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Class: Peace of Mind Is An Inside Job

I’m excited about the class I am hosting at the end of January with my incredible coach Julie Gleeson from the Art of Living, Inc.  She’ll be helping you get in touch with your inner resiliency and peace of mind; and she’ll be showing you how you can do this any time you want.  And best of all her classes are always fun, relaxing, and deep.  She has an amazing ability to help people connect with what is unique and special about themselves on a truly profound level.  It’s sure to be a great way to start the new year.

Here’s all the important info:

  • Saturday, January 31st 10 am – Noon
  • Located at Thrive Acupuncture and Wellness, 3412 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
  • Click on this link to register ahead of time at Eventbrite
  • Just $15 will save your spot
  • More details on the flyer here: Peace of Mind is an Inside Job
  • Please come early to enjoy some snacks and tea and get settled.

A little more background for those interested…  The work Julie does is informed by the 3 Principles as discovered and taught by Sydney Banks.  I first ran across these teachings over 10 years ago and it changed my life.  I’ve taken classes, worked with coaches, read books, and overall  kept in the conversation about the 3 principles ever since.  I rely on it on a daily basis to access my inner wisdom and intuition, reduce stress, access a greater ease and creative potential, and overall tap into my best version of myself.  I often discuss it with patients and it is the basis of the two books I recommend most: “The Inside Out Revolution” by Michael Neill and “The Relationship Handbook” by George Pransky.

I began working with Julie in October of 2013.  I was looking for a coach to help me get more connected with my purpose and find more ease and joy in running my business.  I put the word out far and wide and I think it was no coincidence that someone connected me to her.  I looked up Julie on the internet and was excited to find out that she too had been guided by the 3 Principles and had even studied with Sydney Banks himself when he was alive .  While working with her for over a year, she’s helped me deepen my understanding of the 3 Principles and learn to better apply them to allow me to tap into grace and flow.  I can wholeheartedly say she is an integral part of my support team and I am sure you will love her class.  Julie has a deep connection to accessing natural wisdom and a special ability to help people tap into their unique spark, all while being grounded in the practical aspects of daily living.

If this resonates with you, sign up today at Eventbrite , and join us on January 31st.  If you still have any questions, check out the flyer here Peace of Mind is an Inside Job with a description of the class, and feel free to give Julie or me a call.

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How to Keep the Spring in Your Summer Step

Summer Wellness Plan, Part 2

June 21st to September 4th

The Spirit of Expansion, Growth, Joy, and Intuition

Dry Creek Peach

The Heart, mind, spirit, and Small Intestine are ruled by the fire element of Summer, so priority should be given to these important aspects of ourselves in the Summer season. The Heart pumps oxygen-rich blood through the body and, according to Chinese medicine, it also connects our inner life and external universe—it is the foundation of the mind and gives rise to our capacity for thought, perception, sensation, speech, communication, and memory. The Small Intestine separates the turbid from the clear. This means it pulls nutrients from the food we eat and refers to differentiation in clarity of mind and thoughts.  This is a great time to realize our life’s greatest potential, but it is easy to overdo it in summer with the energy of abundance all around.  Here are some ways you can remain balanced in summer while still following your inspiration.

  • Awaken earlier in the morning, Go to bed later in the evening, Rest at midday:  People naturally go to bed later and wake up earlier during Summer in Northern California with all the extra daylight we get.  The part they forget is to get some rest midday to make up for it.  Some mindful breathing or a short nap at the hottest time of the day will keep you ready for summer action.
  • Drink plenty of fluids:  Water with slices of cucumber will keep you cool and prevent the body from overheating.  I recommend people drink ½ their body weight in ounces of water each day and it is especially important in the hot summer season.
  • Promote cardiovascular health with:

Daily exercise: It’s a great time to use that extra burst of energy that you wake up with to get some exercise in the cool morning time.

Heart Healthy Nutrients:  To support a healthy Heart eat foods high in or supplement with potassium, magnesium (Natural Calm Magnesium is my favorite supplement), Coenzyme Q10 (make sure you get the active ubiquinol form), and fish oils high in omega-3s.

