An open letter to patients and supporters of Detroit Community Acupuncture:
I have bad news, good news, and a plea.
The bad news is that Detroit Community Acupuncture will close at the end of August. I have worked so hard to build this beloved clinic and keep it running, so it’s hard on my ego to see it close; but more than that, I have had so much help in building it and keeping it running that it feels like letting all those people down – not to mention all of our patients over the years. If my various attempts to build it bigger and more sustainable had been timed better, if the rent had not gotten so high around here, if my spouse were not looking for work, if I could afford to take on debt, if the winter had not been so slow…if any of those things or a million other small circumstances were different, I would probably stay put and keep fighting. But in the meantime I must step back and regroup.
This brings me to the good news:
I have accepted an offer by Darlene of Communtiy Health Acupuncture Center in Ferndale to come work with her there. The reality of our business is that a one-acupunk shop doesn’t make a lot of economic sense; it’s better for everyone at any clinic to have more employees and be open more hours, as long as those hours are busy enough. Keeping our fees low only works if we give a lot of treatments; so consolidating our energies into one clinic makes a lot more sense for now. I hope that if you can, you will come let me (or Darlene) treat you there.
The current plan is to gradually move some of my shifts to Ferndale, starting with Thursdays and alternate Saturdays and adding Mondays in August (one change is that I will be there on Thursday afternoons instead of mornings, for the time being.) This will begin this coming Thursday, July 10th. Our last day at DCA is projected to be Tuesday, August 27th. There are also family matters to take care of during this transition, so the schedule may be a little irregular for the next couple of months. PLEASE schedule in advance or CALL AHEAD to make sure that we are open. But please DO come in, both so that we can see you and (quite frankly) so that we can pay our last month’s rent. Feel free to continue referring new patients to either clinic! We will probably have a “garage sale” of excess furnishings that neither clinic needs; stay tuned for details. We will try to keep the website updated, but keep an eye on our Facebook page too.
It probably always feels bad to close a business down. But to close a business in a city that already has seen too many businesses closed, and jobs lost; to close a business whose mission is to help relieve the pains and stresses of working- and middle-class people…well, that feels really bad. Which brings me to my plea.
As you know, the clinic and I, and some of you, are proud members of the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA). You probably also know that POCA has made an enormous grassroots effort to launching an affordable acupuncture training program, which should happen this Fall–if we can get the money together. I’m sure that someday, maybe soon, someone from Detroit will go to this school, get much better training and preparation than I did (and with much less debt), and open a new community acupuncture clinic here. And because that person will be from the community, and will be better prepared and less financially burdened by their training, their clinic will be more likely to survive the normal ups and downs of business and weather and life in Detroit. Please help this future acupunk (perhaps they are you!) and help them help you and your community by donating whatever you can – maybe just $5 or $10, or the cost of a treatment – to POCA Tech.
Thank you all so much for all of your support over the past five years. It has been a very great honor to know you all and to try to support you. I will miss DCA, but hope to continue serving you at CHAC!
Sincerest best wishes,
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!
During the week of November 16th – 21st, all three Community Acupuncture clinics in the area (see sidebar for links to the other two) will be offering two-for-one treatments! This is for two reasons: to honor vets for Veterans’ Day, and to coincide with the Great American Smokeout.
Acupuncture has been used by lots of people to take the edge off of the cravings and stress associated with quitting smoking; we’re happy to be part of your plan to quit. So grab a quitting buddy – you can support each other, for better success – and come on down! (Walk-ins are welcome, as always, but we can only guarantee appointments if you call and schedule in advance.)
I’ll post more about this, closer to the actual event. Stay tuned!
Dear DCA patients and fans:
Nora will be out of town on Community Acupuncture business this weekend, so the clinic will be closed this Friday (Oct. 23rd) and Monday (Oct. 26th). The good news is, special guest acupuncturist Jalyn Spencer will be filling in for the regular Saturday shift in-between (October 24th – click on her name to find out more about her). Please welcome her back to Detroit by letting her give you a treatment! Call the clinic (313-831-3222) to schedule.
The following Saturday is Halloween, and the clinic will not only be open, we’re having a 2-for-1 special! We’re really overdue for getting some photos up on the website with *people* in them, so if you’re willing to let us use your smiling face (or needled feet), we’re offering 2-for-1 treatments that day in exchange (or, if you prefer, we’ll give you a gift certificate to give someone else). Please call to make an appointment, or schedule online.
September 28th & 29th, for personal reasons. We’ll be open again Wednesday, September 30th, at 2:00. Please feel free to leave a message on the clinic phone 313-831-3222. Thanks for your understanding.