Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No More Gaps!

Starting in January 2011, we are eliminating shift breaks by tightening up our schedule.

We hope this will make it easier for folks to remember when we are open and to drop in for treatments when they need it.

New hours:

Mon 9:30 am - 6:30 pm

Tues 2:30 - 6:30 pm

Wed - Fri 11 am - 7 pm

Sat 10 am - 2 pm

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Schedule Changes

Friday 12/24
Reduced hours
11 am – 3 pm with Ellie
NO massage

Wednesday 12/29
Pam works for Mari

Saturday 1/1/11, New Years Day
Reduced hours
11 am – 2 pm with Ellie

We will be CLOSED on:
Saturday 12/25
Friday 12/31

Have a joyous and healthy holiday!
~ the folks at Sarana Community Acupuncture

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Poke-a-thon Fundraiser for Cherie McGee

Cherie McGee, co-founder of East Bay Community Acupuncture in Berkeley, CA has recently been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. To help our friend and fellow community acupuncturist while she is undergoing treatment, Sarana Community Acupuncture, in conjunction with other Bay Area Community Acupuncture clinics, is participating in a series of benefit treatment-days. Join us in supporting Cherie by making an appointment for acupuncture treatment at Sarana Community Acupuncture on November 14.
Acupuncturists Pam Chang, Mari Kubota, Tatyana Ryevzina, and Ellie Schafer will donate their time.

Whatever you pay for your treatment that day will be donated to Cherie.

When: Sunday November 14, 2010
10:00am ~ 4:00 pm

Make appointments online or by calling:

(If you wish to send a donation directly, you may address it to:
Cherie McGee, 2527 - 46th Ave., San Francisco, CA 94116)

Friday, October 29, 2010

November Schedule Changes and Substitutions

Sunday 10/31 - NO meditation due to Halloween
Friday 11/5 - NO MASSAGE
Monday 11/8 and 11/22, 2:30 - 6:30 pm - Mari works for Tatyana
Monday 11/15, 9:30 am - 1:30 pm - Ellie works for Pam
Wednesday 11/24, 10 am - 2 pm - Pam works for Tatyana

Thanksgiving Schedule:
Thursday 11/25 - CLINIC CLOSED
Friday 11/26 - REDUCED HOURS - 11 am - 4 pm with Ellie as practitioner, NO MASSAGE
Saturday 11/27 - regular hours

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Announcing our New Appointment Scheduling System

Starting on October 20th, 2010 we will begin using a new appointment scheduler, Appointment-Plus.

We believe that in the long run this will prove to be a much better service provider for our business and our clients.

Important things to know about this transition:

* Any future appointments you already booked will be transferred into the new system.

* The first time you use Appointment-Plus, you will need to re-register and create a new user id and password.

* You may not be able to see your previously booked appointments at first, so please call or email us if you need a reminder of what you booked prior to 10/20.

* New massage appointment structure: the massage appointment lengths will start with 10 minutes and go up to 60 in 10 minute increments. The minimum massage appointment length will be 10 minutes.

Please go online and visit our new appointment calendar system through our website or through this link.

If you have any questions or problems, do not hesitate to call or email us!

With much gratitude for all your support,
The folks at
Sarana Community Acupuncture

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

October 2010 Schedule Changes

Monday 10/11
Shortened schedule due to Columbus Day:
Pam - 11 am – 1:30 pm
Tatyana – 2:30 – 5 pm

Substituting for Pam week of 10/25 - 31:

Ellie: Monday 10/25 – 9:30am – 1:30 pm
Tatyana: Tuesday 10/26 – 2:30 – 6:30 pm
Mari: Thursday 10/28 – 10 am – 2 pm

No Massage on Fridays Oct 1 and 8

NO meditation on Sunday 10/31 due to Halloween

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Meditation at Sarana


SUNDAYS 7 – 8:15 PM

Starting August 15th, 2010
(No meditation on 10/31)

We will practice 30 minutes of silent sitting meditation followed by tea, stretches or conversation / short reading.
We will end with another few minutes of silent sitting.

  • Open to anyone - feel free to invite friends.
  • Any silent sitting meditation method is ok.
  • Simple instructions will be given to total beginners.

For questions:

Monday, August 9, 2010

Upcoming Schedule Changes

The following changes commence on Tuesday August 17th:

  • No more Tuesday mornings - Tuesday hours will be only 2:30 - 6:30 pm with Pam
  • Wednesdays: 10 am - 2 pm with Tatyana, 3 - 7 pm with Mari (NEW evening shift, note that Pam will no longer work Wednesdays)
  • Thursdays: 10 - 2 with Pam (NEW morning shift)
  • Fridays: 11 am - 3 pm with Ellie and 3 -7 pm with Mari (Expanded hours)
  • Saturdays: 10 am - 2 pm with Ellie (Expanded hours)

All our other hours will remain the same, see our website for details or pick up a schedule at the clinic.

