Safety at Middleway during the Pandemic

 

The State of Oregon, including the Oregon Medical Board, and Middleway Medicine have decided that it is appropriate to offer acupuncture and our other usual services in our clinic as long as extra safety precautions are taken.  In addition to our usual sanitation measures, precautions we are taking include:

Don’t come if you have cold symptoms

    1. Cough
    2. Had a fever in the last week
    3. Exposed to someone with Covid -19
  1. Patients wait outside in parking lot for provider to get them(waiting room closed)
  2. Patients wear a mask entire time in the clinic and during treatment. Except when face down(no mask, no entry)
  3. Provider takes your temperature outside of building
  4. Bathroom is closed except for urgent situations
  5. Patients clean with hand sanitizer after walking inside of clinic
  6. Patient goes directly into the room
  7. Patient leaves all possessions in pocket/or purse
  8.  Your provider will wear a mask and be cleaning all touched surfaces with 70% Alcohol between all patients.

Fog Lights

 
by Clark Zimmerman, LAc.
 
The other day while I was driving my car, I began to hear a rattle that I hadn’t heard before.  Since my car is 15 years old, I had gotten used to new rattles showing up.  My usual remedy is to find the rattle and push on it, or give it a knock with my hand.  Sometimes this works, other times I just have to find a way to let it be.  This time it seemed to be coming from the dial that turns the headlights on.  I pushed on the dial and then gave it firmer tap, but the rattle persisted.  Then I tried pulling on the dial and to my surprise, not only did the rattle stop, but it turned on the fog lights that are set underneath the main headlights.  I’m a little embarrassed to say, I never knew that this is how these lights turned on.  I assumed that they were on as running lights when the car was on, but hadn’t noticed in my 15 years that they had their own control on the dial.  While regular lights are useful for looking further down the road, fog lights are more useful in a fog.  When a brighter and longer reaching light is reflected in the fog and can actually make it harder to see.  I think that things tend to happen for a reason, and if we are paying attention, we are constantly given information that is relevant for each moment.  So it wasn’t lost on me, in this time where the future is so foggy, that I finally discovered my fog lights.

Most of us strain ourselves to try to look into the future.  We believe that if we can just see what is coming our way, we can better prepare and avoid some of the suffering that may be in store.  While there is some benefit to looking ahead and preparing as best we can, the future is a mystery.  It is enshrouded in a sort of fog that is always going to be beyond our ability to predict or understand.  We can drive ourselves crazy going over all of the possible scenarios in an attempt to feel more in control, to feel safer.  But it is truly a fools errand to try to predict the future:  As the saying goes “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”  This is especially noticeable in times of great uncertainty. 

 No one knows what is coming, we are all improvising. 

It is times like this when we can take some inspiration from fog lights.  

Rather than focusing the light far ahead towards the horizon, we bring the light closer to where we are.  If we are trying to look too far into the future, it is like shining your high beams into the fog…it won’t help you see more clearly.  In fact will probably serve to make it harder to see.  

When you turn off the high beams and rely on fog lights, you are focusing your light closer to where you are:  You are shining it on the here and now.  You could say that fog lights are more for the moment at hand, rather than what is further ahead.  Not only does this allow you to be more in the moment and to better address the most pressing needs, you also lessen the likelihood of over-illuminating the the foggy terrain ahead and blinding yourself in the process.  

So how does this translate to times like these?  I have to keep reminding myself to stay with the moment.  Like most people in the world, I am noticing waves of fear, confusion and grief.  When I check in with myself I am noticing that typically these emotions are at their strongest when I am straying too far into the future.  When I pull myself back into the moment I notice that these challenges are joined by a sense of curiosity and hope.  I begin to wonder what the silver lining of this great upheaval will be.  Typically, great moments of evolution and growth are born from moments of great challenge and confusion.  These moments of hope and trust come more readily when I am focusing the light of awareness on the things that are close to me.  In these moments I notice the kindness of the people around, though I know that they too are struggling.  I see the small miracles and acts of courage that arise when we are pushed beyond the comfort of the familiar.  I see the love and the commitment that grows stronger with each new challenge.  I am also asked to explore deeper parts of myself that I haven’t had as much reason to explore until now.  

