Autumn Brings Change

The weather begins to shift, the wind picks up, and the leaves on some of our Bay Area trees prepare for winter. As humans, we are predisposed to change. It keeps our lives fresh, our brains fed, and our souls nourished. Qi must move in order to stay alive.

I am thrilled to announce a change in my practice location. I have the wonderful opportunity to branch out to not just one but two new offices. I enjoy bringing peace to the hustle bustle of downtown, so I will maintain a Financial District presence. In addition, I will be able to treat a variety of people from other parts of San Francisco in my new Castro/Duboce location.

In my downtown location I will be working alongside a friend and colleague I have known for 20 years, since we began our acupuncture master program in 1997. In my second location my office will be solo, in a suite with therapists — a lovely, quiet and serene place to take an acu-nap.

I look forward to seeing you soon!

100 Bush Street, Suite 530
San Francisco, CA 94104
Tues & Thurs

2148 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
Mon, Wed & Fri

New Law Includes Acupuncture!

Rarely does a new law get me as excited as our new health care law, the Affordable Care Act. I had largely steered clear of the political bantering, or of learning much about the law until I attended a billing conference recently. I was incredibly pleased to come away learning that the law actually benefits Californians who seek acupuncture.

According to California’s interpretation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare as some people prefer to call it), acupuncture is considered to be an Essential Health Benefit. What this means, quite plainly, is that any insurance company that provides benefits for California residents must cover acupuncture.

One of the main questions that potential patients ask me is: “does my insurance cover acupuncture?” Prior to January 1, 2014, I would have to look up each individual plan to find out. Now I can very clearly state: Yes.

Now, is anything, particularly related to insurance, that simple? Not quite. Plans are still unique. Some plans will have deductibles to satisfy. Other HMO plans such as Kaiser or Brown & Toland here in San Francisco, though they do have to pay for acupuncture, have a small number of in-network acupuncturists. It remains to be seen what will happen within the HMO system. My hope is that the increased patient demand will force Kaiser and Brown & Toland to pay for out-of-network acupuncture. If you have Kaiser or any other HMO, do not despair.  There are still affordable options available to you.

The exciting bottom line is that the Affordable Care Act essentially removed a few barriers to receiving acupuncture. Not only does it increase access for millions of Californians, it validates acupuncture as a useful, effective and ESSENTIAL method of treating a variety of conditions.

Ready to make your next acupuncture appointment?

Come on Downtown for some Acupuncture!

I am excited to share the news that I have moved my office to downtown San Francisco!

The time was right for making a change. After nearly a decade in my home office, I decided it was time to rejoin the bustle of downtown. I am now working with Peggy Newcomer, DO, Board Certified Family Physician.

My new office is located on the 12th floor of the historic Mills Building. Centrally located, there is a parking garage beneath the building and under adjacent buildings for your convenience. Arriving by transit, the Mills Building is just one block from Montgomery Street station (BART/Muni).

I look forward to seeing you downtown!

Boland Family Acupuncture
220 Montgomery Street, Suite 1212
San Francisco, CA 94014

Acupuncture, Your Health, and the World Series

Tomorrow is Game 1 of the 2012 World Series–the San Francisco Giants against the Detroit Tigers!

Not everyone reading this post is a baseball fan, but keep reading to see how similar we are to all of the Giants and Tigers players.  Professional baseball players have gotten where they are for a variety of reasons: talent, luck, and physical conditioning, among other things. You may think that you have nothing in common with  professional athletes, but you do. One of the key elements of their success is their team of health care providers both on and off the field. Without this team of medical professionals, these athletes would not be where they are today.

What does this mean for the rest of us? We all have our own team of professionals. Look around you — who are the ones who keep you going on a daily basis? Who helps you out when you’re hurt or ill? More importantly, who helps keep you going when you are well? Wellness care is equally essential, if not more, than intervention during illness. In fact, in ancient China, doctors were often fired when their patients became ill!

Western medicine is designed to treat illness, and in a lot of ways it excels in its endeavor. However, can you imagine a life with minimal pain or illness? While we all hold different keys to our own health, here are some ways to bring your health back to your consciousness:

1) Sleep. It can be as simple as knowing your natural circadian rhythm. As much as you can, allow yourself to fall asleep naturally, then see what time you wake up, without help from an alarm. You’ll learn a lot about your internal clock, and may not have to fight the pillow as much if you can keep to your natural rhythm.

2) Exercise. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to work out 5 times per week in a gym. Look at your day-to-day patterns. Are you sitting for 9 hours at work and then another 4 -6 at home? Stand up more, walk the halls, get outside at lunch, and take the breaks that are provided to you.

3) Gather your friends. Maintain your friendships, be active with them, make meals together, enjoy cups of coffee or glasses of wine, and be sure to laugh on a regular basis.

4) Gather your health team. Keep up on your regular dental appointments, get acupuncture monthly even when you feel fine, see a great chiropractor or Pilates instructor to keep up your physical alignment. If money is a concern, stagger your appointments so that you have something every other week. The bottom line is that health is cheaper than illness.

And, for those Giants fans, go team!

Acupuncture for a Healthy Autumn

I hope you had a lovely summer filled with sunshine, family, and good health. Autumn has begun, the kids are back in school, and most of us are going to be working hard for the next several months. Now is a great time to take a quick break to assess your state of health. Start by taking three slow, steady breaths — in through your nose, out through your mouth. Do you notice any tension in your body? Perhaps you feel a tightness in your upper back, or a low-grade headache. Do you notice a need to rush through these breaths? How else do you feel? Are you sleeping soundly through the night? How is your digestion? Are you able to focus and concentrate on your tasks each day?

While is rather common to ignore signs of tension or illness, taking a proactive approach to your well-being has many benefits. I have found that maintaining health and wellness is easier than working hard to achieve this state once illness has set in. If your body is showing signs of fatigue or tension, be sure to listen. Take a look at what you are eating, get yourself to bed an hour earlier tonight, get some light exercise, and by all means, get some acupuncture.

Happy Autumn!

The Great Health Care Debate: Who Receives Acupuncture More, Women or Men?

Who seeks acupuncture more, women or men?

In my practice, the number of women I see is well more than double the number of men. Women’s reproductive systems are more complicated than men’s, thus women are more likely to seek care for hormone-related issues. However, in a family practice such as mine, this should not account for the high proportion of female patients.  Given that I treat pain, stress, insomnia, digestive issues–really anything related to inflammation, where are the men? I know that men are active, have pain and injury, experience stress and insomnia, so how are they treating themselves? Or are they?

I often hear from women that they are trying to get their male partners to try acupuncture. They love it, and just know that their partner would also love it. More often than not, it’s the wife or girlfriend who makes the appointment for her partner.  When I probe my female patients as to why their partners are hesitant to try acupuncture, they typically tell me that their partners don’t like going to the doctor or are afraid of needles. As some women describe it, he’s got to have his arm dangling from his body in order to seek medical attention.

This begs the question, what does it take to reach out to men? Do men need to be in crisis to seek medical care?

Take a moment and add your two cents.