Big News! Blue Heart Acupuncture is gaining an amazing new owner.

Blue Heart Acupuncture is gaining an amazing new owner.

We can’t contain our excitement any longer. Beginning on June 1st, your community acupuncture clinic will be under the direction of Lydia Au, Licensed Acupuncturist. I know this is a lot to take in but this really is good news for you and the clinic. Here’s why:

* I (Elizabeth) am leaving the clinic to fulfill my dream of writing a book. I started a book about grief recovery five years ago but was never able to devote adequate time to my writing. Taking time off will allow me to pursue my creative passion. I will be here throughout June to introduce Lydia to our patients and help the transition go smoothly for everyone.

* Since building this clinic from scratch with the help of our wonderful community, I’ve fallen madly in love with our patients. You’ve become family to me. And I couldn’t leave family in the hands of just anyone. So, I searched and searched for the perfect new owner.

* Lydia originally contacted me about working in the clinic as an employee. Her kind, intelligent personality impressed me immediately. When she volunteered with me at Lestonnac free clinic, I was certain I found the right match. Lydia actually has more years of experience treating patients than me. She was licensed in 2010 . Her style is similar to mine in that it’s gentle and effective.

* She a dedicated mother of two handsome and energetic boys which I believe helps her be the compassionate woman that she is today. I’ve spent a good deal of time getting to know Lydia and I am certain her intention is to help patients feel better with community acupuncture. You’re going to love her sense of humor and her gentle care-giving nature! More than anything her mission is much like mine, “To provide low cost acupuncture in our safe haven of a clinic.”

* When asked why she loves community acupuncture, here’s what she said, “I love everything about it! The affordability, efficacy and accessibility are what attracted me to this style of acupuncture. But most of all, I look forward to having the opportunity to build lasting relationships with my patients.”

And now for my call to action. My top priority has always been for this clinic to thrive long past my ownership but that can only happen if you, the patients, continue to support our community acupuncture efforts. This clinic has never been Elizabeth Acupuncture. It’s always been a community clinic made for and by its patients. Orange County needs Blue Heart to thrive. I’m asking you to come in and support our new acupunk. Continue making your appointments and trusting that the needles will do their work regardless of whose sticking you. I will do my part by regularly getting treatments at Blue Heart Acupuncture, too. If you want to give me a going away present, please keep our chairs full with you, your friends, your family, your neighbors.

I look forward to seeing you all in the clinic the rest of this month and into June and I can’t wait to be napping by your side in the years to come. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for making this safe place, this gentle community oasis a reality. Your kindness, your generous spirits, your willingness to help was the greatest gift I’ve ever been given. You, my patients, made my world a better place.

With deepest gratitude,

Elizabeth

April News: 2 for $30 Special

In this month’s newsletter, we’ll share about:

* Our Spring Special: 2 for $30

* Health Tip: Acupuncture for Allergies

* April Fool’s Day Prank

***

Spring Special: 2 for $30

Start your spring off with a restorative acu-nap. We’re offering a 2 for $30 special throughout the month of April.

Get your nap with a friend. Schedule two appointments together any day of that week, and pay just $15 each! Just write “2 for $30 special” on your payment envelope & let the front desk know.

We love seeing people coming in together and napping side by side; it makes the “community” part of what we do ring true.

For the month of April, patients who come in pairs receive treatment for $15 each. Bring a new patient in & each of you receive your treatment for just $15. Share the joy of acupuncture with your friends and family.

Limit one per couple. If you bring a second new patient, the deal begins again.

* HEALTH TIP: Acupuncture for Allergies

The season of “Achoo!” is upon us. Did you know that acupuncture can be a highly effective treatment for seasonal allergies? Click here for an article that explains how acupuncture can help allergy sufferers.

*April Fool’s Day Prank

My favorite social media day is 4/1. I can’t wait to post a silly prank ad on Facebook. To find out what goofy news we shared this year, visit our facebook page at www.facebook.com/blueheartacu and scroll down to our post dated 4/1/16.  This prank had a royal spin to it.

Help Us Grow

If you appreciate our low cost community acupuncture clinic, help us thrive. Share our business cards and brochures with your friends, family members, doctors, therapists, dentists.

Review us on Yelp, Facebook (www.facebook.com/blueheartacu) & Google. Hang our flyers at your work, church, coffeehouse, gym & school. Are you a blogger? Do you know a blogger? Tell them about what we’re doing. Share the love, friends!

