Monday, February 23, 2015

Volunteer Opportunities

Help us keep Sarana humming with wonderful community spirit. Join our great team of volunteers and help sustain and grow "the quiet revolution" of affordable, community-based acupuncture.
Free acupuncture is part of your reward for volunteering! All our volunteers are members of the POCA co-op and are regular Sarana clients.

Cleaning & Laundry
Do you love cleaning? We have an immediate opening for a weekly volunteer housekeeper to help keep the clinic sparkling and tidy. We use only environmentally-friendly biodegradable cleaning products. The work includes vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, dusting and some mopping. This job takes 2-3 hours per week and needs to be done outside of clinic operating hours. Every other week cleaning is also a possibility if you cannot commit to every week.
We also have a need for a laundry volunteer for 1-2 times per month for about 2 hours each shift.

Front Desk
Weekly reception shifts are between 2 and 5 hours long, and training and support are provided. Basic computer skills and the ability to multitask while remaining friendly and calm are very important. We ask our volunteers for a minimum commitment of 6 months.

Are you a natural “Fix-It” person? We have a new volunteer opportunity for someone to help with maintenance and minor repairs of physical things at the clinic. This person will need to be available/on call for issue resolution and also to inspect the premises at least 2 x/ month in order to find and correct  potential problems. The work is expected to take 4-5 hours per month.

To learn more and apply, please email ATTN: Donna, call the clinic (510.526.5056) or just stop by and ask.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Staff / Schedule Changes & Welcome to Jason Sandys!

It's a new Lunar New year and some new developments are in the air at Sarana.

We are saying goodbye to Lynn Bertzyk at the end of this month -- her last day with us will be Friday February 27. We are so very grateful to Lynn for all her hard work and dedication, and we look forward to seeing her occasionally as a substitute practitioner.

We also warmly welcome Jason Sandys LAc to Sarana's acupuncturist team!
Jason is a California licensed acupuncturist with a strong commitment to the community acupuncture practice model.

More about Jason in his own words:

I grew up in nearby Sonoma California.  I attended UC Santa Cruz for my undergrad studies in Film and Video with a year-long-life-altering travel adventure in between my studies.  This led me to yet more traveling...this time to teach English in Changsha China for a year.  I returned to China for another year to study the Chinese language, enjoy the culture, indulge in the food, and steep with the tea.  

I never liked needles and was disenchanted with our health care system, so needles(s) to say it took some time for me to find my calling in Acupuncture/East Asian Medicine.  But I guess all that time in China had an impression on me.  When I finally decided upon my path I was living in Portland, OR so I studied at OCOM (Oregon College of Oriental Medicine).  During school I had an observation shift at Working Class Acupuncture which inspired me to practice in a community acupuncture setting and reach as many individuals as possible with this wonderful medicine.  

When not needling patients, I'm spending time with my toddler (anything to do with trains).  You may also find me bike commuting, cooking, fermenting, brewing, practicing TaiJi, hiking, drinking tea, or taking photographs. 

Starting in March, Jason will work the following shifts:

  • Fridays, 11 am - 3 pm
  • Tuesdays,  2 - 6:30 pm**

**Please note that Pam will be switching from working Tuesdays to working on Sundays 10 am - 2 pm.

Please check this link for any upcoming staff substitutions and schedule changes, we update this post regularly.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

2015 Lunar New Year of the Yin Wood Goat

February 19, 2015 marks the beginning of the Year of the Yin Wood Goat (or Sheep). The Chinese horoscope is based on a cycle of 12 animals (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat/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 Chinese astrology this sign represents a domesticated mountain goat, and the Yin Wood Goat is thought of as a female baby goat – playful and adorable. Goats are identified with artistic expression, social harmony, fairness and cooperation.  They are idealistic and egalitarian.

During the last (yin) wood goat year (1955), President Eisenhower sent “advisers” to Vietnam, the Warsaw Pact was signed by 8 European Countries, the FDA approved the polio vaccine, and Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus.

Famous goat personalities include: Michelangelo, Franz Liszt, Mark Twain, Barbara Walters, George Harrison, Joni Mitchell, and Federico Fellini.

While 2014, the year of the (yin) wood horse, was a time of child-like vigor and direct action without much careful thinking, the goat brings gentleness, adaptability, great capacity for compromise, and effective non-verbal communication. Wood goats in particular are sincere, disciplined and industrious, making this a great year for renewal and improvements on the personal and global levels. Following are prognostications offered by Daoist scholar Liu Ming.

