Happy Spring! We have some very important schedule changes and exciting specials coming up in May, so please read on for the juicy details!
New Schedule Starting May 1st
By the end of May we will have expanded our hours by 45%! We’re so happy to finally have the staff to be able to do it, and to offer you more flexibility.
Step one of the expansion is that we’re going lengthen Wednesday and Saturday to 4 hours. Also, due to popular demand, we will be sliding Saturday’s hours earlier, and we’re going to bump up the afternoon shifts by 1/2 hour, to have more slots after 5:00.
Here’s what the schedule will look like starting May 1st (changes are bold):
Monday 2:30 – 6:30 Donald
Tuesday 9:30 – 1:30 Nora*
Wednesday 2:30 – 6:30 Jalyn
Thursday 2:30 – 6:30 Donald
Friday 9:30 – 1:30 Nora* & Dianne
Saturday 12:00 – 4:00 Jalyn
*Nora’s Parental Leave schedule
As most of you know by now, Nora’s partner is due to have a baby in early May. Of course, the nature of things means we don’t know exactly when this will happen(!), but when it does Nora will take two weeks off to get to know the baby (i.e. it will probably early May to mid-May, but could be anytime). During those two weeks, Jalyn will work Nora’s Tuesday morning shifts, and Donald will work Nora’s Friday morning shift (he’ll also continue working Monday and Thursday afternoons–just by himself, instead of alongside Nora). We have changed the online scheduling system to reflect with 95% certainty when we will be open, but we can’t easily change it to reflect short-notice staff changes. Please accept our thanks in advance for being flexible. If you do have a strong preference for who needles you, feel free to call the front desk for updates.
When Nora returns (around mid-May) we will be adding two morning shifts!
The schedule will be as follows (changes from May 1st are bold):
Monday 9:30 – 1:30 Nora / 2:30 – 6:30 Donald
Tuesday 9:30 – 1:30 Nora & Dianne
Wednesday 2:30 – 6:30 Jalyn
Thursday 9:30 – 1:30 Nora / 2:30 – 6:30 Donald
Friday 9:30 – 1:30 Nora & Dianne
Saturday 12:00 – 4:00 Jalyn
Dianne will still be training with Nora on most Tuesday & Friday mornings. When Jalyn goes on her maternity leave (in June), her shifts will be filled by Donald; but otherwise the schedule should remain the same as above.
We expect things will be a little confusing for awhile, but we’re hoping the increased flexibility will make it worth it. Nora will miss her afternoon/evening people a LOT, but the new schedule will make childcare smoother. Of course we will keep trying to expand our hours as we can (we hope to bring back Friday evenings by the Fall). And keep your eyes peeled for a Living Social special coming soon! We’ll definitely post on the website and Facebook page when we know the date. Thanks!
Great news! Our newest acupuncturist Donald has been in such demand on Thursday afternoons that we’re adding him to Monday afternoons! His rate will now be the usual $15 – $35 for Thursdays, but in we’re extending the $10 “intro” special for his Monday shifts for April. Call or go online to schedule.
Hey, folks: you probably don’t know how much it stresses us out to make changes to the schedule…but we’re going to have to do it again. This time, it’s for three happy reasons: two new babies, and one new acupuncturist!
Donald Kirkland is a Detroit native who studied acupuncture in Chicago, where he practiced before moving back and hanging up his shingle in the Cass Corridor. After a recent sojourn on the western side of the state, he’s moved back to Detroit and is excited by the Community Acupuncture model. For the time being you can meet Donald on Thursday afternoons, when he’ll be working alongside Nora. We’re running a $10 introductory special with him, for the whole month of March!
Nora’s wife is pregnant and due in early May, and Nora’s going to take a couple weeks off after the birth to support her (and to hang out with the new person!) Jalyn will be filling in some of Nora’s shifts during that time, and Donald will be working the other shifts.
Also, many of you already know this, but Jalyn is expecting a baby too! She’s due in late June, but will probably need to stop work before then; at which point Donald will be picking up some of her shifts for the duration of her maternity leave.