It is still very foggy ahead, and if I try to look too far down the road, I find myself  disoriented.  If I bring my gaze back to the light that is right near me, to the depths of myself, I find courage I didn’t know existed.  I find love and hope and appreciation for the simple ways in which life still goes on.  I can see greater detail in the path that I am traveling.  I may have to go a little slower, I may not arrive to the place that I originally thought I was heading to, but I arrive into the moment.  This is place where faith lives.  This is the place where the truth resides.  This is the place that the fog lights illuminate.  

The Sticky Stuff

by Clark Zimmerman, L.Ac.

 

The other morning I took a hike with my dogs in the mountains.  The sun had not yet crested the mountain next to the trail, so the trail was still in the morning shadows.  As I walked through a narrow spot on the trail, I ran face-first into a spiderweb that was between two trees.  It was quite a surprise to have the sticky web covering my face, as I hadn’t noticed it at all in the shadows of the morning.  Luckily, I didn’t feel a spider moving across my face.  I gently removed the web and continued on my walk, but it got me thinking about how spiderwebs can appear to be so different depending on the presence or absence of light.  Whether in the light or in the shadows, one thing is certain: webs are sticky.

I have always been fascinated with spiders.  They are master weavers who seem to spend so much time creating and maintaining their webs.  I feel a certain sort of guilt when I am cleaning and I have to remove a web from the corner of a room, as I think of all of the hard work that went into its creation.  Webs are works of art, but when they stick to you, they become a nuisance.  It is amazing how they can remain hidden in the absence of direct light, but in the presence of sunlight, they take on a life of their own.  They become dramatically radiant in the light.  Sometimes in the early morning, they are covered with dew that glistens like jewels when the sun catches them just right.  But the stickiness of a web is remarkable.  It reminds me of how sticky it can be to live as a human being. 

We all have parts of ourselves that can be quite sticky:  our judgments, our emotions, our desires, can all grab our attention and dominate a moment.  Some of the time we are aware of the things that get in the way of us being present.  Other times they can remain hidden from us.  It is like we are walking through the forest in the early morning and suddenly, seemingly without warning, our face is covered with a web.  Awareness is an amazing tool that is like inviting the sunlight into the moment.  When we practice awareness, we suddenly become noticeably conscious of the sticky webs that lie in our path.  What before was hiding in the shadows of our lives, can become quite obvious in the light of awareness.  Our hidden personality patterns, our habits, our addictions all start to show themselves as glowing works of art in our lives.  We might not think about such difficult things as works of art, but these things are what show us where we are stuck in our evolution as human being.  They point to the areas where we can improve and become more open and free.  They are crafted by years of experience. 

When we shine the light of awareness onto the path that we walk on, these places where we can get stuck become something to be fascinated by.  They become something to be curious about.  We may ask ourselves:  “How was this made?”  “What are the threads composed of?”  Once we begin to see the places where we get stuck in the light of awareness, these things can become great sources of growth.  They can catalyze huge change in the things that have been holding us back for much of our lives. 

Awareness practices come in many forms.  Some of the more common ones include meditation, self-inquiry, and therapy.  There are many forms of meditation that promote awareness.  When we meditate, we sit with the intention to simply watch all of our experience.  We watch our thoughts, feeling, emotions and the sensations in our body without the intention to control or judge them.  In watching these things, they begin to soften and show more of the underlying stories that feed them.  There is also the tool of self-inquiry, which is consciously playing with a pattern with curiosity as the driving principle.  When we sit with a riddle that seems to complicate our lives with the intention of understanding it, rather than judging it, we shine a ray of sunlight into the sticky places in life.  We can more clearly witness our patterns and the impact that they have on our thoughts and beliefs and on our relationships with others.  We can see the beauty of those parts of ourselves that have been hidden and use them to become a more whole person, a better version of ourselves.  Another helpful tool to increase awareness is therapy or group work.  Therapy allows someone else to reflect light into our blind spots in an effort to illuminate the hidden stories that can dominate our lives.

Whatever tool or tools we choose to work with, it is incredibly valuable to find ways to bring more awareness into our lives.  With more awareness, we can see a bigger, clearer view of the path that we call life.  We can see the beauty in the sticky parts, without getting so stuck.

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Talent, Oregon 97540

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Acupuncture & Herbal Clinic • Medford, Ashland, Talent, Phoenix, Oregon.