  • Promote digestive health in your Small Intestine by:

Eliminating food allergies: Get curious about any food sensitivities that might be causing inflammation and harming the lining of the intestine.  Do an elimination diet for 2-4 weeks, then reintroduce the foods, one by one, and observe how your body reacts.  Eliminate the foods that make you feel poorly from your diet while you build your digestive system back up.

Eating probiotics:  There should be 3 pounds of beneficial bacteria in your gut; they play a large role in your digestion, immune system and inflammatory response.  Probiotics are available in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, raw sauerkraut, specifically labeled pickles, miso, kombucha (careful because it can contain lots of sugar and some caffeine).  I recommend supplementing with a therapeutic dose of 50-100 billion probiotic organisms, per day.  Work your way up slowly.

  • Let emotions pass quickly, don’t dwell on them: Pent up or excess emotions cause and exacerbate heat.  One of my favorite Chinese proverbs is “You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.”  Let emotions pass over you as you would a weather system.  With this in mind you will be able align with the Chinese medicine classics that say  “A healthy heart receives the joys and sorrows of the world without breaking.”
  • Allow yourself to act on impulse and intuition:  The Heart is connected with our true impulse.  When in balance, this connects us to our intuition or inner guidance.  For practice start by listening and following small impulses while you go for a leisurely walk or drive.  See where your impulses and intuition take you and enjoy the journey.
  • Plan a summer vacation:  Vacation calms the mind and refreshes the body.  It is crucial to balance the focused intensity of work with the reckless abandon of summer play.  This will help you go about your daily activities with more joy, passion, and laughter.
  • Clean Up Your Diet:

Eat in moderation:  Our body thrives on lighter fare in the summer; we don’t need as much of the heavier foods that are appropriate in winter.  Eat small light meals throughout the day.  Overconsumption of foods in the heat, even cooling foods, can easily lead to indigestion, sluggishness, and diarrhea.

Eat cool:  Summer is the perfect time to enjoy more cooling foods in your diet to clear heat, reduce toxins, and generate body fluids such as lettuce and salads, cucumbers, and watermelon.

Eat healthy fats:  It is now widely acknowledged that the low fat dietary recommendations beginning in the 1950s were based on little scientific evidence.  Current evidence shows that we need healthy fats and oils to support a healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids which contribute to a healthy Heart and circulatory system.  Increase consumption of cold-pressed or expeller pressed olive and coconut oils, pastured butter, lard, duck fat, and ghee.  Decrease consumption of corn, soy, cottonseed, safflower, and sunflower oils

Taste bitter:  Bitter flavors improve nutrient absorption and distribution as well as cool and enhance the sometimes sluggish summer metabolism.  Get a digestive bitters tincture or increase the consumption of radish, kale, arugula, mustard greens, dill, sesame, horseradish, parsley, cilantro, turmeric, fenugreek, mint, and basil.

Cook Less:  Use shorter cooking times.  The best cooking method for Summer is stir-frying; it quickly adds the heat and energy of the season.  Increase the percentage of raw and fermented foods in your diet.

Buy In Season Foods: In season foods tend to complement the prevailing season, helping our bodies adjust to the climate, supporting health, and preventing the illnesses typical of that time of year.  Summer foods have the ability to clear heat and cool the body down. Those grown in late summer or fall are more hearty and tend to be better for building heat for those cooler fall days and nights (think root vegetables versus cucumbers).  From a western perspective in season food simply contains more nutrients.  Food looses nutrients after harvest and if it’s not locally in season it has to be imported.  The shorter the time from harvest to your plate, the more nutritious your food will be.