For the fabulous patients that already do these simple things, THANK YOU for helping us grow on our shoestring budget.

Wishing you a healthy happy month,

Elizabeth and the Blue Heart Acu Team

Community Acupuncture & The Neighborhood of Our Minds

neighborhood-cartoonI had a thought provoking dinner with my friend, Tim, and his wife Amy last night.  We had 20 years of catching up to do in one evening before they headed up north to visit San Francisco.  They are living quite an exceptional life.  Working 9 months of the year in their successful Vermont business while living on the top of a beautiful mountain.  Traveling the U.S. during the winter months in a fully loaded Airstream complete with 110 pound rescue mutt.

Not only do we have shared memories of existing on 89 cent burritos for lunch every single day in college, we also have a shared sense of adventure.  Tim and Amy Brady are savvy risk takers.  They left their jobs in South Jersey to buy a bed and breakfast and eventually open a thriving waterfront restaurant and brewery in Brattleboro, VT.

Their Whetstone Station Restaurant & Brewery creation story intrigued me.  Apparently, the building lay vacant for many years.  It was a foreclosed property that was a sad reminder of the state of its neighborhood.

Because of their success with the bed and breakfast and their active involvement in bettering the town where they lived, the bank that foreclosed on the eventual location of Bradys’ establishment contacted Tim to see if he wanted to buy it.  He said, “Sure.  Why not?  But you [the bank] have to help me finance the repairs.”  Then he contacted other people in the community about knocking down some abandoned buildings in the neighborhood.  He tells me humbly that it was really a community movement that helped Whetstone Station Restaurant become a reality.

Fast forward 5 years.  Just 5 years and not only is their business a hotspot for local townspeople, New Yorkers and other visitors, the entire neighborhood is a hub of activity, art and new local business.  By starting with a little bit of hope, they brought new life into an entire neighborhood.

What on earth does that have to do with community acupuncture?  In community acupuncture, we sometimes better the physical neighborhood but we also better the neighborhood of the mind.  Let me give you an example.

I’ve visited many community acupuncture clinics*.  I volunteered at one in San Francisco’s Mission district which is a diverse and sometimes harsh part of town.  It seemed like a Harry Potter scene where I walk through the city with my city face and find the secret passage into a magical world.

I learned to make a city face while living in NYC.  Although intent, my SF city face is a little softer.  Still it has a “Don’t mess with me.  I know where I’m going.” vibe about it.

I would walk down 24th Street from where I lived in the fluffier part of town called Noe Valley.  As I descended the hill, my SF city face would form a little bubble around me.  It gave me enough room to smile at a child or make eye contact with what we don’t call untouchables in the U.S. but who certainly feel that way at times.  SF city face gave me just enough room to hold my boundaries with someone who might not have the best intentions for me.

Then the Harry Potter train station scene would happen.  The one where you run face first into a brick wall and end up on the Hogwarts platform.  In the case of Community Acupuncture Works, it was a small glass door just a few doors down from a beat-up laundromat which lead you into a gently lit lavender room filled with recliners and people peacefully napping in them.

This was my safe haven in the city.  A place where I and so many other patients felt we could let down our guard, restore our bodies and be taken care of by Ninah, our kind acupunk.  Without setting out to, Ninah changed the neighborhood by providing this oasis of stillness in the bustling, loud city.

In Blue Heart Acupuncture’s case, it’s a little different.  Our neighborhood isn’t really a neighborhood at all.  In order to practice low cost acupuncture, we needed dirt cheap rent.  We found it in the industrial area of Orange.  Most people don’t even know this area exists until they Google Map us.

We didn’t change the neighborhood except for helping a few neighbors in our industrial park get relief from back pain, stress and allergies.  What we did change was the neighborhood of our community mindset.

You have no idea how many squint eyes I got when I cheerfully explained our sliding scale to my first hundred or so patients.  I didn’t have enough money to afford front desk staff so I was the enthusiastic greeter, orientation giver, answering service and acupuncturist all rolled into one.  I was extremely excited to share community acupuncture with anyone that walked through the door.  The idea of making acupuncture accessible for everyone had me practically bursting out of my Blue Heart tshirt.

Orange County wasn’t all that trusting at first.

I’d get a lot of slow, suspicious “what’s in it for you” looks followed by questions such as;

How long can I stay if I pay the lowest amount?

