Acupuncture Blog

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Home United Way of Greater Nashua

We'd like to offer a heartfelt 'Thank You!' yet again to the United Way of Greater Nashua for offering a helpful grant to MAS - Nashua, as part of their COVID Emergency Relief Fund for Greater Nashua.

We appreciate the support during this challenging financial time.

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Due to the (understandable) restrictions imposed on businesses by the NH State COVID re-operating guidelines, your support is indespensible while we operate below ideal capacites in MAS clinics. 

If you value the services provided at MAS Manchester or Nashua and are in the position to offer support, please do. And to the many folks who have and continue to do so, we are deeply grateful to you.

All donations are welcome, including the charitable gifting of real estate.

As a 501(c)3, gifts to Manchester Acupuncture Studio are tax-deductible

 

Thank You!

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Written by Elizabeth Ropp
Edited by Eric Zulaski

 

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Jewel Thais-Williams

We almost never see acupuncture in movies or on TV. I want to celebrate whenever I see a movie about an acupuncturist. When I learned about Jewel Thais- Williams’ life through the documentary, Jewel's Catch One, I was humbled to see such a brilliant, awesome, force of nature who would dedicate herself to bringing affordable acupuncture to “the hood” of Los Angeles. That’s why I dedicated my last blog post to review the movie and to indulge in my fantasy of having a one-on-one interview with her. So now I must write a follow-up blog post, because I actually got the chance for a REAL interview with Jewel.

A great synopsis of the documentary, taken from the film’s website follows:

“Jewel’s Catch One’s documents the oldest Black owned disco in America and establishes the legacy of businesswoman, activist, and healer, Jewel Thais-Williams, who stood up against hate and discrimination for 42 years. The story of Jewel and “The Catch” celebrates four decades of music, fashion, celebrity, and activism that helped change the course of our country by breaking down racial, social, and cultural barriers. One of the original safe spaces for both the LGBT and Black communities, The Catch also served as a refuge for many during the AIDS crisis. As her club grew to become known as the "unofficial Studio 54 of the West Coast,” Jewel became a national role model for how to fight discrimination and serve the less fortunate.“

Filmmaker C. Fitz teamed up with Jewel originally to make a three-minute video for an awards ceremony honoring Jewel as Woman of the Year. They realized quickly that they needed a full-length documentary. The film covers eight years of interviews with Jewel, Rue, close friends, patrons of The Catch One, and her acupuncture patients. This movie also features US Representative Maxine Waters, Grammy-Award winning singer, Thelma Houston, and Actress Sharon Stone.

Just like the filmmaker had to make a full-length movie about Jewel, I needed to write a 2,000 word blog post.

I stumbled onto Jewel's documentary purely by accident. I asked if her acupuncture school or any acupuncture associations know about the film, Jewel’s Catch One, and helped to promote it.

Unfortunately the answer is No.

I am disappointed, but not surprised. Even though the acupuncture profession in the U.S. is small, many things divide us: geography, competition, practice styles, language barriers, business philosophies, apathy, and interpersonal conflicts.

I enjoyed the film so much that I watched it twice. I was dying to ask Jewel what patients ask me all the time: “What made you become an acupuncturist?”

Jewel is 81 years old. She has worn a lot of hats in her life. Before she became her own boss, she worked at several grocery stores, including the supermarket across the street from what became The Catch One. She even did a brief stint working in corrections at a women’s jail.

“It didn’t suit my personality at all to order people around.” says Jewel.

She said many of the women who came to the jail were arrested for being homeless or drunk on the street. After 30 days they were given fifteen dollars and released. “And of course in the next two or three weeks they’d be back. At the time I was in my early 20’s and some of the women were old enough to be my grandmother. So no feel-goods there.”

Jewel is a natural entrepreneur. She opened a women’s boutique with her sister. This allowed her the flexibility to set her own hours and complete her college degree, majoring in history.

“I thought eventually I would teach high school or maybe even college level history. American history.”

Instead, Jewel made history. American history.

