A more affordable option…

We know that you have missed our Community Clinic!  While the protocols for pandemic safety still prevent
us from having groups together in one room, we are happy to announce a hybrid of sorts.

Beginning September 21, we will offer Basic Acupuncture on Monday afternoons. Straightforward
treatments will be provided in private rooms, at 20 minute scheduling intervals. This will allow us to see
several patients per hour at a reduced fee of $60.

Like Community Clinic, this setting is intended to provide lower cost acupuncture for uncomplicated health
concerns. If you need herb formulas or other therapies like moxa or cupping, you would need to schedule a
regular private appointment. But basic acupuncture is wonderful for all kinds of pain, stress and many other
issues. If you aren’t sure if it’s right for you, feel free to contact us with questions.

Due to time constraints, we can not see first time patients in this setting. However, once you are established, we are happy to schedule you for this basic treatment. This option is not currently available for online
scheduling, but click the link below and we will contact you quickly to get you scheduled.

Please know that we will re-open community clinic as soon as it is safe to do so.


Request a basic acupuncture appointment

Taking Care of Ourselves and Each Other

We recently began a conversation about how we were coping through the pandemic and our socio-political situation. We thought we’d share a bit of that here in case it’s useful to anyone else.

Melissa

In the spring I began making friends with the crows. It takes significant time and patience- but now I can count on them to get me outdoors even if I don’t want to go. When they are hungry, they are loud! Calm and stillness are required, so it builds in at least a few minutes every day to practice those things.”

Heather

“I’ve been letting go of expectations: of myself, of the people around me, and of the world…and appreciating as many individual moments as I can.  I long ago abandoned the “projects I was going to finish during quarantine.”  The only thing I’m demanding of myself beyond work obligations is that I get outside and move as much as possible.  I’ve also started writing real letters to old friends. When I get an actual letter in the mail, it makes me feel like a kid again! When I get down, I read my old standbys: Pema Chodron, Abigail Thomas, Karen Maezen Miller, and Louise Penny. 

I’m cherishing the extra time I have with my children. We are playing a lot of cards and finding funny TV shows we can enjoy together. We are talking about current events. We are educating ourselves about things that don’t get taught in school and donating to organizations doing good work. It gives me hope to hear them say, “our generation is going to change the world.”

Debby

I have increased my meditation practice and this has helped weather the solitude. We have a national Prayer circle which meets online every night and this has solidified my practice, praying daily for friends and world peace. And I try to stay away from news. I read more, sit on my porch with the birds, bees and butterflies. I have loved the additional time in nature. Oh and I am learning to bake bread!! Oh my gosh what fun! 

Diane

My primary conversation with myself over the last number of months has revolved around a question – “How can I love myself through this”. I find that this question keeps me in, and helps me return to, a place of compassion that is also proactive. If I sit with the question – especially in meditation – it clarifies and calms. It helps to get me out of the angst and spin of helplessness and hopelessness. It helps me look at myself and my painful emotions with more ‘kindsight’. 

I sometimes also remind myself that while, staying “positive” is great – and important – but it’s not the only thing that matters. I don’t want to look away from the suffering and injustices I am seeing right now – just because it’s disturbing. While balance is important, I think there can also be great value in temporarily losing equilibrium. Chaos is an integral, and even necessary, part of the process of change and growth. It can be in the midst of the discomfort and the pain of looking ugliness and horror in the face when we find and connect with ourselves in deeper and more profound ways, and become instruments of change. I don’t want to cling to my own peace at the cost of turning away from the suffering that is happening around me because it is disturbing. This perspective helps give me a sense of purpose that allows me to approach the work I am doing, and the grief I am experiencing, with more self-compassion.  

Susan

I have been caring for my parents since March 8. Some weeks more than others. And as much as I love them, I have repeating feelings of frustration, anger and resentment (sometimes at the same time) as the three of us move deeper into what it means to grow older and for the parent/child table to be turned.