-As long as you like until we close.

I can only pay $20.  Do you use less needles if I don’t pay more?

-No, you pay what you can on the sliding scale.  All treatments are equal regardless of payment.

There were many other questions but more than the questions, there was a feeling of “Why on earth are you doing this?”  and “What’s the catch?  What’s in it for you?”

A few people caught one right away.  They understood that the biggest benefit I get out of running a community acupuncture clinic is the profit of community betterment.  It’s not a charity.  It’s also not some creepy scam you figure out two years into some weird membership we’ve signed you up for.  Like Brady’s restaurant, it’s a community undertaking to make our world a little safer, saner, more peaceful.

One of my wise friends once told me, “My mind is not a neighborhood that is safe to walk alone.”  In many ways our current society is set up for isolation, loneliness, feeling unsafe, feeling invisible, feeling unloved.  I find that community acupuncture combats that thinking.  It brings a shiny bit of much needed connection into the neighborhood and from that new life grows.

Patients who leaned into the community acupuncture model tell their friends.  They keep our clinic thriving by sharing about us.  I’ve gone to coffeehouses and grocery stores to find my clinic’s flyer hanging on their bulletin board.  People come in with business cards that their family members gave them six months ago.  Patients share on Facebook about their migraine relief and tag us in the post.  People who love the clinic are the biggest piece of our teeny-weeny marketing budget.

Other patients bring friends and pay for them when they can’t afford to do so.  One couple in their 60s brings a woman friend in her 30s that is currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.  There is no way she can afford even $20 per visit but they bring her and slip us a check for her treatment every week she is well enough to come with them.  It’s acts of kindness like this that continually crack my heart wide open.

Many patients share their garden fruits with us.  We often have a plate of lemons or oranges for other patients to enjoy.  It’s uniquely satisfying to see a patient’s face light up when I offer them a beautiful avocado on the way out the door.  Knowing that this gift came from another patient that was moved to share their wealth.

This is a manifestation of the neighborhood of their mind changing.  Like me walking through the magical glass door into the peaceful lavender clinic in SF, they found a place where people (acupunks, the staff and even other patients) care so very much about them that they in turn begin to care about the success of the clinic and the health of their bank tellers, baristas, yoga students.  The neighborhood of their mind gets a few more lampposts and they can see more clearly that they are empowered to make things better for themselves, for the neighborhood of their minds, for their family, friends and yes, even the world.

*POCA clinics are easy to find by visiting pocacoop.com .

January News: 5 for $85 continues through 1/8/16

 5 for $85 continues through 1/8/16

* Health Tip: Ginger For Warming the Interior

* Food Drive Success

The holidays are a time for reflection. As we look back on the past year, we can say without a doubt that it has been amazing one! Our little community acupuncture clinic has given 7,237 low cost treatments since opening our doors in 2013. We owe it all to you: our community. Without each and every one of you, Blue Heart Acu would be just like any other clinic & because of you it has become so much more than that. We do our best to stay present and enjoy the here and now, but we can’t help looking forward to the new year and the limitless possibilities ahead. We’re thrilled you’ll be on this journey with us.

Happy New Year, friends! May your 2016 be filled with peace, wonder and joy.

Winter Special Continues: 5 for $85

Our 5 for $85 deal continues – available now through 1/8/16. Get 5 acupuncture sessions for only $85. Buy an extra one for your friend or family member as a gift.

Please stop by, enjoy a treatment and buy a package during the sale period – we look forward to seeing you! You can also purchase them by calling us during our business hours.

* valid for either initial or follow-up visits

* limit three 5-treatment packages per person, not transferable

* no expiration date once purchased

* gift certificates available

* no other discounts apply

* Health Tip: Ginger

Well, winter is here. Where did our beautifully mild SoCal weather go? To help our bodies adjust to the cold, try adding ginger to your diet.

During the winter months, you need things to help warm and regulate your interior. Ginger does just that. I recommend one cup of hot water with a half gram of ginger per day to help keep your digestion healthy and the sniffles far away from your body.

If you are a person who loves to juice, make sure you add ginger each time. It will help you better digest the cold veggies.