Jewel had no bartending experience prior to owning a bar and a night club. She had to learn on the job because of a regressive state law in California that prohibited women from tending bar unless they owned the bar. I did some research and learned that this is not that unusual. In the 20th century several states and cities had laws or ordinances that excluded women from the bartending profession. In the 1950’s, Black women in Chicago fought against the City Council for their rights to tend bars. White women bartenders did not stand with them. They all lost their jobs as a result. The moral of that story is listen to the Sistahs.

During the 1970’s, Jewel had to deal with cops arresting her bar patrons for being gay in public. In the 1980’s, The Catch One was destroyed by fire. The local fire department refused to investigate. This is part of a pattern in our country's shameful history of destroying Black-owned businesses. The most famous and devastating example happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Nonetheless, Jewel persisted. It took her two years to bring back the Catch. She re-opened in 1987 and ran it for another two decades.

Again, this brings me back to Why acupuncture? Why not politics? Jewel was well known and loved for The Catch and for her advocacy during the AIDS epidemic. Jewel entertained the idea of running for local office. She would have won. She even considered running for US Congress in her district, until her friend, Karen Bass stepped up. She ultimately decided that running for office wasn’t what she wanted to do.

In the 1990’s, Jewel’s therapist, the renowned Gay-Rights Activist and mental health expert, Dr. Donald Kilhefner, suggested that she go to acupuncture school.

Jewel was a good fit in her acupuncture school. Once again, Jewel used her skills to advocate for marginalized people, in this case it was her teachers. Many acupuncture schools in the US hire Asian doctors who bring a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience. However, tensions arise between instructors and students when instructors are still building english language proficiency.

“I spent a lot of my time when I was in acupuncture school interpreting for my Chinese professors. Some students organized a little group and went to the Dean and said they wanted that [teacher] gone. My objection had to do with English speaking instructors who had just graduated from school are now teaching...I felt like we’d be missing out.”

Acupuncture school was a good fit for Jewel. She has always been interested in natural remedies and supplements.

Jewel seeks out opportunities to learn from traditional medicine practitioners when she travels. She has spent time learning from folk healers in The Bahamas, Bali, and South Africa. Her family used folk medicines and natural over-the-counter remedies.

“We grew up with traditional African medicine being translated from slavery times.”

Many of the remedies that Jewel described are common folk remedies used around the world, some of which are still used in over-the-counter remedies today. Camphor is used in ointments today for chest colds and muscle rubs. She also mentioned Musterole, an ointment that works like a mustard plaster to relieve a cough and chest congestions. Her family used castor oil to relieve constipation.

“There were seven of us kids. I think we all had perfect attendance at school.” No one wanted to have to be subjected to the natural remedies.

Jewel is proud of her track record of rarely getting sick. She never missed school due to being sick. She got the flu in 1978 and then again 20 years later in 1998.

“By the time 2018 came, I just loaded down with all the vitamin C and jin yin hua (Japanese Honeysuckle), and Herbal Resistance Formula.”

In 2005, Jewel went to New Orleans to provide acupuncture to communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. This is where she got trained to use NADA’s Ear Acupuncture Protocol. NADA is a five point ear treatment originally developed during a heroin epidemic to treat withdrawal from heroin and methadone. NADA is practiced in the US and all over the world by acupuncturists and lay practitioners for all stages of addiction recovery, behavioral health, and to support resilience and emotional well being after a traumatic event like a natural disaster. “Not only did we treat the survivors. We treated the rescue workers. We were in the shelters and in the schools that were converted into sleeping quarters for rescue workers.”

Jewel’s non-profit clinic, The Village Health Foundation, makes acupuncture treatment affordable in her Los Angeles neighborhood. Representative Maxine Waters praises Jewel’s acupuncture clinic. Waters says “It has been said that Jewel could be in Beverly Hills charging a lot of money for acupuncture.”

I asked Jewel why it’s so unusual for acupuncturists to make treatments affordable. Jewel agrees that affordable acupuncture is rare. “The people who can afford it will go to Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. They’re not coming to the hood for a treatment. And those folks in the hood that come to the hood clinic can’t afford to pay Beverly Hills prices.”

