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Bluebird Update #5

by April Fitzsimmons, AP

Blue Bird of Happiness Healing Arts

April Fitzsimmons, AP

Hey There Blue Birdies,


I am sorry that I am late for this week’s email update but I guess you can say the cat got my tongue.  I spent the day cleaning the office and getting ready to reopen.  Even though “reopening” might never look like a ‘normal’ day that we remember from Pre-Covid-19 days..  and that is perfectly ok.  Like I wrote about in a previous update, our life and existence has become so Yang in nature.  By that I mean that we have been programmed to think that the busier we are the more productive or successful that makes us.  Or that we have to be on the “Go, Go, Go” all the time.  This leads to an imbalance and a lack of Yin.  The nature of Yin is to nourish, go inward, stay home, nurture and be with mother earth, and rest.  To be in health means to be in balance with Yin and Yang.  So as uncomfortable as any forced change can be, this forced ‘Yin’, time of quarantine, has done us good, even if it may have seemed like torture to some.  


My lesson from this forced ‘Yin’ time, is that life isn’t only about professional achievements, status, or having the cleanest house.  It is about balance and doing what makes you happy.  It is about sleeping in without feeling guilty, or hunting for sharks teeth on the beach until you get kicked off.  When one is happy and balanced, then one will achieve what is best for themselves in life and in health.  I know that this may not seem realistic for everyone.  But even reading this will put it into your consciousness and hopefully continue to bring about the awareness and gratitude for the little things that we so easily forget when we become too busy (yang).  


I recently came across this quote: “We will not go back to normal.  Normal never was.  Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack.  We should not long to return to this my friends.  We are given the new opportunity to stitch a new garment.  One that fits all of humanity and nature.” - author unknown 


Now for the fun stuff ;) 


Today’s joke from our friends on 16th street:  “Why don’t ants get sick?”  “Because they have little ANTibodies.  Hahaha I thought that was funny.  

Office Update: 


I finally have found an online booking website that I like.  Here is the site:  


https://bluebird-of-happiness.genbook.com

You do not have to book through this website.  It is just another option for you guys and it is going to help me to reschedule everyone from the past six weeks.  Eventually you all will start receiving text or email appointment reminders and I will implement the cancellation policy.  Starting May 5th, I will be opening (phase one) following the social distancing guidelines.  I will only see a limited number of people a day and one patient at a time and asking that you wait in your car prior to your appointment to avoid time spent in the waiting area.  If you feel that you are part of the “vulnerable" population to please stay home and wait until phase 2.  


Since, the office will be opened I will have less time to write these email updates.  However, I have really enjoyed it and feel in some way that it gave us a since of community through this time.  It is my goal to continue these on a biweekly or monthly basis.  I look forward to seeing you all when you feel safe to do so and please know that I am here for you.  


In Health and Happiness,

April and Blue 

www.bluebirdhealingarts.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Bird Quarantine Update Week 4

by April Fitzsimmons, AP

Yooohoooo!  Hello Blue Birdies,


I know you all have been waiting for this weeks joke from our happy neighbors down the road on 16th Street.  Here it is:  “How do you get an astronauts baby to stop crying?” - “You Rocket!”  Which leads me to the excellent news that our boy Rocket, who was featured in last weeks email, has been ADOPTED!!  I can’t make this kind of stuff up.  The synchronicity of that being the joke of the day, and finding out that Rocket is in a happy home is just awesome.  