I have found it very helpful to (attempt) regular little rituals of self care. Early morning coffee with my cat – I pet her and practice breathing exercises that relax my nervous system. Getting out in the early morning to ride my bike. Soaking in a warm tub at night. 

I have learned to exhale before speaking. Or to not speak when agitated. To also hold on to different fingers (as Diane taught me) – thumb for worry, index finger for fear, middle finger for anger, ring finger for sadness, pinkie finger for self esteem. It’s amazing how well that works! And, if a day comes that I just can’t manage anything remotely resembling self-care, I just let that happen. Eventually, I remember all I have to be grateful for…

Brandy

 I planted a wildflower garden – it was beautiful! With time slowing down I’ve really heard birdsong, crickets and cicadas. Really watch the seasons slowly changing and documented with photos. I’ve binge watched funny series with the family. I’ve never been a binge watcher, but it’s nice to disappear for a while.

I would say the most helpful has been volunteering. For 6hrs, 3x a week I think about other people and how I can serve them. It’s scary being out in the wild; too much hand sanitizer, a string of ocd behaviors just to use the public bathroom, how do I eat ? is this mask good enough? I can run though a ton of reasons to stay home, but I still go and I still love it. 

Blake

Honestly, with this I’ve been wondering.. how DO I cope?? ha. Some days I’m successful. But some day’s I’m really not. Actually, I have a lot of conversations with my next-door neighbor over the fence about that! We confess our struggles, commiserate together, and express relief to hear we aren’t alone in that. On really bad days I keep looking over to see if she’s in the yard. 

I’ve been trying to focus on balance for myself to deal with the stresses of the pandemic. Amongst helping everyone else in my family cope and keep calm, happy and busy, it can be hard to separate out what I need from what everyone else needs. I find being alone recharging: sometimes it’s being outside for my own solo walk, or outside pulling weeds and shoveling dirt, or sitting in a peaceful place enjoying an uninterrupted moment, maybe reading a book. But I have learned that I have to carve these out, make time for them, make sure everyone else knows I need it. 

But then in finding balance, I find that those times connecting with others brings me joy and peace. That can be in the form of reading out loud to my child, doing craft projects together, or those moments we all drag ourselves out of the house for a good long hike on the many shady trails of Greensboro. I especially love the lake trails, and we spend time looking for animals, or interesting plants. Being aware of nature, and enacting all my senses to the world around me helps to bring me out of my head, and it gives us all an excuse to move around, have fun, and get tuckered out. I notice we all sleep better on those nights!

Bianca

Melissa, talking to the crows sounds a lot like me. 

For me, it’s been talking to crows and various other neighborhood critters, including spiders which is very much not like me. Thank God for animals. The dogs and my weird cat have been quite entertaining. 

Lots and lots and lots of podcasts: Armchair Expert, Criminal, Naked Genetics, The Bitter Southerner, Family Secrets and more. 

Experimental cooking. 

Hiking. Mushroom hunting.

Talking to myself a lot. 

It hasn’t been easy and for us extroverts, incredibly lonely at times. But, it’s been a practice to self-soothe, to be comfortable with the quiet, the pauses. 

Austin

I have found a lot of inspiration in volunteering. I have found safe ways to help my community and it energizes me and gives me perspective. 

Moving my body is a must. I run the same route everyday so I don’t have to think about where I am going and it frees me up to let my mind wonder and improves my mood (dramatically). Running isn’t for everyone, but movement is. Just move. 

I pay attention to the news but try to do it in mindful ways by checking in only at certain times of the day. 

I am in constant communication with my friends. I need my people!!!

I watch a lot of Queer Eye. 

Also, … I love Armchair Expert…

Simple Habits for Good Health

Many of us are doing what we can to lower our stress levels and keep our immune systems as strong as possible. I thought I’d share a few easy practices I incorporate into my routine to help me stay strong and healthy.