* Food Drive Success

Thanks to your donations, our annual food drive was a huge success. Second Harvest Food Bank of OC picked up 4 boxes of food from our clinic. Three cheers for our amazing community! And congratulations to the three winners of our donation raffle which included these wonderful prizes: one free treatment at the clinic, a dozen gorgeous roses from our friends at the Dizzy Daisy & 2 weeks of unlimited yoga classes at SunSpark Yoga.

Help Us Grow

If you appreciate our low cost community acupuncture clinic, help us thrive. Share our business cards and brochures with your doctors, therapists, dentists.

Review us on Yelp, Facebook& Google. Hang our flyers at your work, church, coffeehouse, gym & school. Are you a blogger? Do you know a blogger? Tell them about what we’re doing. Share the love, friends!

For the fabulous patients that already do these simple things, THANK YOU for helping us grow on our shoestring budget.

December News: 5 for $85 Winter Special

In this month’s newsletter, we’ll share about:

* Our Winter 5 for $85 Special

* Clinic Closed Dates: Dec 11-19, Dec 25th, Jan 1st

* Alternate Clinics during Winter Break

* Health Tip Of Month: Acceptance

* Our Food Drive Continues Through December  

 

winter special

We are grateful for our patients. Thanks for making Blue Heart Acupuncture YOUR community clinic.

Winter Special is Here: 5 for $85

Our winter package deal is here – available 12/1/15-1/8/16. Get 5 acupuncture sessions for only $85. Buy an extra one for your friend or family member as a gift.

Please stop by, enjoy a treatment and buy a package during the sale period – we look forward to seeing you! You can also purchase them by calling us during our business hours.

* limit three 5-treatment packages per person

* no expiration date once purchased

* gift certificates available: one 5 pack per recipient

* not to be combined with any other offers & non-transferrable

Clinic Closed Dates: Dec 11-19, Dec 25th, Jan 1st

The clinic will be closed December 11th through December 19th for Blue Heart’s annual winter break. We will also be closed on Dec 25th and Jan 1st.

Appointments after the break fill up quickly. Please book your appointments now to be sure you keep your treatments on schedule and your healing happening. Jenny will be returning calls during the break should you need to make an appointment or you can book your appointment online by clicking the “schedule now” button at the bottom of this email. During the our winter break, you can still continue treatment at other nearby POCA (community acupuncture) clinics. Read below for details.

* Alternate Clinics

Many patients will need to continue treatment while I’m away. Here are three options:

Long Beach Community Acupuncture is an alternate clinic. It’s about 20 miles from our location. Call 562-477-5045 for more information or visit their website at www.longbeachcommunityacupuncture.com .

The Giving Chi Community Acupuncture is another option. They are located in Lake Forest. Call for 949-916-1123 more information or visit their website at www.givingchi.com .

If that’s too far from you, Green Jade Acupuncture is about 4 miles from our clinic. Chris Bruckner is offering $40 treatments for all Blue Heart patients during our winter break. His fee is normally $70. Just call 657-333-5148 to make an appointment. Their website is www.greenjadeacu.com .

Health Tip of the Month: Acceptance

Finding acceptance when dealing with an injury or chronic illness can help lessen the peripheral affects of the health issue. Recently, I wrote an article about acceptance and humility in healthcare. You can read it here.

* Our Food Drive Continues Through December

We’ve teamed up with Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County for our 3rd annual food drive. Suggested Donations: Canned food, diapers, toilet paper, toothpaste, feminine products, toothbrushes, boxes of dried pasta.

Every time you bring in a donation during your appointment, you’ll be given an entry into our Food Drive Raffle. Prizes includes: A dozen beautiful roses from our friends at Dizzy Daisy Flowers, a gift certificate for free yoga classes at my favorite yoga studio SunSpark Yoga and a free treatment by yours truly.

Last year, our patients filled 7 boxes for the food bank. We have 3 filled thus far. Come on, Team Blue Heart! Let’s see if we can beat that record.

Help Us Grow

If you appreciate our low cost community acupuncture clinic, help us thrive. Share our business cards and brochures with your doctors, therapists, dentists.

Review us on Yelp, Facebook & Google. Hang our flyers at your work, church, coffeehouse, gym & school. Are you a blogger? Do you know a blogger? Tell them about what we’re doing. Share the love, friends!

For the fabulous patients that already do these simple things, THANK YOU for helping us grow on our shoestring budget. Because of you, we’ve given well over 7000 treatments since opening our doors in September of 2013!

Wishing you a healthy happy month,

Elizabeth and the Blue Heart Acu Team