Jewel wants to share her gift with her local community. She explains that people of color, particularly Black and Brown people, have negative experiences in conventional Western medicine health settings due to bias from doctors who are not trained to be culturally competent. She described her own negative experience when seeing a cardiologist.

“They don’t look at you.” she says “With people of color, they just load them down with medication. ‘[A doctor might say] You’re blood pressure isn’t high, but it probably will be, so here, take this statin medication.’”

Jewel and her immediate community are staying healthy during the pandemic. Earlier in our conversation we talked about how COVID has disproportionately affected people and communities of color.

Jewel also remarks “For us, for Black folks, Asians are just as racist as white people can be towards us.”

Like most Community Acupuncturists, I subscribe to the concept of Liberation Acupuncture, which basically boils down to the fact that the only way that acupuncture works is if patients can afford it. Jewel was not familiar with this term before we spoke. But she connected with the concept immediately. She sees herself as a liberation acupuncturist.

Acupuncturists are wondering what we can do to make our clinics welcome to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) patients. New Hampshire is 94% White. Yet, Manchester (and Nashua) have always been immigrant cities. New Hampshire’s newest Americans are from Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Jewel has spent her life creating inclusive spaces for everyone, which makes her a great person to ask for advice.

“Go to where they are. Go to their festivals and churches.” When Jewel first got started as an acupuncturist she had a mobile clinic with a colleague. They would treat patients for several hours at an AIDS prevention clinic and they ran a weekly pop-up clinic at an outdoor market.

Jewel explains that “there is such a high degree of needle phobia among Black folk and Brown folk. Big time. I have to talk to a lot of folks. I praise them for having the courage to even try it.” Jewel spends a lot of time educating and starting with some of the least sensitive points like Large Intestine 11, in the fleshy area of the elbow. “It’s a big deal. But once they get it, it’s like ‘Oh my God.’”

Jewel describes the Each One, Teach One approach to providing healthcare for her patients.

“Try to meet the people where they are. With each person that we enlighten then there is a possibility of them enlightening other people.”

The Village Health Foundation is closed temporarily due to the pandemic. Jewel provides care to her patients using telemedicine and her staff mails out herbs and supplements. Jewel plans to start a blog to stay in touch with patients and share health tips. I am not alone in saying that I wish all the best to Jewel and the staff at the Village Health Foundation. May you reopen as soon as it is safe to return to work.

If you would like to make a donation to support the Village Health Foundation, you can do so at this link.

Jewel’s favorite music is featured throughout the film. Her top favorite artist is Sylvester. One of her top favorite songs is Another One Bites the Dust, by Queen.

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The COVID19 virus has always been known as a respiratory illness, primarily. The more information that is learned, the more important ventilation appears to play a key factor to keep the likelihood of transmission low - especially when indoors. This and the clear effectiveness of wearing a mask when outside of one’s home or car.

With this in mind, we’d like to highlight ongoing efforts made for premium air quality in the clinics we’ve had in place along with a couple of key recent additions.

The treatment room in Nashua was formerly an industrial clean room. Positioned in the ceiling are 13 individually powered HEPA-filtered air purifiers. We make use of 5 of them on any given day. Along with the 4 HEPA air purifiers on the ground, we are confident to be working within what one city health worker once called, “the cleanest room in Nashua”.

In Manchester, we have employed 7 large professional-grade HEPA-filtered air purifiers since we worked in the Millyard. Used both for ambient noise in order to keep conversations private and for air purifying, we rely on these units and maintain them regularly.

In addition, we’ve recently made an investment in an ionization generator for the HVAC ductwork. The upshot is, this technology cleans the air of viruses, bacteria, allergens and dust that moves through the ductwork of the heating/cooling system. This is the same technology used in hospitals throughout the country.

Speaking of new technology, we’ve also begun to use a new disinfectant throughout the clinics made by Force of Nature, utilizing water, salt, vinegar and electricity (!).

Here’s why: It’s highly effective at killing bacteria and viruses like SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, and it doesn’t offer a strong odor. It’s also perfectly safe for humans (and animals). So far, we are very satisfied with the choice.