General Recommendations:  As the newborn goat starts jumping and playing hours after being born, the new year’s shift to wood goat energy will happen quickly in the Spring. This year offers a fresh start and an opportunity to refine our vision and reshape our environment. Begin re-visioning early so that projects can grow in the summer. In autumn, refine and perfect your new vision and in winter, let it take root for the future.
Goat energy brings a strong aesthetic awareness, not as a decorative quality, but as an expression of deep meaning. Child-like straightforward innocence and honesty are very important for success in this year.

World Politics: Goats flourish best in small egalitarian herds. It is a good year to act collectively to help others and to create social change. Many treaties are signed and alliances are made in goat years, but sometimes the goat’s idealism and naiveté result in betrayal and plans falling through without contingency arrangements. Nevertheless, this year's energy offers us the opportunity to nurture peace and basic human rights within our own hearts and communities, and thence, within the larger world.

Business and Finance: Innovation and an expanded way of thinking about success will be the most effective strategy. It is a good time to reinvent and redefine the meaning of wealth and prosperity. Sustainability, green practices and supporting local economic structures appeal to the goat’s sense of idealism and community.

Health: The wood goat year offers everyone a chance for healing and recovery. Education and self-care practices will play a big role in improving health. Plant medicine will be an effective tool. Exploring new practitioners and medical modalities is a good idea. This year, developing a relationship of trust between client and practitioner can play a major role in the healing process.

Spirituality: Goats are very successful herd animals, and in the goat year spiritual practice in community is key. Strong charismatic spiritual leaders will not be necessary, and will be scrutinized with caution, especially if they do not walk their talk. Many people will form and join new spiritual communities; new places of worship and religious practice will likely manifest worldwide.

Relationships:  The wood goat represents innocence, so friendship will dominate while romantic love will be largely absent.  Group settings will be good places to find a partner, but even then, romance will arrive slowly and friendship will be favored. In the spirit of renewal, the wood goat year is a good time to let go of stagnant relationships.  This is an important year for listening to children and giving them extra loving care and encouragement. Kids should be patiently taught responsibility, kindness and teamwork.

The wood goat year will end and the fire monkey year will begin on February 8, 2016

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Community Acupuncture from an Acupuncturist's Eye View

At Sarana, we schedule return acupuncture appointments at 10 minute intervals yet you almost never have 10 consecutive minutes of your acupuncturist's time. What are we doing when we're not treating you? Here's the view from my side of clinic operations.

My clinic day begins the previous evening. I'm not an early riser so I look at scheduled clients' charts on-line the night before. I make a list of who I'm seeing along with reminders of things I want to follow-up. I usually arrive at Sarana before 9 am, about 30-40 minutes before my morning shift starts. This gives me time to turn on the lights and heat, make sure that the chairs are neat, the bathrooms clean, and to check for stray needles on the floor. Meanwhile, one of Sarana's team of wonderful receptionists arrives to print out the list of clients for the day, check telephone messages, and set up the waiting area. By now, I will have about 5-10 minutes to open the back-area computer where we do on-line charting and look up the records of clients who booked in the last 12 hours. Or if someone comes early, I can get an early start.

Treating – the part of our interaction that you experience – is limited to about 5 minutes of talking, feeling pulses, adjusting pillows, inserting needles, and spreading blankets. Once I've done these and wished you a good nap, I have to trust that the healing process is set up. What happens to you next is a result of time, the group energy in the room, your ability to go into deep relaxation, and the needles doing whatever they do. Now it's time for me to move on.

Having treated you, I take a look around the room and make sure that everything appears in order. It's my job to “hold the space”, to be aware of what's going on, to ensure that you can nap securely. If other clients have entered the treatment area, I will want to greet them. If several arrive simultaneously, I will want to let them know how long they can expect to wait. If someone has woken, I will check if it is time to remove needles. If someone has left, I will “fluff” the recliner and make the area welcome for a new arrival.

I also need to record treatment notes for each client. If I have a gap in my schedule, I can type notes directly to each client's record. But if the schedule is busy, after every 2nd or 3rd, or 4th client, I will need to jot notes on my cheat-sheet: a list of points needled, requested wake-up times, and sometimes reminders of chief complaint or future follow-up.

A few times each shift, I will check in with the front desk area, sometimes to verify the identity of a client I don't recognize, sometimes just to see if everything is running smoothly. I must also take care of my own needs, check that the bathrooms are still clean and stocked with hand towels, and wash my hands frequently.

At the end of my shift, I need to have written a chart note for every client I've seen. On a busy day, this could be 25-or-so people. Sometimes, I also need to follow through on things I've promised clients: information, herb prescriptions, billing statements. Typically, I'm done by about 3:30pm on a day when I'm scheduled to treat people from 9:30am to 2pm. By this time, I'm ready for lunch and my own acu-nap.

~ by Pam Chang, 2/8/15