So how are you all doing?  Week four in quarantine feels like an eternity but there is light at the end of the tunnel, I can finally see it (hoping it is not an illusion).  This week I learned that in Japan when someone really ‘loves’ someone, the term “I love you” isn’t what they say.  Instead they say “Thank you” as a term of endearment.  Think about that for a minute.  Gratitude in Japanese culture is more endearing than ‘love’.  This really resinated with me because I still believe that when this pandemic is over, or becomes less of a life altering condition, that the lesson we are all going to come out with is one of gratitude.  I know for me, like last week, I am still really appreciating the small things and giving a lot more value to these things.  On Tuesday I walked over the Vilano bridge and saw two porpoises playing in the clear water below hunting for fish and playing with their food (fish).  I stood there for 45 minutes watching them…  a year ago I would have been more focused on the workout.  But that day seeing the beauty of the dolphins in the clear water is something that I hope I never take for granted again, and I hope by sharing some of my experiences that it will help you to notice the beauty we otherwise might be to busy to appreciate.

Office Update

Starting May 1st I will be opening in phases.  Phase one will consist of me treating a maximum of five people a day as opposed to eight - ten.  I will also only be using one room so that I do not cross contaminate.  This will limit contact for myself and for you all.  I have a forehead thermometer on the way and will be screening everyone prior to their appointments.  I will be using paper sheets and am allowing thirty minutes between each patient to allow myself to properly sanitize.  Don’t worry, Blue will still be allowed to come to work.  He has not seen anybody except our zoo members and is very clean, trimmed up, and ready to work. ;)  

However, if you are immunocompromised, or do not feel comfortable coming in, I would suggest you wait until phase two.  I can do my best at insuring your safety but there is always a chance..  Telehealth and phone conferences have been going great so that is still and will always be an option.  At this time I am no longer taking new patients until further notice so that I can focus on you all.  My project this week has been to find and set up an online scheduling service.  It has proven to be a challenge so by next week I will have that option available.  Check my website www.bluebirdhealingarts.com for updates as I am hoping to have it up by the weekend.  

This week’s update is short, hopefully sweet, and I am giving you a few homework assignments.  

Assignment #1

I am attaching two youtube videos with 741HZ and 528HZ meditative music.  “741 hz The 5th frequency of the Solfeggio scale will lead you into the power of self-expression, which results in a pure and stable life and cleans the cell from the toxins. Frequent use of 741 Hz leads to a healthier, simpler life, and also to changes in diet towards healthier non toxin foods.  The 528 Hz frequency is the most significant of the ancient Solfeggio Frequencies. Known as the “love” frequency, it has a deep-rooted relationship with nature, and is present in everything from Chlorophyll to human DNA. It also has mathematical significance and proven healing potential.”

Assignment #2

Create and start a gratitude journal.  Find a notebook, decorate it as you like or don’t and every day write down three things that you are grateful for.  As “tree hugging” as this may sound, I truly believe that once we start focusing on being grateful our lives as a whole will start to shift and lead to a global change on many levels.  

Until next time…

In health and gratitude,

April and Blue

PS.  The pharmacy and ear seeds can all be found on www.bluebirdhealingarts.com

Week... 3 The Small Things

Blue Bird of Happiness Healing Arts

April Fitzsimmons, AP


Hello Blue Birdies,


How is everyone doing?


After somewhat of a discouraging week, on many levels, I decided to ride my bike to the office this morning to get some thoughts together for this weeks email.  I was riding up 16th street, kinda bummed out, and I noticed a house with a small sign out front.  So I slowed down and saw that it was a small dry erase board with a joke written on it.  “What did one hat say to the other hat?  Don’t wait for me, you go on a head.”  It’s a corny joke but I laughed so hard and am still laughing… And that is my lesson for the week.  In order to get through “this” we have got to slow down and appreciate the ‘little things’.  Because there can laughter and joy where we least expect it.  


Animals do not need to learn this lesson.  It is in their nature to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.  If you know me, then you know all about my zoo.  They have become very spoiled having me home all the time, and I will be forever grateful to them for their love and company during this Covid pandemic.  Now more than ever would be the perfect time to adopt a pet.  Think about it, since we have to stay home it is the perfect time to train and get to know the animal!  Plus, there is nothing else to do ;).  If I didn’t have a full house I would adopt something in a heartbeat.  This leads me to a sweet soul that has recently been brought to my attention.  Rocket.  He is a 6 year old black lab mix with a heart of gold.  He has been at S.A.F.E animal rescue for THREE YEARS.  A member of our “blue bird” community has been supporting him by paying for his obedience training over the past several months.  He has proven to be a very fast learner, energetic, and lovable guy.  In my experience rescued animals are the most grateful and make the best companions.  If you want to meet Rocket, contact me or S.A.F.E and we will make it happen.  I have attached a little video of Rocket to this email.  


