Acupuncture + Guided Meditation

Series Begins May 1 8.

Next month we’re starting our first Acupuncture + treatment series. The first 6-week series will begin May 1 8, and will combine community acupuncture with guided meditation. Each session will last one hour, on Tuesdays from 6-7pm. The 6-session series will cost $100.

Q. What will the sessions be like?

A. Each session will feature a different guided meditation and a different acupuncture treatment designed to go with the meditation. You’ll arrive a few minutes early to get settled in your recliner. At 6pm, we’ll start playing the pre-recorded guided meditation over the clinic speakers, and will go around the room inserting needles. Everyone will be getting the same acupuncture treatment and there will be no chairside check-ins (like we do during normal clinic hours), so everyone will have their needles inserted within the first 15 minutes or so. Once your needles are in, we’ll cover you with a blanket and you can rest while listening to the guided meditation. After 45 minutes, the needles will be removed, and when the meditation ends, you can head back into the world rested and relaxed.

Q. Can I drop in if I don’t want to commit to the whole 6-session series?

A. Sorry, nope. If you want to combine guided meditation with your acupuncture treatment on a different schedule, we recommend bringing headphones to the clinic during your regular visits and listening to a guided meditation on your own.

Q. I can’t start May 1st, but I’m interested in doing the rest of the series. Can I buy the package and just start late?

A. Yes. There’s no refund for missed sessions, but even if you miss a couple, it’s still cheap for acupuncture!

Q. My back hurts — can you give me a back pain treatment instead of the same treatment as everyone else?

A. Sorry, nope. There are a few reasons for this. One is that the series is specially designed so that each treatment builds on the one that came before it, and to reinforce the meditation in that session. The other reason is logistics — doing the same treatment on everyone makes it possible to get everyone needled quickly enough to get a full acupuncture treatment during the meditation, and avoids disrupting the meditation with chairside chats. You can always come in for regular treatments during normal clinic hours in addition to doing the guided meditation series, though!

** A follow-up: The truth is, any acupuncture will help get things moving, so while it won’t be possible to do individualized treatments for specific aches and pains during this series, these treatments will probably still help with pain, insomnia, etc.

 

Q. What kind of guided meditations? I’ve never done this before!

A. We’ll be using meditations from various teachers through Insight Timer. The meditations chosen for this series will be appropriate for beginners, and may include meditations around breathing, body awareness, your emotions, and other topics aimed at lowering stress and anxiety.

Q. I’ll do it! How do I sign up?

A. You can register for the series here on the website. You can choose to pay online with a credit/debit card, or you can pay in person with cash/check/card at the clinic. Space is limited, so if you are interested, reserve your spot soon!

Sign up for the Acupuncture + Guided Meditation Series

$99 Unlimited Acupuncture in January

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Acupuncture can help you kick off the new year by supporting you while you get started on your resolutions. The special: Pay $99, and come in for as much acupuncture during the month of January as you like. This special may be purchased anytime this month, and covers all treatments January 1-31 with either Jen or Lauren.

Q. How often should I try to come in?
A. Once a week is great for general wellness and supporting mental health. 2-3 times a week can help to budge active pain conditions like sciatica or frequent migraines. If you’re trying to quit smoking, coming every day for a week or two at first and tapering off can help manage the stress and cravings.

Whatever your health goals, acupuncture works better when you get treatments often enough to build on each other. Let us know what your resolution is and we can tell you how often we recommend coming in to best support it — but you can come as often as you want!

Make an Appointment

Seasonal Affective Disorder and Acupuncture

Happy solstice!

Today is winter solstice, the day with the smallest number of daylight hours in the year. After today, the days gradually will start getting longer, giving us an extra minute or two each day of sunlight until we reach the longest day at summer solstice in June. Our part of the planet is turned its furthest away from the sun, and this is when the coldest temperatures begin. I thought about that as I (grumbling) scraped ice off my car this morning for the first time this season, and the temperature gauge read 32 degrees. This is the body’s hunker down season.