Summer Shopping List

      • Animal Products: beef, chicken, lamb, seasonal fish and seafood
      • Beans: red lentils, red beans, tempeh and tofu, mung beans
      • Grains: amaranth, corn, quinoa, rice
      • Vegetables: arugula, sweet corn, green beans, basil, summer squash, garlic, okra, cucumbers, avocados, tomatillos, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, green onions, chives, cilantro, snow peas, chard, sprouts, mushrooms, watercress, edible flowers
      • Fruits: apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines, apples, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, melons, citrus
      • Herbs, Spices, Condiments: garlic, hot peppers, horseradish, ginger, fresh herbs such as tarragon, rosemary, oregano
  • Get acupuncture treatments: Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help restore vital functions to your Heart and Small Intestine as well as calm the mind, enhance one’s ability to focus, soothe emotions, promote sleep, and cool off the body.  Seasonal acupuncture treatments just four times a year can serve to tonify the inner organ systems, ease the transition between the seasons, and correct minor annoyances before they become serious problems.

Time to Take Action

Take a moment and pick 2 things from above to help align yourself with Summer and foster your expansion, growth, joy, and intuition!  Yup choose them right now.  Health is so much more than the absence of disease; your health is the most precious asset that you have. There is nothing more important than being proactive about your health, investing in your well-being, and choosing a lifestyle that fosters longevity and vitality.  Summertime is a great time to initiate changes that can bring about your best sense of self.  If you have any questions, please be in touch.  I’m always happy to help people figure out how to find their balance and maximize their natural rhythms.

(Image Source: Lafiya Watson)

Posted in Diet, Mental Health, Seasonal Health | Leave a comment

Are You in Balance this Summer?

Summer Wellness Plan, Part 1

June 21st to September 4th

The Spirit of Expansion, Growth, Joy, and Intuition

Summer Lavendar

According to Chinese medicine, human beings are microcosms of the natural universe.  We are subject to the same cycles that occur in nature, which manifest in the functioning of our bodies, minds, and spirits.  I see this when many patients all report similar symptoms at the same time, especially at the change of seasons when our body hasn’t found the balance yet.  We all know that allergies, colds, and flus have their seasons.  But did you know anxiety, heart palpitations, heartburn, and rashes do too?  With this awareness, you can make use of the natural energy of Summer to maximize your energy, soothe any discomforts, and prepare for what’s to come.

5 Elements

Each season is associated with a particular element, color, energy, climatic force, organ, and emotion.

Summer According to the Five Elements

  • Element: Fire
  • Color: Red
  • Nature: Yang
  • Climate: Heat
  • Organs: Heart, Small Intestine
  • Emotion: Joy

Summer is the time for inspired action and expression. It is the season of peak activity, upward movement, rapid growth and expansion, maturation, and expression.  The earth gathers more heat from the sun, flowers turn to fruit and ripen, bees are buzzing, and animals scurry around with abundant energy.  There is a sense of abundance and connection all around. It’s time for the growth and development of spring to harness the warming and expansive energy of summer and mature to its fullest expression with exuberance.

Our sense of balance in Summer is intricately connected to whether or not we took advantage of the natural energy in the previous seasons.

  • Spring is the time of renewal and rebirth.  If we rode the surge of spring energy without stopping, then we won’t have the energy to experience the joy of summer and we’ll be exhausted.
  • Autumn harvest is the time of letting go.  If we didn’t let go of outmoded beliefs or emotions in the fall we won’t have space for new experiences.  It can show up as a lack of enthusiasm and courage or even anxiety for new challenges and opportunities.
  • Winter is the time of storage and hibernation so it is a good time for internal focus and recharging your batteries.  We need to make sure we took time to connect with our sources of inner joy in the winter.  If not, we may feel lacking and look for fulfillment outside ourselves.

Finding the Balance

When in balance in Summer we feel excited and courageous to take on challenges that will help us realize our life’s potential. This increase of activity can also stir tumultuous feelings if we don’t take proper care.

How In Balance Are You This Summer?

