undivided attention and require extra follow-up time, the current rate for these secure video appointments is:

  • 20 minutes: A quick check in – best for simple updates or changes to an existing condition and if you only want 1 recommendation: $60
  • 40 minutes: A longer check in – best for new or complicated conditions, if you simply want more time to talk, or you want several recommendations: $100
  • 60 minutes new patient: We will do a holistic health assessment, set goals and priorities, and I’ll give you a report of findings with a chinese medicine diagnosis and a treatment plan with herb, acupressure, supplement, lifestyle, and dietary recommendations: $120

We’ve been told that insurance companies are mandated to cover telemedicine appointments, but you never know with insurance. So if you want us to bill your insurance, we will collect the above fees at the time of service via Square invoicing and then bill your insurance.  We will refund you any amount we are able to collect.

For those of you with a financial need, we can offer you a financial hardship price.  Please reach out to determine this rate in advance.

If you would like to schedule a telemedicine appointment call, email, or use our online scheduler (don’t forget to click CONFIRM in the confirmation email, otherwise we won’t know you tried to make an appointment). 


Keep Taking Care

Don’t forget your common sense when it comes to staying healthy!  Keep limiting your possible exposure by avoiding unnecessary human to human interactions, extra hygiene and sanitization, and washing your hands before and after touching your face.  It’s still vital that we limit the possible spread of the virus to others by wearing a mask and being mindful of our proximity when going into public places.  And remember to spend some time each day picturing your good health, drink lots of water, eat nutritious foods, prioritize getting good sleep, get some movement, and make time for laughter.


Here’s to health and resiliency for you and our community!
Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc

Posted in acupuncture, Covid19 screening, Diet, Events, Immune Boosting / Immunity, Mental Health, Recipes, Respiratory Health, Sanitary protocols, Seasonal Health, Telemedicine Appointments, Three Principles, Treatment Plans and Packages, Virtual Appointments | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment