FAQ

Sliding scale pricing: The lack of affordable access to natural medicine services is an important part of why I entered the natural medicine field and I’ve always offered my services at affordable and/or sliding scale prices.

This summer, after taking a year off to relocate and tend to my own health, I am offering donation-based treatments for a small group of people. This is my offering to my sisters on the journey AND your way to help a practitioner re-enter practice after time off. Please see this page for details.

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What is the Bardo? -Or- Why did you name your practice THAT? “Bardo” is a Tibetan Buddhist term for a very potent in-between time/space. We’re most familiar with it referring to the “Bardo Thodal“, the time from when a dying person expires their last exhale to when their mind-stream is reborn into another body. It should not be construed as a negative time or synonymous with the Christian concept of “Limbo” (which refers to “the edge of Hell”, and is a doctrine concerning the afterlife condition of those who die in original sin without being assigned to the Hell of the Damned).

Even according to Tibetan Buddhism, the classical between-lives Bardo is not the only one. There are six bardos described: the bardo of this life (from birth until death); the bardo of dreaming; the bardo of meditation; and further defined Bardo spaces in the death-rebirth process. All bardo states have one thing in common: They are stages between one more concrete “stage” or identity and another, during which the person or consciousness experiencing that condition is neither quite one thing or another. Western anthropologists/sociologists have termed this condition liminality.

In the bardo of our present life, we can find ourselves in many in-between places, or mini bardos, if you will. I named my practice “Bardo” because during the time I was having to come up with a new Portland practice name after leaving my old practice Rosewood Acupuncture & Ayurveda in Austin, Texas (still being run by co-founder Kathy Duffy) to relocate to Portland, Oregon, I was in a Bardo space between home bases and stages of life and experiencing ongoing, recalcitrant perimenopausal issues. I would often find myself having no other term to describe the situation that I was in other than “a Bardo of some kind”. And it turned out that no one else in the world had that practice name, unlike almost every other practice name I could come up with, so Bardo it was!

While being in in between spaces in our lives can be unpleasant, disorienting or downright terrifying, I believe we can try to put a positive light on things by seeing it as an opportunity for transformation, to pass from one version of our Selves to Another, hopefully with a little grace. That’s what I’ve tried to do and I hope that I can offer a little bit to help others who find themselves in similar situations. As a dear client of mine in Austin once said when I told her I’d been experiencing some challenges myself:

We’re all just walking each other home” -Ram Das

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What is Acupuncture? Acupuncture is an important treatment modality within the broader system of Classical Chinese Medicine, a 2,000+ year-old complete system of medicine developed in China over several millennia. Acupuncture is the insertion of very thin, filiform, sterile stainless steel needles into specific acupuncture points or painful, soft-tissue “Ashi” points in order to adjust the circulation of energy (“qi”), blood & lymphatic flow and neurotransmitters both in the local area and throughout the whole body. While the exact mechanism of action is not thoroughly understood, much research is being conducted and there are several known mechanisms of action at this time. Acupuncture has repeatedly been shown to reduce pain and inflammation.

WE DO NOT RE-USE ACUPUNCTURE NEEDLES! They are single-use and disposed of in a bio hazard container after use.

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What does acupuncture treat? So many things! According to the World Health Organization (WHO) it can treat many types of conditions, such as:

Upper-respiratory:  Common Cold, Cough, Asthma, Bronchitis, Influenza

Uro-Genital /Gynecology:  Pregnancy Support, Fertility, Irregular Menstruation, PMS, Menopause, OBGYN Disorders, Incontinence, Urinary Dysfunction, Prostate Dysfunction

Gastrointestinal:  Diarrhea, Constipation, Ulcers, Acid Reflux, Colitis, Dysentery, Gastritis, Indigestion, IBS, Vomiting, Nausea, Poor Appetite, Gallstones