Here in Portland, we don’t get many sunny days over the winter months, and a lot of folks experience some level of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a type of depression that’s typically tied to the seasons with shorter days. SAD can make you sleep a lot, feel like you have no energy, moody, crave carbohydrates, gain weight, and generally experience all the symptoms of depression. In fact, in the latest DSM, they stopped classifying SAD as its own disorder altogether, and instead they now add a qualifier of “with seasonal pattern” to diagnoses of depression or bipolar disorder. Along with the depression, many people also experience anxiety symptoms. Any way you slice it, it sucks.

Light therapy using a light box can help. The idea is that you sit near a high-intensity light for 20-30 minutes each morning and it helps regulate your circadian rhythm. small light boxI started using a light box last year, and it has really helped. I have a small one that uses LEDs and doesn’t take up much room, so that I can take it with me if I travel or am late getting out of the house. This is the one I have: Sphere Gadget Technologies Lightphoria, 10,000 Lux Energy Light Lamp.

Acupuncture can also help. Some people come in when they’re feeling overwhelmed by the heaviness, to get some relief. Getting that instant rush of relaxation is nothing to sneeze at — if you’re feeling overwhelmed, come on in! For me, like a lot of people, it’s harder to motivate myself to do things for self-care if I’m already in a pit of overwhelm, so I tend to favor prevention if it’s possible. I’ve found that getting acupuncture once a week during the dark season smooths out and dials down the depression and anxiety symptoms and makes it a lot more manageable.

If you suffer from seasonal depression, you’re not alone, and there are many things that can help. Come in for an acunap, try a light box, talk to a therapist or a friend, get some exercise, snuggle your cats and dogs, see a doctor about possible medication… there are a lot of options, and whichever options work for you are the right ones.

Stuffed Animals for Mental Health

four stuffed animals: a tan rabbit, a brown and white dog, a gray tabby kitten, and a golden lab puppy

People use acupuncture for stress, depression, and anxiety all the time. These conditions are widespread in our culture, and heading to an acupuncture clinic can help in a few different ways. The needles are obviously the biggest factor — acupuncture has been shown to be effective with these conditions in many studies. For the people who tend to fall asleep during treatment, the nap has its own therapeutic value. Putting your phone away for an hour and disconnecting from your stressors, letting your body rest in a relaxed position, and being in a space with soothing sounds/colors/textures also contribute to the experience. At Feel Better, we’ve added another option to help chill you out: stuffed animals!

It might seem silly to think about adults snuggling stuffed animals while receiving acupuncture, but if you give it a try, you might find that your treatment is even more relaxing. Most people are aware that interacting with live animals can have a therapeutic effects, such as when they’re used in hospice, with veterans, or as emotional support animals. But studies also show that touching or petting a stuffed animal also can lower stress, depression, and anxiety. Live animals have a larger effect, but hey — when you’re dealing with chronic depression and anxiety, every little bit helps. One study even said stuffed animals can help reduce existential angst!

Stuffed animal dog in the lap of a person receiving acupunctureIs it the reassuring small weight on your lap or under your arm? The feeling of the ultrasoft (fake) fur under your fingers? The brain making an association to  real pets you’ve loved and/or stuffed animals you snuggled with in childhood? Maybe all of the above? Whatever the reason, it really does seem to make a difference.

So! We have a selection of stuffed animals in the clinic — affectionately known as the Feel Better Snugglebuggles — that you can choose from if you’d like to give it a try.

From patients who’ve tried it:

“Wow, that was so relaxing!”

“I thought it sounded silly, and I thought I looked silly, but it was actually really comforting. I’d totally take a nap with that kitten again.”

“This makes me want to get a stuffed animal to hold while I’m at home watching tv or working on my laptop, it really did make me feel relaxed.”

So given them a try the next time you come in for a treatment! We have a couple of puppies, some kittens, and a rabbit to choose from. And you can hide them under a blanket if you’re still worried about looking silly. 🙂