This time of year leaves us daily opportunities to keep the doors of the clinics open, allowing fresh air to move through. But the cold weather is never too far away, as we all know. In anticipation of this, we will always keep on top of additional steps available to maintain exceptional air quality for all of us who work, rest and recover at MAS.

 

Weve invested

 

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It has been with tremendous care and effort that we have opened doors in Manchester & Nashua again. While the world remains in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is clear that life must go on, ideally in the safest ways possible.

The safety and well-being of our patients and staff has always been our highest priority. We take this very seriously. And while we are confident that we are taking every safety measure advised by the New Hampshire state guidelines, the CCAOM (Council of Colleges of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine) Clinic Infection Control Advisory and the best applicable research that is currently available to minimize the risk, we are aware that COVID-19 is still circulating in the population. For a threat so pervasive that cannot be seen, there may never be an absolutely fail-proof way of knowing when one actually comes in contact with it. Nevertheless, taking the best precautions, even above and beyond available guidelines, is the extent of what we can do while being open.

While we sincerely look forward to seeing you back in the clinic for treatment, we want to make sure that you come informed.

 

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To those of us who aren't ready to come back to clinic just yet, we are also invested in creating ways to facilitate acupuncture being made available to you.
If there were ever a time for a simple tool to conjure resilience and relieve overwhelm, that time is now after all.

Step one are Home Visits.  (step two will be revealed a little later on in the summer.)

Yes, the vaunted MAS treatment room comes to your favorite sitting spot at home.

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The general parameters are as such:
 - participating MAS licensed acupuncturists are available on a per-request basis. 
 - masks are required for all taking part. 
 - treatments are offered on a sliding-scale of $60-80, with discounts available for small groups of up to three people, $80-100
 - treatments are capped at one hour
 - acupuncturists will wait outside during treatment

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information, to ask questions or to request a treatment at home.

 

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conceived and written by MAS acu-punk Elizabeth Ropp, LAc

First I want to say that it’s good to be back to work at MAS. I hope everyone can tell that we are smiling at you under our masks. We appreciate how understanding everyone has been with our new social distancing systems.

Since we are living in the world of physical distancing, I am sharing a movie recommendation. Jewel’s Catch One is a biographical documentary about a legendary nightclub owner. Why am I telling you about this on the MAS blog? It’s l because later in life, she becomes an acupuncturist and founder of a non-profit clinic. What!?!?! Yes. My mind was blown. I didn’t see that coming.

I enjoy movies about nightclubs. Which is odd because I am a morning person. My husband can tell you that I easily nod off before ten o’clock at night. And yes, I like to dance...in my kitchen. Since MAS reopened this month, you can find me dancing at the clinic after hours when I give the clinic a thorough cleaning and disinfecting after my shift. I also like a good story about someone with sheer determination and perseverance. I found that in Jewel’s Catch One.

Jewel Thais-Williams opened the Los Angeles nightclub and kept it going for four decades, The Catch One. Identifying a need for an inclusive safe space, especially for the Black LQBTQ community. She bought a bar in 1973 for $1000. In 1975, when she purchased the old ballroom connected to her bar for $17,000. The Catch One was open to everyone, especially marginalized people who were often unwelcomed in other clubs and bars. Eventually, everyone partied at The Catch One, including celebrities like Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, Madonna, and Sharon Stone.

In the 1970’s, Jewel’s inclusive dance club was targeted by the police. She faced descrimination on many levels as a Black Gay Woman. In 1985, an intentional arson destroyed The Catch. It took Jewel two years to re-open, facing pressure from local government agencies to sell the property.

The AIDS epidemic was particularly devastating. Jewel lost many club patrons to AIDS, many of whom were like family. She did everything she could to take care of her community. Jewel cited the need for services for the Black community in Los Angeles, affected by HIV and AIDS. She stepped up to fill the void in many ways including founding the Minority AIDS project (We have a chapter in Manchester that serves the Merrimack Valley). Jewel’s partner, Rue, founded Rue’s House to provide housing for Black women and Children with HIV/AIDS.

In the late 1990’s, Jewel found herself feeling complacent and needed a new project. Her therapist, Dr. Donald Kilhefner, suggested that she go to acupuncture school.