I like to use fresh herbs and spices in my cooking whenever possible. Some of my favorites are fresh ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, rosemary, parsley, and thyme. Use what you like, and have fun with it. Let thy food be thy medicine. Try to eat 90% non processed food.
I try to drink a cup of green tea every day, my favorite is matcha. Matcha has a naturally high content of L-theanine, which effects serotonin and dopamine, and has antidepressant properties. I always feel a noticeable mood boost after I drink it. Green tea promotes healthy gut bacteria which strengthens the immune system and contains a substance called egcg, which studies have shown has diverse antiviral effects. People who drink green tea regularly tend to have greater overall health and longer life spans.
Try to make some time for yourself periodically to do something you find relaxing and rejuvenating. For me that includes reading, listening to classical music, taking an epsom salt or essential oil bath, or going for nice walk out in nature. You have to take some time out just for yourself. Disconnect from the world (and your family!) for an hour when you can.

Finally, I like to remind myself what I am grateful for. Some thoughts are draining, and some are strengthening. Taking some time to acknowledge what we are grateful for has positive effects on our mind and body. Its usually the most simple techniques that yield the most powerful results. Try to focus on the things you have the power to influence. Worry and fear can be compulsive if not checked. Those emotions can certainly seem justified, but overindulgence in them can drain your energy. I try not to let anything separate me from my power to take action, and that includes paralyzing emotions. I don’t suppress them, I just try not to overindulge in them or let them control me.

by Jesse Andreas, L.Ac.

At the Speed of Yoga

 

This piece isn’t about the collective “we” of shared experience. It’s just about me, my practice right now- written this way because I’m pretty sure anything I’m experiencing in this unprecedented time is being experienced by many of you as well.

More than two decades into a regular yoga practice, surely I hit my mat every day and use my practice to stay fit and healthy, right? Ummm…

Sun salutations are good for expelling anxious energy. But many days I’m too lethargic to do those. Clinical Somatics and restorative poses are good for smoothing out the physical and emotional kinks. But many days I haven’t the focus for the minute, internal referencing. Standing poses are good for restoring balance and creating grounding. But many days I feel too unstable, or just. can’t. even.

So what is a faithful yogi to do? Just get on the mat. I lie on my back, knees bent, and aim first to bring a bit more stillness into the fidgety places- hands, eyes, feet. And sometimes that is the whole practice. Other times it leads to a gentle swaying of the knees, or stretching the legs out slowly, or resting hands on my lower belly and breathing into that space.

Once or twice in the last month, just getting on the mat has led to an “actual” pose or two. My practice has boiled down to just me getting friendly with my mat; saying hello to it every day for even a minute or two; acknowledging that the practice of yesterday is irrelevant to the practice today; and offering gratitude to my beloved mat for always being there to receive me.

Slow yoga, fast yoga, tears-in-your-ears yoga, looks-like-doing-nothing yoga. Whatever I choose is OK.

Living at the speed of yoga,

Melissa Peet, practice manager

Acupressure for Allergy Season

We love to offer support for our patients in many ways, and one of those is take-home treatments. Acupressure is a form of massage, is easy to do, and is an effective way to stimulate acupuncture points to promote either easing of symptoms, or support body and local tissue functions. In other words, it’s great self-care! Acupressure is done using fingers, palms, or elbows on particular points of the body.

The points, or locations for pressure, can be assigned by your acupuncturist after a treatment to extend acupuncture, or can be used as needed anytime. In thinking about current issues that may be affecting folks now, I have some points to suggest that might be helpful, and are safe for most anyone to do, though if pregnant, please use acupressure with caution, and there is a note about that on one point in particular below.

Do these points help immediately? Sometimes, they can. Often, the effect is gradual since the activation of a point is like opening a gate allowing a flow rather than an on-off switch.