Please note: We’re going to try to give everyone as much notice as we can about changes to shifts, but (given the not-totally-predictable nature of childbirth) we can’t guarantee that the online schedule – or printed schedules – will always reflect who is working, etc. Thank you in advance for your flexibility and understanding!
Finally: for those of you who are also looking forward to getting treatments from Dianne, our receptionist/apprentice extraordinaire, never fear! We’re going to bring her “online” as soon as possible too! She’s had to back off on hours due to family obligations, but will still be training with Nora on Friday mornings for the time being.
Here’s a little news for you all!
HOLIDAY CLOSURES & GIFT CERTIFICATES
We will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Other than that we’ll be open our normal December schedule, and the new schedule will begin Wednesday, January 2nd. We do have holiday gift certificates! You can get them for any number of treatments. Remember: acupuncture looks good on everyone, and it always fits!
JANUARY SCHEDULE and STAFF CHANGES
The big news is that Nora is going to be training Dianne to do acupuncture! There’s no way to do this without some changes to the schedule. Believe us when we tell you that we hate to mess with the schedule, except to increase hours. For background on all this, read the next post.
Other changes: Linda will be leaving us in January to focus on her practice in Livonia – you can still schedule with her there! We wish her the best and thank her for all her hard work here, including working most Saturdays for over a year! DCA “alumna” Jalyn Spencer will be re-joining us on Wednesdays and alternate Saturdays for a few months, so that Nora has a little more time to work on training. As part of her training, Dianne will be assisting Nora on the morning shifts. The new schedule will look like this (changes are in boldface):
Mondays 2:00 to 6:00 with Nora
Tuesdays 9:30 to 1:30 with Nora (and Dianne)
Wednesdays 2:00 to 5:00 with Jalyn
Thursdays 2:00 to 6:00 with Nora
Fridays 9:30 to 1:30 with Nora (and Dianne)
Saturdays 2:00 to 5:00 with Jalyn and Nora alternating weeks
In other words: Monday through Wednesday, the shift times are “flipped” AM for PM (and vice-versa); the second half of the week, our hours will be the same.
Also, please welcome new front-desker Becky! She’s been working part-time for CHAC in Ferndale for awhile and is joining us part-time as well, as part of our clinics’ joint effort to consolidate and improve our administrative tasks and give even better service. If you have suggestions for how we can do a better job, please let Becky (or Nora) know!
JANUARY TWOFER SPECIAL
We know change can be hard, even good changes; so to ease the transition we’re going to offer a 2-for-$20 special for all Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in January (i.e., for the shifts that are changing times). This is for new and returning patients (but you have to be two people scheduling together, on the same shift, to get the special).
Would you like to see DCA be open more hours, so that we could fit your schedule more flexibly–and treat more people? Would you like me to be able to take time off sometimes, without having to close shifts – and, more importantly, would you like to help ensure that the clinic doesn’t shut down if anything happens to me? Would you like to help the clinic provide rewarding, modestly-paying jobs to members of our community? Would you like the current staff to get paid slightly better, and have more stability in their jobs? Would you like us to open satellite locations closer to you or your dear ones? This is our dream! The ONLY way we can accomplish any of those things is to have more community acupuncturists working for us – and since we haven’t had much luck recruiting, we’re facing facts: we’ve got to train our own.
There are two solutions in the works, both of which are going to require a fair amount of patience and collective effort. The medium-to-long term solution is that we’re working on launching the first Community-Acupuncture oriented acupuncture school, POCA Tech (check out the website for lots, lots more about why we need our own school, more than you ever thought to ask about the state of the acupuncture profession, and how you can help – and stay tuned for the super fun fundraiser we have planned for February)!