Office Update


My goal is still to be open by May 1st.  I am paying close attention to the CDC and the Florida Department of Health.  My plan is to reduce the number of patients that I see each day to give myself time to sanitize between each patient, avoid time spent in the waiting area, and to limit exposure to myself and the office.  The office policy will continue until further notice which is that we ask that anyone with a fever or Covid like symptoms to please reschedule and to not enter the building.  


In the meantime, I have partnered up with earseeds.com.  I know you all miss your bling.  Now you can buy the ear seed kits online!  There are kits available for all kinds of specific conditions such as anxiety, weight loss (might help with that quarantine 15), and pain.  I am more than happy to help you chose which condition might be right for you.  Here is the link:  https://www.earseeds.com/ref/577/?campaign=bluebird

I am also available for TeleHealth appointments.  I had a few this week that went well and it was very encouraging.  Also, for your supplement needs, the online pharmacy will be a permanent fixture to my practice and will always be available at:

https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/bluebird


Well, that is it for this week.  Remember that I am here for you and to enjoy the small things because they actually aren’t so small after all.  


In Health,

April Fitzsimmons and Blue 

 

 

 

Medicated Soup of the Quarantined Soul... Week 2

Blue Bird of Happiness Healing Arts

April Fitzsimmons, AP


Hello everyone!


Since I got a good response from last weeks email, I decided to try to make this a weekly “newsletter/check in” type thing.  Of course if you would like to be taken off my email list please let me know and it won’t hurt my feelings…


As of today, I am still not able to treat patients in person.  However, I am still available for “tele-health” or phone appointments.  This week I have also set up an online pharmacy with supplements from some of my most trusted brands.  If you act fast the first five orders will receive free expedited shipping.  However free shipping is always offered on order totaling $50 and up.  The online pharmacy will limit social interaction and hopefully add a convenience to you all.  Feel free to browse the catalog.  I will be making categories with my favorite products such as “immune support”, “sleep”, and “hormone regulation”.  I can also give personal recommendations.  So please, reach out to me and let me know if I can help in any way.

Here is the link:

https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/bluebird


(If you have already signed up through full script last week the link you have still works.)

Go Put Your Feet in the Dirt


Even though time is flying and days are merging into one I think it is really important for us to remain grounded.  I am sure I have told most of ya’ll at some point in our journey to “go put your feet in the dirt”.  Now, more than ever, since we can’t put our feet in the ocean, I encourage you to go spend some time in nature.  Even if that nature happens to be your fenced in backyard.  The little vegetable garden that I planted about a month ago, when I thought this all was going to be a joke, has really helped me stay grounded and rooted to our mother earth.  When we have no control we need something to hold onto.  Faith is definitely something to grasp onto but so is the Earth.  The earth can recycle negative energies, fears, uncertainties, and remind us of where we are.  


I discovered a really great trail this past weekend.  It is the old rail trail off of 207, I think it is called the “River to Sea” loop.  Eric and I took our bikes there this past Sunday.  If you are looking for a perfectly acceptable physical distancing outdoor activity, I would highly recommend it.  We rode about twelve miles total and most of the trail is in the woods, where you can smell the earth and hear the sounds of nature.  It really reminded me of the importance of our “earth” element in times of chaos and uncertainty.  


