Winter 2011 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! I hope that this note finds you well and rested after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. What a whirlwind of activity the last few months have been for me and everyone I know. It’s nice to be getting back into a groove and a rhythm that doesn’t include wrapping paper!

I know how busy you are so I’ll keep this brief. In October I finalized an office move right next door to the office I had on the 2nd floor of 2040 West Main. After a remodel that has provided 2 full private treatment rooms and a more spacious waiting area, as well as room for all my research books and various tools of the trade, I feel really settled into the new office. If you haven’t been in for a while, please feel free to drop in and check out my new digs! The new suite number is 209, and it is literally one door away from my old office. By the way, Suite 207 is now occupied by my dear friend and colleague, massage therapist Lana Sternhagen.

I am currently in the process of recertifying with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). This means gathering all the documentation that proves I have taken the required 60 hours of continuing education needed to re-up the certification. In fact, I have more than the required hours…one of the things I’ve learned about myself is that I like studying and taking classes to improve and hone my skills. Attitudes have sure changed from “back in the day!”

I have been privileged to participate in several community service events which were lots of fun and very busy, including a “Diva for the Day” event where free acupuncture was made available to Native American women. As a member of the Wholistic Health Society I helped to organize the Black Hills Wholistic Health Expo. Along with two other area acupuncturists we provided free treatments to many of the attendees, and exposed many more to our medicine. By the way, planning is underway for the next Expo which will be the end of April and first of May. If you have suggestions of people who might want to participate, please let me know.

For the first time since I opened my clinic doors in May of 2007, I have raised my rates for services. Don’t worry, they haven’t gone up much, and they are still the lowest in the area (to the best of my knowledge). First time visits for new patients are now $65 and return visits are $60. As you know, no matter what service is provided, the rate is the same; I don’t charge additionally for cupping, or electrical stimulation or therapeutic massage. Discounts for frequency and close proximity of treatments will remain available. I will only increase rates for herbal products if the cost is increased by my herbal vendors.

The extreme weather conditions that are a fact of life for us provide endless opportunities for me to mutter, “its winter, wear your coat” and “really, no socks and you’re wearing shorts, don’t complain when you get sick!” Baby its cold outside! It really is winter, a time for reflection, hunkering down and story-telling, time for soups and hot tea, time to protect your neck and head from cold winds and ramp up your immunity-strengthening supplements and herbs. Please, drink lots of water and moisturize your skin. Consider adding a humidifier to your bedroom; with the dryness of the season, and the warmth we require, moisture in the air disappears.

Do your best to get some kind of workout in; a few minutes a day of anything ~ stretching, cardio, dancing ~ anything is better than nothing. In this season we have a tendency to let go of our exercise routines…the longer we put off physical work the harder it is to get back into the routines, so just start today with 5 minutes. No one can take these kinds of action for you. I can provide help to strengthen your resistance, and if you feel “something” coming on, I can offer herbal solutions. That being said, as much as I’d like to, I can’t do it for you any more than you can do it for me (especially working out darn it!).

I am hoping to take a class in the traditional herbs, foods and medicines of this area starting the end of January. I really like the idea of exploring local options available in our region to help take the best care of ourselves possible. This class will take my out of the office for only a few hours one day a week. I’m excited about getting back into a class room again.

You may have noticed some “branding” changes on my cards and on the website; there are more to come, thanks to the amazing work of Studio Bickett. We are working on a new brochure and updating the website at bit to better serve you.

I hope to see you at some point in the near future. I know how easy it is to put ourselves last, but I encourage you to get a good start in 2011 and take some time for your health and personal upkeep. I wish you and your family the best during this season of introspection and self-nurture. Keep smiling and stay warm!