POCA Tech is going to solve a lot of our problems, but here in Michigan we’re not sure we can wait three or more years for the first class to graduate. Therefore, Darlene (of CHAC in Ferndale) and I are going to try our best to turn out a couple of apprentices within the next year or so. Dianne Adank, who most of you know from our front desk, will be our first trainee! In her training so far, she’s shown a lot of the necessary qualifications for being a great acupunk: compassion, attention to detail, willingness to work hard, skill in working with her hands, and a great sense of humor. The next step, which will start this January, is to have her help out in the treatment room, by quietly observing, pulling people’s needles, keeping track of when people need to be done, etc. Eventually we’ll have her start needling people (probably for a reduced fee at first), but we’ll let you know when that happens.
Over the years, other people have mentioned an interest in studying and practicing acupuncture, but we weren’t ready to do this before now (in fact we’re barely ready now). We have one other potential trainee lined up, and probably can’t take on another until at least 9 months from now— that’s if this early experimental phase goes well. Those folks who may be interested in apprenticing in the future should email the clinic, and I will send you more information as soon as it is available (please do not call). For those of you who are just interested in learning a little more about acupuncture: in the course of developing our training materials, we think we can make some talks about more general topics open to the public. We will definitely post invitations to those when (if!) they happen.
Please note: this apprenticeship project involves a huge amount of unpaid work for Darlene and me (which we will essentially be taking a pay cut to do, because we have to work fewer hours to be able to do it right). We’re doing it out of a combination of desperation for help, love for our work, and a deep desire to see our clinics outgrow and outlive us. We’re going to be building this road as we travel, and we thank you in advance for being patient and understanding about any small bumps we may encounter. We hope that that this undertaking provides real benefit to our communities; and we wish you the best for the New Year!
Folks, we need your help.
The clinic has been getting busier, which is great! It means that we can catch up on some bills, and that Nora can get paid a little more regularly. But they say with success comes better problems, and we need your help and patience with those problems.
Where we need your patience is with the schedule. We know we need to expand our hours, and we really, really want to. Without going into too much detail, it’s physically and logistically very hard to work more than 25 hours a week needling – partly because there’s all the behind-the-scenes things that have to happen to make a business run, as well: the bookkeeping, the cleaning, the staff meetings, ordering supplies, answering emails, hunting down new recliners, photocopying forms, filling in for other staffers, etc. – you get the picture. Nora is already working as many hours as she can without burning out, as is Linda (between Detroit and Livonia). Why don’t we hire another acupuncturist, you ask? Believe us, we’ve been trying. One obstacle is that there are just not many acupuncturists in Michigan, and it’s hard to get people to move here from elsewhere. Another is that, to keep our fees low, we simply cannot pay very much, and acupuncture school is very expensive; so the student-debt-to-income ratio doesn’t make recruiting any easier. We’re hard at work on some medium-to-long term solutions (and we’ll make some announcements about them as soon as we can!) but in the short term we have to work with the schedule we have.
Now: given the tight schedule, we really, REALLY need people to show up for their appointments. We’ve had a rash of no-shows and last-minute cancellations lately, and we may have to get a little stricter about missed appointment fees. But what upsets us is not so much the lost income, as the lost opportunity to treat someone else. Several times lately we’ve had to turn drop-ins away because the schedule was too full, only to then have scheduled people not show up. This is really stressful for the whole staff–not to mention for the person who didn’t get treated on a day when they really could have used some acupuncture. So please, please, give us as MUCH notice as you can if you have to re-schedule. We don’t really have time to call everyone the night before to remind them of their appointments, and we know sometimes life will intervene and you won’t be able to make an appointment – we understand! But please, as much as you can, respect us, your fellow patients, and yourself by showing up, on time, as much as possible. As always, we will do our best not to keep YOU waiting; sometimes we’re going to squeeze in that person who dropped in because they’re getting a migraine, or there was a backup on the freeway and a couple of other patients were running late and we have to play catch-up. We know you understand, and we really do appreciate it. And, note to the folks who prefer not to schedule in advance: we’ll do our best to work you in, but you should probably call before coming, just in case we’re already booked solid.