Short-term changes and substitutions:

  • Monday, 8/16 - 2:30 - 6:30 pm - Mari covers for Tatyana
  • Monday 9/6 (Labor Day) - shortened schedule:
  • 11 am – 1:30 pm with Pam & 2:30 – 5 pm with Tatyana
  • Friday 9/10 – shortened schedule: 1 – 5:30 pm with Ellie
  • No massage on: 8/20 and 9/17

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Regular hours over 4th of July Weekend - Open Sat July 3rd and Monday July 5th

Wednesday, July 7
1:30 - 4:30 pm - Ellie covers for Pam

Friday, Jul 9
Fri 4 -7 pm - Tatyana covers for Mari

Monday, July 12
9:30 am - 1:30pm - Ellie covers for Pam

Tuesday, July 13
2:30 - 6:30pm - Ellie covers for Pam,
NO morning shift that day

Wednesday, July 14
11 am - 3 pm - Ellie covers for both Pam and Tatyana
shortened schedule

Thursday, July 15
2:30 - 6:30 pm - Mari covers for Tatyana

Monday, July 19
2:30 - 6:30 pm - Ellie covers for Tatyana

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Practitioner Schedule Changes

Monday 5/10, 2:30 - 6:30 pm - Ellie substitutes for Tatyana

Monday 5/17, 9:30 am - 1:30 pm - Ellie substitutes for Pam

Tuesday 5/18, 2:30 - 6:60 pm and Wednesday 5/19, 1- 4:30 pm - Mari substitutes for Pam

Thursday 6/3, 3 - 7 pm - Mari substitutes for Tatyana

We will be OPEN on Memorial Day, Monday 5/31

New Massage hours start Friday 5/21 - Fridays 3 - 6 pm with Sarah Liners
Last Day for Monday massage is 5/17

Friday, March 12, 2010

Practitioner Schedule Substitutions

Ellie and Pam will switch shifts on:
Tuesday 3/16
(Pam works 10 am – 1 pm, Ellie works 3:30-6:30 pm)

Tatyana will substitute for Pam on:
Saturday 3/27, 12 - 3 pm
Saturday 4/10, 12 – 3 pm

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Lunar New Year!

February 14th 2010 marks the beginning of the Year of the Yang Metal Tiger. The Chinese horoscope is based on a cycle of 12 animals (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig) and 5 elements, (wood, fire, earth, metal and water). Thus, a particular animal-element combination recurs only once every 60 years. In previous metal tiger years: (1830) the US congress passed the Indian Removal Act, France invaded Algeria, and the French July Revolution took place; (1890) The Japanese Meiji Constitution took effect, the US Congress established Yosemite National Park, and the Battle of Wounded Knee occurred; and (1950) the Korean War began, China invaded Tibet, and Mauna Loa in Hawaii and Mt. Etna in Sicily erupted. Famous metal tiger people include: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770); Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria (1830); Dwight Eisenhower, Ho Chi Minh, and Charles de Gaulle (1890), and singer Stevie Wonder and Olympic medalist Mark Spitz (1960).

The white (=metal) tiger is one of the most potent magic symbols in Asian shamanic traditions. The tiger is dangerously powerful, intense, unpredictable and fearless. The metal element adds a quality of precision to temper the raw strength of the tiger but will not reach its full strength until September-November. Thus, this year is one with great opportunity for direct and forceful actions, but, especially in the early part of the year, there is much potential for mishap and instability. Following are some prognostications given by Liu Ming, a wise and witty scholar of Daoist philosophy and astrology, who annually gives a talk on what might be expected in the upcoming year.

  • General Recommendations: Delay actions if possible until after April when the Tiger energy will be less chaotic, more focused, and more productive. If you are a tiger or dragon, enjoy your power but be wary of impulsiveness and excess. Horses, roosters, dogs, and pigs can expect a good year. Small animals –rats, rabbits, snakes, and monkeys—as well as oxen and sheep should lie low to avoid the Tiger whirlwind.
  • Globally, instead of Earth-Oxen year earthquakes, the Tiger will bring heat and unpredictability. Expect volcanoes and explosions as well as water-related catastrophes.
  • Politically, it will be a poor year for diplomacy – tigers neither make nor keep treaties. Influenced by uncompromising and aggressive Tiger energy, world leaders are likely to listen to their military advisors.
  • In business and finance, competition will be fierce on all fronts but the recalibration of “big” and “small” that began in 2001 will continue. Big conglomerates have so far driven a growth economy, but increasingly, small businesses that retain integral ties with their local roots – local pride, sense of community and concern for environmental protection – will find opportunities to succeed. Hard work and good products may become the basis of a new economy as conglomerate power becomes slow to react and unreliable.
  • In regard to health, the Tiger is tremendously powerful but has little immunity to the slightest infection. Metal is associated with the lungs. This year, be prepared for lung diseases, flu, widespread virulent contagious infections, allergies, and recurrent illnesses. Pay attention and make good choices for your health. This is an especially good year to adhere to a regular health practice.
  • In the Inner Realm, self-righteousness and spirituality are a call to war in Metal Tiger years. Instead, use the daring of the Tiger year to examine the spirituality inherent in your own heart. This is a good year to plunge yourself in a meditation practice, go on a retreat, and dig deeply.