Due to COVID, all of my travel plans are indefinitely on hold. But, I am making my list of places I want to go and people that I want to meet in a post-pandemic world. I added LA to my list, just so I can make an appointment at The Village Health Foundation, like the club goers from around the world who planned their LA vacations just so they could dance at Catch One. Apparently, tourists even showed up at Jewel’s club straight from the airport with their suitcases in tow.

I watched Jewel’s Catch One twice this weekend and I listened to Jewel tell her story on a new podcast. I wish I could sit down with Jewel, Tariqa, Chung Hee, and Sun from The Village Health Foundation and ask questions. I want to know more about Jewel’s life as an acupuncturist at a non-profit clinic.

Below are the questions that I would ask in my fantasy interview:

Hi, Jewel, it’s such an honor to meet you and to be here in LA, at The Village Health Foundation. Where should I put my suitcase?

First of all, how are you and how is your community holding up during the pandemic?

When you first opened the Catch in the early 1970’s, there were laws that prohibited same sex dancing to make it harder for gay communities to create safe spaces to feel free. Do you think that there are acupuncture laws or regulations that make it harder for marginalized people to get acupuncture treatment or enter the profession?

3) What was your first experience with getting acupuncture?

4) How did you like acupuncture school? If you could add or change anything about your acupuncture program, what would it be?

6) Rep. Maxine Waters praised you for starting a clinic that makes healthcare affordable. She even mentions that it has been said you could be in Beverly Hills charging a lot of money for acupuncture. Why do you think it’s rare for acupuncturists to make treatments affordable and what do you think needs to change in order for affordable acupuncture to become more common?

8) The Village Health Foundation makes a point of practicing cultural competency. What advice can you give to white acupuncturists to become more culturally competent and able to connect with and serve patients with all different backgrounds.

9) How often do you get acupuncture? What else do you do to stay healthy? Basically, how can I be as energetic as you?

10) How often do you go out dancing?

11) What are some of your favorite songs that you think would be good for me to listen to while I am cleaning the clinic at the end of a shift?

Thank you so much for your time. It’s truly been an honor to speak with you. This clinic is beautiful and my acupuncture treatment was wonderful. I even brought you some maple candy, all the way from New Hampshire.

If I manage to connect with the Jewell and the staff of The Village Health Foundation, I will write more here at the MAS blog.

In the meantime, please check out Jewel’s Catch One on Netflix and listen to her interview on The QueerCore podcast.

See you at the clinic. I am smiling under my mask.

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 A quick post here directing you, dear readers, to a couple of videos that walk us through what the shops in Manchester & Nashua feature, and are looking like as we prepare to open again tomorrow.

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A quick post here directing you, dear readers, to a couple of videos that walk us through what the shops in Manchester & Nashua feature, and are looking like as we prepare to open again tomorrow.

If any questions come up for you after either viewing the videos - or after an in-person visit to a clinic - we always welcome you to pose them to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

On that note, the Manchester walk-through and Nashua walk-through await you.

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Ahead of a visit to MAS clinics in person, please do give this web page a read, as it will prepare you with up-to-date how-tos and whys. Thank you.

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Like many of you, this pandemic has given me plenty of time at home to try new recipes.  And since I limit how often I go grocery shopping to once a week or less, I’ve been stocking up on squash and sweet potatoes.  They don’t need to take up space in the fridge, and they can sit around for awhile if I don’t use them right away.  A sweet potato can sit on a shelf for 3-5 weeks, and a butternut squash is good for a month or more, as long as they are stored in a cool dry place. 

Last week, I stumbled across this recipe for Sweet Potato Tahini soup.  I made it over the weekend, and let’s just say, it’s a keeper. 

Cooking soup is like practicing acupuncture or playing jazz.  There is plenty of room for improvisation.  I had almost all of the ingredients listed in the recipe, but I had to make some substitutions.  I replaced the onion with a few scallions, a small carrot, a celery stick, and turnip.  I still ended up with a really good batch of soup.  I served it up with some steamed greens and flat bread on the side and a glass of white wine.  As Andy would say, DAH-licious.  