Now, we WILL be open Labor Day (Monday the 3rd), but we will not be open Friday, September 7th OR Monday, September 10th. Nora is going to visit “The Mothership” clinic in Portland to work on some of those medium-to-long term collective solutions. She can’t wait to tell you more! Stay tuned!
The clinic will pretty much always be open if we can. If we have to have a “snow day” or close for some other emergency, we’ll try to post it here and on our Facebook page (the exception being an internet-interrupting emergency).
That said, we know a snowstorm can make it hard for patients to get here. Please give us a call to reschedule as soon as you know you can’t make it. (You can also reschedule online, if you’re already in the system – which you’ll know because you’ll have received confirmation emails.) If you can make your appointment, no need to call; we’ll just look forward to seeing you…and it’s nice and cozy in here!
The clinic will be closed this Friday & Saturday, December 25th & 26th, and the following Friday & Saturday, January 1st and 2nd. That means we will ONLY be open Monday through Wednesday the next two weeks (as we’ll be closed Thursdays and Sundays as usual). So make sure to schedule your treatments in, and if we don’t see you till January, have safe, happy, healthy holidays!
Some of these are common-sense; some of them might not be scientifically proven. I use all of them, though; try them and see what works for you!
Cover your neck when outside
Traditionally, instead of “catching cold,” Chinese Medicine theory uses the metaphor of “wind invasion.” In this metaphor, “wind” commonly “invades” the channels at the back of the neck/upper back, which is why you hardly ever see an acupuncturist without a scarf in the chilly months. Plus, who needs an excuse to rock a stylish scarf?
Don’t hang around in sweaty clothes
When you sweat, you are more “open” to wind invasion. So, after you work out, it’s best to dry the sweat off with a towel (if you can’t actually shower off), and change into dry clothes as soon as you can.
Raise your temperature & REST
This is the most important one. I rarely catch cold because I take herbs and go to bed early whenever I feel one coming on. Boring? Yes. But if you too have the kind of job where you don’t get paid if you don’t show up (especially if you love your job, like I do), staying in one night is worth not losing a week or two of work.
If you’re strong, you can sometimes fight the early onset of a cold by working up an (active) sweat – a short jog or brisk walk, for example; but if you’re already feeling run down and exhausted, it’s often better to gently raise your temperature a little bit, passively. This can be taking a warm bath, and/or taking a traditional herbal formula, chasing it with hot tea or soup, getting under some covers and resting for at least a half hour.
Eat lightly/lower on the food chain
If you can, go lightly on the cold, rich, dense foods (meat, nut butters, dairy products, sweets) and eat more soups and steamed veggies. Let your body save its energy for fighting that virus, instead of digesting heavy foods. As always, your mileage may vary; pay attention to your body’s needs.
Especially for those of you that live alone, I strongly suggest that you make up a pot of some nice congee or veggie soup and freeze some of it (we have a good congee recipe hand-out at the clinic, but you can google it too). That way, if you DO get hit with the flu, you’ll have some good nourishing food on hand. (And if you get really sick, call someone to look in on you, okay?)
When do you catch cold or flu? Some people always get sick after a big project is finished; or when they fly in an airplane; or when they haven’t been sleeping well; or when they’re having their menstrual cycle. Try to notice when your immune system tends to be most vulnerable, so you can take preventative measures. And, if you DO get sick, don’t beat yourself up about it, and try not to take it personally; remember those viruses have evolved to use us as hosts!
Last but not least, acupuncture can help keep your immune system functioning well – partly by giving your body some “concentrated rest” and a break from the stresses that can make you more vulnerable.
This isn’t Chinese Medicine, but I’ve heard many patients and friends swear by using a neti pot at the first sign of a cold. A similar piece of advice (from an MD) is: when stuck in a dry, closed place, such as an airplane or office, flush your nasal passages regularly by spraying with saline spray and blowing your nose. And, as always, avoid touching your face before washing your hands – and to avoid spreading viruses, please cough or sneeze into your sleeve, not your hands!
Feel free to add your favorite tips (or soup recipes) below!