The Metal Tiger year ends and the Metal Rabbit year begins on February 3, 2011 – a good time for recovering from the excesses of Tiger energy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Alternative Medicine for Cancer

Recently, a friend asked my advice regarding alternative medicine approaches for cancer patients. I have to start out with the disclaimer that acupuncturists are only authorized to treat the side effects of cancer and its treatment, not cancer itself. I also have to say that I cannot generalize about cancer – every cancer patient has a different experience of the disease. But I can offer my perspective from having been diagnosed with stage I ovarian cancer in 2005 while I was studying traditional Chinese Medicine. This is the letter I wrote to my friend.

Dear X:

Unlike with Western Medicine, there are no standard protocols, no statistics, no controlled studies for treatment of cancer with alternative medicine. If you choose alternative therapies, you will be performing an uncontrolled experiment on yourself in real time with no guarantees (but then when were there ever guarantees in life?).

I speak only from my experience in having had cancer and having elected not to follow standard western protocols for radiation or chemotherapy post-surgery. What you can take from this that may be applicable to yourself is something that you have to figure out. No one else, really, can do this research for you. You have to take a very proactive approach because, ultimately, you have to convince yourself that you are making the right decisions for taking care of yourself regardless of whether or not you will die from them.

After my surgery, I had to assume that cancer would recur unless I made radical changes both in decreasing my exposure to carcinogens and improving my inherent resistance to disease. There are a gazillion claims in the world for therapies that cure cancer; probably most of them sometimes work for some people. There is a book,
Brain Longevity (by Dharma Singh Khalsa,), that makes the point that you can't know which one therapy is best for optimum health, so try as many as make sense to you – they may act in synergy.

My particular approach included dietary changes, dietary supplements, Chinese herbs, weekly acupuncture, daily exercise, meditation, and increased sleep. Most of these changes I continue to follow (5 years post surgery), although I have relaxed much of the regimen over time.

Diet changes are the biggest. I eliminated most dairy, refined sugars, refined flours, and processed foods, and I switched from canola oil to butter, coconut or grapeseed oils for stir-frying. I have become mostly vegetarian and, when eating meat products, I try to stick with < ¼ lb per serving of organic products only. I also avoid fried foods, cured foods, and barbecue. I eat my blend of 9 whole grains for breakfast daily (See this link for the recipe and preparation instructions.) and I now subscribe to a Full Belly Farm box of organic vegetables delivered every other week. For diet, I strongly urge following Michael Pollan's guidelines in
In Defense of Food. Immediately after surgery, I took the advice of my Chinese and Western Nutrition instructor about taking dietary supplements. These included Vitamins A, C, E and selenium (antioxidants), vitamin B complex, cod liver oil, (for Vitamin D), flax oil (for omega-3s), alphalipoic acid, pycnogenol, a 'green' drink (concentrated powdered green vegetables including seaweeds), and digestive enzymes. It was a huge regimen. (Many of these supplements are also recommended in Brain Longevity). I tapered off most of the supplements after my 2-year post-surgery date as I believe that getting nutrients from whole foods is best. Now the only supplements I take are cod liver and flax oil. I took anti-cancer specific Chinese herbs for 2-1/2 years. These were prescribed by an acupuncturist who specialized in treating cancer patients. He provided me with herb powders that I drank as a tea 2-3 x / day, 4-6 days per week (about $100 for a 6 week supply). I bought and mixed the raw herbs and decocted those on weekends (about $200 for a 1-year supply). Talk to your oncologist before you start any Chinese herbs. As I was not a chemo patient, my doctors didn't care what I took, but I understand that many oncologists have objections to mixing Chinese and Western medicines. I also drank a homegrown kefir culture, for 20 days/month for 3 years and have recently started it up again. These days, I no longer take the anti-cancer herbs but I do take Chinese herb pills for boosting energy, blood, yin, and yang. Exercise-wise, I started off with the aim to do Tai Chi daily. After about a year, this became 3-5 times per week and now is about 2x / week, but I get daily exercise either by bicycle commuting or doing a minimum 3 minutes of stretches. I also took adult swimming lessons, which, I believe, contributed to the re-normalization of my blood pressure. For about 1.5 years, I meditated for at least 15 minutes at the end of each day. And for 5 years now, I have received weekly acupuncture treatments. From all indications, I do not have cancer currently and, in many ways, am healthier than I was 5 years ago. My blood markers for ovarian cancer are extremely low and my blood pressure has gone from borderline hypertension to normal. My cholesterol levels have remained very low – nowhere near the high levels of others in my family. My complexion is clearer, my flexibility and balance better, my pulse is stronger, and my tongue looks healthier (from a Chinese medicine standard); my friends say I look good and I feel good. I mention these because they are the markers that you will need to use as a measure of your own healthiness. I hope this helps you in charting your own course for living with a cancer diagnosis.
-Pam Chang