I plan to make this soup again later this week. This time, I will replace the sweet potatoes with a butternut squash.  

This is Lukas Volger’s Recipe from The Splendid Table:

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced or grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds or half-rounds (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Frizzled Shallots 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced or grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds or half-rounds (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Frizzled Shallots (recipe follows; optional)

Directions

Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a soup pot or Dutch oven, then add the onion, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the onion is soft and beginning to caramelize, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, raise the heat slightly, and stir until they’re glistening all over, another 3 to 4 minutes. Cover with 5 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and add the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender. Add the soup to a blender with the tahini, in batches if necessary, and puree. (You can also use an immersion blender, but be thorough to achieve a properly smooth consistency.) Return to the pot to rewarm, add lemon juice and additional salt to taste, and serve hot, with frizzled shallots, if you like.  

As a food therapy nerd, I want to dive into some of the benefits of this recipe:

Sweet potatoes (and squash) are high in vitamin A, they are food that benefit the spleen/pancrease and stomach which, like acupuncture, helps to move blood and body fluids.  

The onions, garlic, coriander, cumin, and ginger, are all pungent spices that enhance digestion and resolve phlegm or mucus in the lungs.

Tahini contains healthy fats and other trace minerals.  

Lemons are cleansing. They help to digest fat and proteins.  That is why lemon and tahini go so well together. 

Try this soup.  Let us know how you like it and what adaptation you made to make this recipe your own.

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Here's the story and how you can lend a hand.

As many of you may have heard, last week the Governor gave the okay for acupuncture clinics to resume business in the Granite State starting on June 1st. On its face this is great news. However a significant, bewildering detail lay in the State re-opening guidelines.

It seems a last minute provision was included - essentially a restriction -  that limits acupuncture practitioners to treating no more than one patient at a time. As you may imagine, this is problematic for MAS on a number of levels.

Most notably this restriction would not allow MAS to meet its expenses. Nor would we be able to accommodate all of the folks who we know are looking forward to coming back for regular treatments. It also introduces the absurd scenario where only two people would be allowed inside of facilities that are 2000-3000 square feet in size!

MAS is built to provide lots of acupuncture for not a lot of money charged for each treatment. In fact, it's part of this organization's by-laws. So the notion of increasing fees to meet financial needs for a 1:1 practitioner/patient ratio is out of the question. So we remain closed until this provision is either changed or removed. And we're working really hard to make this happen sooner than later.

Incidentally, we know of no other state in the US who has included a similar provision in re-opening guidelines for acupuncture practices, nor are we aware of any other heath professionals in NH who have been restricted in this way.

Let it be known that we are immensely grateful for the time and effort that Governor Sununu, the Re-opening Task Force and the Health and Human Services Commissioner are putting in under extraordinary circumstances. Based on our years of experience, we feel that the decision to limit acupuncture practitioners to treating one patient at a time is based on a lack of information as to how greater-access, affordable acupuncture clinics and practices have (and can continue to) safely functioned for over a decade in New Hampshire and beyond. Perhaps if so, that restriction would not have been added.

At this point, are you wondering how you may be able to help?

That's great - thank you! Here are two ways:

1) If any of you dear readers happen to have a contact at NH Dept. of Health & Human Services or within the Governor's office, please consider putting me in touch. We'd love an opportunity to teach how the 1:1 provision has the unintended consequence of keeping thousands of people from relief of chronic pain, stress, anxiety, insomnia, etc. in acupuncture clinics across the state.

2) Have your say by signing this petition that we will make certain to send along to NH Heath & Human Services, the Re-Opening Task Force and the Governor's Office by June 5th .

Thanks for sticking with us and we look forward to an update on the re-opening of MAS clinics soon.

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Via Andy at the MAS YouTube Channel.

Hello, folks. We hope this message finds you doing well and are safe. It has been an interesting couple of months since we closed our doors to help slow the spread of Covid-19. Over the past couple of weeks, we have received more than a few inquiries as to when and if MAS clinics will reopen.

The short answer is, yes, MAS will absolutely re-open.