Medicated Chicken Soup for the Quarantined Soul 


We gotta laugh…  Another way to tonify our earth element is to eat and cook healthy, warming, and nutritious food.  There aren’t many other foods out there that make you feel as comforted and loved as a bowl of homemade chicken soup.  So I thought it would be good to put together some herbs that can be added to your soup that will tonify the immune system, boost the qi, and help protect the lungs.  Chicken is considered a great digestive tonic in traditional Chinese medicine.  Although us westerners have always thought that chicken soup should be eaten to recover from colds and flus, it actually (especially when made with medicinal herbs), is a strong tonic that should be used as a preventative to colds, flus, and corona virus’.  


Shan Yao/Chinese wild yam is a gentle nourishing digestive tonic; it tonifies the Lungs, Spleen and Kidneys, both Qi and Yin, without being heavy or cloying.  Lian Zi/lotus seed or fresh lotus root gently tonify the Spleen, Kidneys, stabilize the jing-essence, 

nourish the Heart and calm the Shen.  Gou Qi Zi/wolfberries are a stronger but still well-balanced tonic; they tonify Liver Blood and brighten the eyes, nourish Lung and Kidney Yin, and mildly tonify Kidney Yang.  Hong Zao/dried red jujube dates are 

another gentle and mild digestive Qi tonic, they also nourish the Blood, calm the Shen, and moderate any harsh or toxic properties of other herbs.  Turnips, parsnips, sweet potatoes and carrots are root vegetables that absorb many vitamins and minerals from the soil as they grow, are high in antioxidants and contain lots of fiber.  Root vegetables strengthen digestion; they benefit the Stomach and Spleen (Earth) and increase the ability to digest food and absorb nutrients. 


I will have pre-made herb soup packets available for pick up next week.  (Herb orders are very delayed right now)  The recipe will be included in each packet.  If you are interested let me know… 


Recipe:

INGREDIENTS: 

1 - free-range organic chicken (including the giblets), preferably black chicken if available, whole or cut into 4-8 pieces 

2 - tablespoons Shan Yao/Dioscorea opposita/Chinese wild yam 

2 - tablespoons Lian Zi/Nelumbo nucifera/lotus seed and/or 1 cup sliced fresh lotus root 

2 - tablespoons Gou Qi Zi/Lycium barbarum/wolfberries 

8 - Hong Zao/Ziziphus jujube/dried red jujube dates 

1 - turnip, sliced and quartered 

1 - parsnip, sliced and quartered 

1 - sweet potato, sliced and quartered 

2 - carrots, sliced 

2 teaspoons sea salt, kosher or rock salt 

( I also add celery, onion, garlic, and ginger)

4-8 cups of water or stock

DIRECTIONS: 

1. Rinse the herbs and let them soak in a bowl of fresh water for at least 20 minutes. 

2. Rinse and pat dry the chicken and giblets. You can leave the chicken whole, or cut into 4-6 pieces using a cleaver to cut through the bone so that the marrow can easily enter the broth. 

3. Rinse and slice the turnip, parsnip and carrot. 

4. Place all ingredients (herbs, chicken, giblets, vegetables and sea salt) in a large stockpot with only enough fresh cold water to cover (can vary, but usually between 4-8 cups); too much will not make a strong broth. 

5. Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. 

6. Lower the heat to a medium-low and gently simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is tender and fully cooked. 

7. As the soup cooks, skim any impurities that rise to the surface. If necessary, add a little more water to keep the chicken covered while simmering. 

8. When chicken is tender, carefully remove to a cutting board. When it is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, cut the meat into small pieces or use two forks to shred, and return to the stockpot. 

9. Remove from heat and serve warm. 

10. Optional: strain the herbs out (most are quite edible)

Enjoy! 

I think that is enough for a week..  Stay well Blue Birdies and don’t forget that I am a phone call, text, or email away if you need anything.  