Cardiovascular:  Heart Disease, Hyper-/Hypotension, Tachycardia

Immune Deficiency:  Allergies, Chronic Fatigue, Lupus, HIV, Chemotherapy Support, Auto-immune Diseases

Mental / Emotional Health:  Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Attacks, Memory Loss, Insomnia, OCD, PTSD, SAD, ADD/ADHD, Stress

Musculo-skeletal:  Neck/back Pain, Headaches, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Fibromyalgia, Frozen Shoulder, Migraine, Tennis Elbow, Work/sports Injury, Arthritis, Sciatica, Sprain/strain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Endocrine:  Diabetes, Thyroid Disease, Hormonal Imbalances

Eyes, Ear, Nose and Throat:  Tinnitus, Sore Throat, Tonsillitis, Canker Sore, Eye Disorders, Dental Pain, Toothache, Gingivitis

Neurology:  Neuropathy, Bell’s Palsy, Stroke, Numbness, Pain, Paralysis

Addiction:  Smoking Cessation, Chemical Dependency Treatment…

Acupuncture is also increasingly recognized by Western medicine as an effective alternative or adjunct to conventional treatments especially for pain conditions, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, joint conditions, and asthma as well as for the side effects of chemotherapy and nausea related to pregnancy. Acupuncture is also used to alleviate acute sinusitis due to allergies. It can also be very effective, as part of a complete protocol, for reducing cravings associated with addiction. The US military is using acupuncture for to treat active soldiers and veterans.

Because acupuncture has so many positive effects on the body with minimal side effects, it is often considered an important part of an integrative medicine treatment plan.

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Is Dry Needling the same as acupuncture? Yes, basically it is. The term “Dry Needling” is a marketing and re-branding tactic developed by non-acupuncturists such as Physical Therapists (PT’s) and Chiropractors (DC’s) in order to allow them to perform acupuncture without obtaining an acupuncture license (which involves a number of years of schooling and a state-by state licensing process). In some states, this practice has been banned through legal challenge where a judge has determined that Dry Needling is, indeed, a form of acupuncture. This is not to say that the practice of Dry Needling is bad or ineffective! It’s not! It is a type of acupuncture that uses very strong needle stimulation directed into the motor points of muscles -many of these points (such as Gallbladder 21) are in fact, historically documented acupuncture points. And in Chinese Medicine, any point in the body can be an “Ashi Point”, a painful area that is needled into to make the muscle fasciculate (twitch) and release. Acupuncturists can and do practice Dry Needling using filiform needles!

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Does acupuncture hurt? We always strive to make your experience as comfortable as possible! The most common sensation might be a quick prick felt during insertion, though if we use special extra thin, coated needles, you may not even feel that! Other sensations may be an achy or dull/heavy feeling at the needle insertion site. Occasionally, if we get the point just right, there may be a stronger sensation called “De Qi” as the “qi” grabs the needle, this still isn’t really a “painful” sensation! In contrast to “Dry Needling” technique addressed above, acupuncture treatment performed by an acupuncturist is typically not painful, while most people report Dry Needling performed by PT’s to be quite uncomfortable -which is another great reason to get your acupuncture from a licensed Acupuncturist!

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What is Ayurveda? Ayurveda is a complete classical medical system developed in India over the past 2500+ years. It uses diet, herbs, manual therapies/massage, yoga and other treatment modalities to create health and balance in the body, mind and spirit. What does Ayurveda treat? Again, like Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, it can treat a wide range of conditions, but it is especially great for improving digestion, as basic Ayurveda diagnosis and treatment considers digestion to be the root of health. Ayurveda also has a strong focus on the connection between mental and physical health and the interplay between the two.

Do you perform Panchakarma, the detoxification protocol of Ayurveda? I do not offer Panchakarma at this time, but I can help you do your own enhanced home cleanse where we can have you do stronger practices than what would be offered via those programs offered online or at a yoga studio. I have had clients get great results just from following this home cleanse protocol.