What follows is the longer answer.

As a healthcare facility, MAS is subject to state and national guidelines in our profession that have instructed both our initial closure, as well as when we are allowed to re-open and what standards and practices need to be in place in order for that to happen. These guidelines are in accordance with the best practices set forth by local, state and national governing bodies.

There are many aspects of operations related to facilities in Manchester & Nashua that need to be updated in order for MAS to abide by the guidelines set by these oversight and regulatory agencies for the foreseeable future. They include: a reworking of the physical setup in our entire facility in order to maintain social/physical distancing guidelines; the use of personal protective equipment for both staff and patients; hygiene protocols for both staff and patients; implementation of illness screening for both staff and patients; implementing and maintaining infection controls, reworking the way we schedule appointments and establishing how many people we can have in the clinic at any given time and maintain appropriate standards.  

While all of this is a lot to manage, we aim to do so while maintaining the simple soulfulness we all have come to expect. 

We have always been a small operation, working within a modest budget, and are now charged with putting into place multiple new systems in order to best protect the health of our clinic community as well as our staff members and their families. We are eager to resume operations and reconnect with you all. It is just going to take us a bit more time to get there.

We are aiming - roughly speaking - for mid-late June for re-opening.  As we get closer, we will let you know when scheduling will resume. 

In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you and getting back to acupuncture. 

The Staff @ MAS

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**Elizabeth's Video Tutorial is Here**

Over the years, many patients ask us how we got into practicing acupuncture. Here's my story. I studied massage in my early 20’s when my puppetry career was bust (that’s a story for another day). I was introduced to acupressure in massage school and I practiced massage at an acupuncture clinic after I jumped through all of the licensing hoops . Long story short, I was headed to acupuncture school a year later.

During my last year of acupuncture school, I was experimenting with ways to combine acupressure into massage. This came in handy for a particular client who lived in a nursing home. We had a regular standing monthly appointment. One particular day, when I showed up to her room, she was surrounded by nurses aids who were getting her cleaned up. She told me how bad she felt that she didn’t cancel her appointment sooner. She had a bad reaction to a new medication that caused an upset stomach and vomiting.

Instead of leaving, I offered to give her an hour long acupressure treatment to help calm her stomach. I am glad she took me up on the offer. I will always remember how well this treatment worked and how much better she felt as a result. I am going to teach you the two major points that I used during that treatment.

The two points are Pericardium 6 (PC6) and Spleen 4 (SP4). These two points are often used together as a point combination specifically for an upset stomach. You can use this for mild digestive discomfort like feeling bloated or nauseous, or hiccups. You can also press and massage these points for vomiting, diarrhea, and any pain located in the abdomen below the rib cage.

Yes, you can also use these points for morning sickness.

Pericardium 6 is located on the inside of the wrist, two finger widths up from wrist crease, in the center, between the two tendons. Many people might be familiar with this point if they have taken a cruise and worn sea-bands to prevent sea sickness.

P6 is also a common point for anxiety and insomnia, palpitations and chest pains. (If you are experiencing chest pains you should head over to the ER.)

Spleen 4 is located on the inside of the foot above the instep. The easiest way to find it is to locate Spleen 3, on the inside of your foot above the knuckle of the big toe. Follow the bone (metatarsal) until you reach the other head of the same bone, then you are on Spleen 4.

Both of these points are good to press when you are feeling worried, anxious, or restless; emotions which can go straight to our stomachs.

If you like video that I posted above and find it helpful, you can combine it with the points demonstrated in two more videos:

Naomi Frank at Toronto Community Acupuncture shows us more points on the Spleen and Stomach channels.

and

And Justine Meyers of Acupuncture Together’s video on Anxiety, Stress, and Insomnia is making another appearance here.


I hope this is helpful. Please send us requests for topics that we haven’t covered yet at, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We miss all of you and we hope to see you again soon and in good health.

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If you are able, we welcome donations of any amount to help us cover the rents for Manchester & Nashua facilities while we are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic via a current GoFundMe campaign. You may also This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinics, and/or simply share this blog post with friends and family. 

Thank you very much for your support and solidarity.

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