In health - April and Blue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Bird Update Week 1

Blue Bird of Happiness Healing Arts

April Fitzsimmons, AP


To My Loyal Patients and Friends:


How is everyone doing?  We are experiencing a global shift, awareness, and pandemic that will be one for the history books.  While it is scary and life changing for us all right now, I do feel in my heart that the Earth and us as a Human race are going to come out of this stronger, healthier, more aware, and more grateful.   I wanted to touch base and give everyone an update to my practice.  On March 24th, I closed my office in the hopes that by practicing “physical distancing” I would encourage others to do the same, and also for the health and safety for myself and patients.  On April 1st, we got news from the governor and health department that mandatory “stay at home” orders would be affective on Friday April 3rd.  While I know that Chinese Medicine Physicians, like myself, are essential, the state and rulers at large do not agree.  We have been told by our landlords that the department of health will be making random checks to make sure we are not treating patients.  Since our office plaza is full of “non - essential” medical practitioners (eye dr, dentist, and massage therapists) I have a feeling they will be making appearances, and I do not want to lose my license over this.  


As of this email, I will be back open for physical acupuncture treatments at the (very latest) on May 1st.  As things are changing day by day, so is the status of when I can practice safely again.  I will be in touch with everyone to reschedule.  Of course if I am able to open sooner, I most definitely will.  Since my husband and I are both self employed, I can not deny that I started to panic.  But that only lasted about eight hours.  I put that energy to better use and came up with a game plan to still be able to “practice” and be of service to you all, and to have some income.  So here we go:

Online Pharmacy:

I have teamed up with one of my best whole-sale resources to have an online herbal and supplement pharmacy.  It is simple and custom to what I prescribe to you individually.  Simply let me know, by replying to this email, that you are interested and we will get started.  If you currently are on herbal formulas I can add those to your profile and you will order as needed and the items will be shipped directly to you.  Shipping is free if your order is over $50.  If there are vitamins/supplements that you take that you do not get from me, you can let me know and I can add those to your profile as well.  I can also add recommended formulas and supplements to your profile.  Again, just email me, let me know if this interests you, and we will go from there.  I am able to set my own pricing, so I will continue to price the herbs/supplements below the suggested retail price.  


By the beginning of next week I plan on having a good supply of CBD oil, gummies, and salve in stock.  In order to limit contact, I can leave the items in the drop box outside of our office door and you can pay me via check, venmo, or Zelle.  This might come in handy during Quarintine ;).  


Telehealth:

Telehealth, the way of the future.  I have been watching webinars from different acupuncture associations, mainly NCCAOM and it has been very interesting.  Basically how do we continue to provide care for our patients when we can not touch you.  This is how acupuncture differs from western medicine..  we touch you, palpate for points, check your pulses, get in your face to look at your tongue…  It is the beauty of the medicine and a way that we connect and diagnose.  So, in this physically distant time, “tele-health” is the next best thing that we can do.  I will be available Monday - Friday for virtual appointments, to discuss symptoms, give dietary and herbal advice, show stretches, give acupressure point location advice, and counseling.  Blue will be with me during these “appointments” so you can see him as well.  I am charging $20 per half hour for this service.  Please call, email, or text me and we will set up a date and time.  

 

I will be adding recipes and updating my website during this time.  Check back weekly to see what I am up to or check out a recipe or picture of Blue.  I am also on social media.  I thing that it is best that we all stay connected during this time and I want to be available to you.  


Treatment Room Changes:  

When you come back from our extended, unplanned, crazy vacation don’t be surprised to see some changes.  The Florida Department of Health sent out new health and safety guidelines that I must comply with.  I will be using disposable sheets and face cradles, I will require everyone to wash their hands before coming into the actual treatment room, and I may have to wear a mask.  I just wanted you to be aware so that it isn’t a shock.  


I am sorry for the lengthy email.  Please know that I am here for you and that we WILL get through this.  If you have any questions about anything I mentioned please do not hesitate to call, email, or text me.  If you contact me before 9am or after 6pm you might get a delayed response.  Attached to this email is the notice I received explaining why acupuncturists should not be practicing at this time.


In health and wellness,

 


April Fitzsimmons, AP (and Blue)