Out of Balance

In Balance

Joy is out of whack: depression, sorrow (too little joy), mania, chaos, over-exuberant (too much joy), shock, detached from reality, inappropriate laughter (disconnected from joy) Joy is in balance: calm, stable, and tranquil enthusiasm, warmth, and love
Looking for happiness outside yourself in things, objects, situations, relationships, status, material gain, power, etc. Joy is self-generated, comes from within, not erroneously ascribed to an external cause. It is a joy that celebrates life but is not dependent on how life shows up.
Agitation, nervousness, nervous exhaustion, incessant talking, anxiety, panic attacks Calm sensitivity and expression of emotions, awareness, consciousness, and compassion
Foggy, scattered mind, forgetfulness, distracted, disjointed thinking, confusion, poor memory, and speech problems Good memory and thought processes, wisdom, clear senses, intuition, and clear speech
Insomnia, difficulty sleeping, particularly staying soundly asleep, and restlessness, disturbed sleep, disturbing dreams Sound, restful sleep, wake feeling rested
Fainthearted, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke Strong healthy heart, good circulation
Heartburn, indigestion, constipation Easy digestion with proper breakdown and assimilation of food in the small intestines
Aversion to heat, dehydration, profuse sweating, parched mouth and throat, excess body heat, excessively red or pale complexion, hot flashes Body and emotions not easily effected by the heat, temperature easily regulated, robust complexion, clear head, clear skin
Headaches, irritability
Rashes, skin irritations, eczema, acne

Stay tuned for the Summer Wellness Plan, Part 2 with tips to help you keep the spring in your summer step!…

(Image Source: Barbara Hall Photography)

Posted in Diet, Mental Health, Seasonal Health | Leave a comment

Radio Interview: Natural Ways to Reduce Stress

Jen Julius Christina Ness-Hawks KOWS Radio

I had so much fun on the radio!  I got to chat about one of my favorite topics with one of my favorite local women movers and shakers Jen Julius. Jen is an amazing life coach who is curious, enthusiastic, and totally real. She also hosts a radio show–Information and Inspiration with Jen Julius.  When she invited me on the show I was excited because I always find time with Jen inspiring and I was hopeful that we could inspire you to find some ways to reduce stress and uncover more of your innate wellbeing.

We discussed 3 of the most effective ways I have found to reduce stress naturally and bring out your body’s innate wellbeing.

  • What is normal stress?
  • How is stress affecting us?
  • How can you get back to feeling vibrant, creative, and healthy? Naturally? Right now?

And being the awesome life coach that she is, Jen came up with a way to actually implement some of the changes in your life now. Ready for the stress busting challenge? Grab your phone and set an alarm to remind you to do some mindful breathing and rub Yin Tang (the acupuncture point in between your eyebrows) once a day for the next week.

Mindful Breathing Exercise

  • Place one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest.
  • Breath in through your nose for a count of 5.
  • Hold for 1.
  • Breath out for a count of 5 .
  • Hold for 1.
  • Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth just behind your teeth.
  • When you breath out through your mouth hold it there and make a circle with your lips to give the breath some resistance.
  • Picture how you want to feel after you are done with the breathing.
  • What is it going to look like if there is a fly on the wall watching you?

Listen to all the juicy details about some great tools you can use right NOW, as well as some humor that will make your stress reduction techniques even more fun!

Let us know how it goes.

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Open House and Patient Appreciation Party April 30, 2014

I can’t believe it’s been another year already.  Thrive has been part of the Santa Rosa community for 2 years now and I’m so grateful for everyone who is part of the Thrive Family.

Let’s celebrate you!  Come enjoy free acupuncture, chair massage and more!  Friends, family and drop-ins are enthusiastically invited!

Wednesday April 30, 2014, 4-7 PM

  • Revive with a quick & free stress reduction acupuncture session.
  • Renew with complimentary chair massage, courtesy of Lisa Malmstadt, CMT.
  • Restore, enjoy food, drinks and fabulous people!

RSVP’s are encouraged! Call, email, or reply to the facebook invite!

This past year we’ve grown the family quite a bit and we have a lot to celebrate.

My husband Kevin joined the team at the end of 2013 and started streamlining some of the systems and coordinating the insurance billing with the biller.  We call him the Chief Efficiency Officer.  In February we hired Melissa as a part time receptionist to keep the flow going in the office on Tuesdays and Fridays.  We call her Awesome.  And in the middle of all that, we hired a new stellar full service insurance biller to meet our growing needs.