Gallbladder 20 is Feng Chi, or Wind Pool, a great point for many types of headaches, as it is a place where many meridians connect. Its location is at the back of the skull, in a little “valley” where the skull meets the soft tissue of the neck. It is not the valley behind the mastoid bone behind the ear, but the next one behind that. It is often sore when pressed, and can quickly alleviate a headache. Press, looking for a sore feeling, for 10-30 seconds for a young person (or animal!) and 2-3 minutes for most adults, or as long as feels good. Alternatively, this point can be stimulated by rolling a cotton handtowel into a tight roll and leaning the head back upon it (on the floor, or against the back of the couch) for a length of time. It’s a great point to focus on when giving a neck massage to release tension in the back of head and neck. We use this point for: headaches, to clear and open the nose, ears, eyes and more. I think it’s great for allergies this time of year!

Large Intestine 4 is a well-known acupressure point, especially for headaches. This point should be avoided in pregnancy since it can promote uterine contractions. LI 4 is easy to find and to stimulate. To find this point on your hand, close your thumb and pointer finger together- see the mountain that pops up next to the crease? That’s He Gu, or the “Joining Valley,” LI 4. Pinch this point with your thumb and your finger on the palm side of the hand. You should feel a very sore and achey sensation. This point excels at treating headaches in the front of the head, and pain of the face, such as toothache, and can also be used for issues of mouth, nose, eyes and ears. Because it affects the uterus, it can be used for menstrual pain, and is often combined with other points in this case. Many acupuncturists use this point in treatments for stress and other types of pain, because it helps to “move qi,” or dislodge stuck energy.

 

Large Intestine 20 Ying Xiang, and Bi Tong

Two points that are close together beside the nose are great to help open the sinuses. I use the knuckle of my thumb to press these points, as I breathe in and out very strongly with my nose. (The “out” exhalation can be like a snort, and can carry some material with it!) To find, press on the side of your nostrils (there is a sore spot there!) and from there you can rub your thumb up and then back down, with just enough pressure to feel the soreness. I usually have my patients do a nice, slow, deep inhalation, with the quick snort, while rubbing back and forth between these 2 points on either side of the nose.

St 36 , Zu San Li or “Leg three miles”, is a very famous and widely used acupuncture point. This is a point I show patients who need a little “pick-me-up,” in situations like low energy, low spirits, dizziness or even something like a drop in blood pressure. It is regulating, meaning that it just helps to nudge body functions in the right direction, so it is also used clinically for high blood pressure. It’s helpful for stomach issues like nausea or low appetite and weak digestion. I would recommend it for those feeling emotionally overwhelmed or agitated right now, those who need a little extra grounding or strength, or to feel a little more security through these times of transition and uncertainty. This point is often used with moxibustion, which is a heat treatment using the mugwort herb. Moxa is very warming and more strongly tonifying than acupuncture or acupressure. Contact your acupuncturist if you want to know if moxa could be helpful for you. We may be able to arrange a video call to teach you to apply moxa at home.

Du 20, or Bai Hui, “Hundred Meetings,” is another commonly used point in acupuncture, as well as Tai Chi and QiGong practice. I will always remember one of my acupuncture teachers having us tap this point to keep awake in class, as it is very good to open the consciousness and the mind! Find it at the point at the top of the head, or really just slightly behind the very top of the head, at a flat spot. Tap here, or press, and it does have a slight ache or feeling that radiates over the head in a pleasant way. Besides helping you to wake up, this point can bring up energy, lift your spirit, clear the senses (try for ringing ears), and is helpful if you feel life is falling apart a bit, and so much more. If you have a meditation practice, this point can be used as a focal point in circulating energy and focus into the head, and the upper section of the body. In more spiritual practices, it connects us to the celestial influences, and the wisdom of our ancestors.

 

Use these points alone, on either or both sides of the body, or use in combinations that feel right to you. If you have any questions, contact your acupuncturist. We are available for phone or video consults at this time. We can recommend acupressure for self-care and advise about moxibustion if that’s appropriate for you. Stay tuned for more acupressure tips!

by Blake Faulkner, L.Ac.