All that was such an upgrade and all just in time.  Thanks to all your referrals, the patient family has grown too.  I love that I get to help so many more people every week and I get to spend more time doing what I love–using Chinese Medicine to help people uncover their inherent natural health and wellbeing.

Thank you all for allowing me to serve you. I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, April 30th!

Christina Ness, LAc

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Asian Avocado Salsa

avocado

If you came to the acupuncture open house and patient appreciation day there’s one thing that was a hit with everyone—the Avocado dip!  Lisa Malmstadt is one heck of a massage therapist (her free chair massages were a hit too!) and a great cook to boot.  She shared the recipe with me so I can pass it on.

Asian Avocado Salsa

Yield: about 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Asian sesame oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped trimmed watercress (leaves and tender stems from 2 medium bunches)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup 1/3 inch cubes peeled jicama
  • 2 large avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, cut into 1/3 inch cubes

Preparation

Stir sesame seeds in dry skillet over medium heat until aromatic and light golden, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to small bowl to cool.

Whisk next 6 ingredients in large bowl to blend.  Add watercress, green onions, and jicama; toss to coat.  Gently stir in avocados.  Can be made 1 hour ahead.  Cover; chill.

Sprinkle salsa with toasted sesame seeds and serve chilled with rice crackers.  Enjoy!

(Image Source: Livin’ Spoonful)

Posted in Events, Office Happenings, Recipes | Leave a comment

Business and Personal Wellness Workshop, May 15, 2013

Business and Personal Wellness

Are you a business owner or do you know any who are looking for something more…more success, profit, satisfaction, joy, calm, time to breathe? Check out or tell your friends about this upcoming business and life wellness checkup I’m co-leading on May 15th in Santa Rosa. I’ve teamed up with a fabulous business coach Janice Drescher who brings a unique perspective on business wellness. Together we’ll be helping business owners find specific ways to create more balance in their business and their body. And everyone will get a mini stress reduction acupuncture treatment!

More details can be found by clicking on the flyer, but here’s the info you need in order to join us:

  • Wednesday May 15, 2013 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Classroom A, Volunteer Center of Sonoma County, 153 Stony Circle, Ste 100, Santa Rosa, CA
  • $25, Refreshments will be provided
  • To register call (707) 527-0868 or find us on EventBrite!
Posted in Events, Mental Health | Leave a comment

Open House and Patient Appreciation Party, May 21, 2013

acupuncture open house May 2013

Thrive Acupuncture and Wellness is turning one years old and I’d like to say Thank You for being a part of my practice and making me excited to come to work everyday!

Bring your friends and family to come celebrate and enjoy

  • food
  • wine
  • my Bali adventure slideshow
  • free chair massages
  • free scalp health evaluations
  • door prizes including gifts from Bali, supplements, and other treats!

As I reflect on the past year, I am filled with feelings of gratitude for each and every person who has supported my business. My patients, colleagues, fellow entrepreneurs, and of course my family and friends all teach me something more about myself and inspire me in their own way. So I want to take this moment to say thank you to each of you. I am looking forward to many more successful years to come.

To RSVP or for more information, give me a ring at (707) 527-0868.

Thank you all for allowing me to serve you. I love what I do, and look forward to seeing you on May 21st.

Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc, Dipl OM, MSTCM

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Acupuncture Can Help You Quit Smoking

The third Thursday in November is the Great American Smokeout, a national day on which the American Cancer Society encourages smokers to make a plan to quit smoking or try being a non-smoker for a day.  Why do they want people to quit smoking?  Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet nearly 1 in every 5 adult Americans still smoke. Quitting smoking will help prevent Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), lower your risk for cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder, and reduce the likelihood of coronary heart disease or diabetes, just to name a few of the benefits.

That sounds great right?  Well it’s easy to say and much harder to do.  There is a very strong chemical dependence to nicotine and the myriad of other chemicals in cigarettes and psychological attachment to the activities surrounding smoking such as taking a break from work, starting the morning, ending a meal, or going out to socialize.  Overcoming these chemical dependencies and attachments is a huge hurdle.

Acupuncture Can Help

The good news is that acupuncture can help.  In fact in June of 2012, the American Journal of Medicine Published a meta-analysis of 14 international studies that looked at the effect of acupuncture and hypnosis on quitting smoking.  Researchers found that smokers who received acupuncture were more than three times as likely to be tobacco-free six months to a year later.  Read the study.

Acupuncture is a gentle and effective way to reduce cravings, detoxify the lungs, and stabilize one’s emotions as they are quitting.  Addictions to cigarettes create an imbalance in the way that serotonin and dopamine are regulated in the brain.  Acupuncture has been clinically shown to regulate these vital brain chemicals without causing unwanted side effects.

Is it a magic bullet? Usually not. You have to be ready to quit. You have to be willing to shift to the identity of being a non-smoker. This means giving up your attachment to activities such as going out to bars, drinking the morning cup of coffee, or looking forward to the smoke break at the office.

The best-known acupuncture treatment for smoking cessation is the NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) protocol.  This protocol is used in addiction and behavioral-health programs to treat a range of conditions such as alcohol and drug dependency, weight loss, sleep disturbances, and anxiety.  The NADA protocol consists of five acupuncture points in each ear: Shen Men and Sympathetic reduce anxiety and calm the fight or flight response; Kidney, Liver, and Lung target the organs most directly effected by smoking.

The quit smoking plan

I have developed a quit smoking plan that has been effective for many patients.  Most the of the patients I treated to quit smoking come in 2 times per week for 3 weeks and once a week for the following four weeks.  At the first visit we will take time to set some goals and I will give you a help sheet with several tips to support your health throughout the process.  During each treatment I will do the NADA protocol as well as a full body constitutional acupuncture treatment customized for your specific needs.  At the end of the treatment I will place ear seeds (small little metal balls that stick in your ear with a little band-aid like tape) on specific points that you can press on to activate the acupuncture points when you’re needing some extra support.  I will also recommend herbal formulas and supplements to help one through the withdrawal period.

Are you ready to kick the habit?

Quitting smoking now can prevent you from getting COPD, cancer, coronary heart disease, or diabetes.  It will also save you money, give you freedom from an addiction, and open up more time in your day to cultivate joy.  When you’re ready to take kick the habit, acupuncture is here to help.  Call us today to set up a free 15 minute consult.  I’ll be happy to answer your questions and ask you some key questions to help you determine if you are ready to quit.

Posted in Mental Health, Respiratory Health, Treatment Plans and Packages | Leave a comment

Mini Stress Reduction Acupuncture Vacation

What’s got you down?  Work, family, or money stressing you out?  Ready to head to a tropical beach and grab a cocktail with an umbrella in it?  Or hole up in the woods for a 10 day silent meditation retreat?  Well until you get to pack your bags and hop on a plane, I’ve come up with something a bit easier.  I’ve started offering stress reduction mini treatments that bring you back to a deep state of relaxation in just 20 minutes.

How does it work?

The Stress Reduction Mini Treatment is a simplified Acupuncture treatment session designed to help lower stress, alleviate anxiety, and rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit.

  • Simple—No long history forms to fill out
  • Short treatment time—just 20 minutes
  • Affordable—only $25
  • Pleasant—just 2 points in your ears work like magic

Who is if for?

If you don’t know what acupuncture can do for you but you know you’re stressed out this is a simplified, low-cost way to see what it’s all about.

Or if you’re already a big fan of acupuncture this is an easy affordable way to come take a quick acupuncture nap and reboot.

I see a lot of people stressed out in different ways all the time.  This stress turns into anxiety and ailments which drag people down and prevent them from living life to the fullest.  I’m all about helping people be the best version of themselves every day; and showing people one by one how acupuncture can help them do just that.

So I invite you to come experience profound relaxation in a twenty minute acupuncture treatment at our Santa Rosa acupuncture clinic.  To schedule an appointment, call us today at (707) 527-0868.  You’ve got nothing to loose but your stress.

(Image Source: Eric Vogel)

Posted in Mental Health, Office Happenings | 1 Comment