Heatsheets meet Needle Naps!

by Sean Honea L.Ac

heat sheet 1

While the first day of Winter is still a week away, the remnants of the first snow fall, clinging to rooftops and trees, says otherwise.  For those that need a bit of help shaking off the winter chill, we are happy to introduce Heatsheets.  

Heatsheets are the quieter and more environmental friendly version of the space blankets.  Both are used by endurance athletes and in survival kits to stay warm because they can "reflect up to 90% of your body's radiant heat to form a warm envelope of air."  A  great place to keep them is in your car, so they are available for both emergencies and ready access for your needle naps at SCA.  

Why'd we switch?

Space blankets are made of mylar and is not recyclable.  Mylar is the same material that shiny balloons are made. That's fine for birthday parties, gift giving etc, but without the helium to make it fun, mylar sounds like a thunder storm in a quiet space. Heatsheets are quiet and recyclable.  They are made of "recyclable LDPE (low density polyethylene, a #4 recyclable plastic)," so you can reuse or recycle them anywhere #4 plastic is accepted.

If we have already giving you a space blanket, feel free to keep using it* or we will happily offer you a new heatsheet for your needle nap use.  Please re-use it by bringing your sheet to each appointment.  For sanitation purposes and also to keep our costs down, we will only be offering one blanket per person.  However, if you lose yours, we still have a few space blankets and paper drapes available to keep you warm.

*Heatsheets storage recommendations:  "Heatsheets can be refolded and stored in a zip-lock bag...in a cool dry place."  

book now

DIY Cold Remedy: Garlic and Onion Porridge

by Sean Honea L.Ac

DIY Cold Remedy 


Garlic and Onion Porridge Recipe

As the weather gets colder concerns over cold, coughs and other Upper Respiratory ailments are coming up more in the clinic.

Here is a simple cold remedy from Chinese Herbology:


  • 1/4 cup of white rice (or any grain that digests easily) 
  • a couple cloves of garlic 
  • 1 onion (white / yellow / purple)
  • 4-6 cups of water


  1. Remove peel and smash / chop garlic finely, put aside to rest (at least 5 minutes)
  2. Remove peel and chop onion coarsely, put aside to rest (at least 5 minutes)
  3. Rinse and drain rice and place in stove top safe pot
  4. Add 4 to 6 cups of water to rice pot and bring to boil
  5. Once boil reached, add in garlic and onions and lower heat to a simmer and cover
  6. Simmer covered for about 30 minutes or longer depending on the consistency you prefer. 

Makes two small portions or one 1 large one. 

You can also place all the ingredients in a slow cooker and let cook for several hours. 


Smashing and chopping the garlic and onion releases natural immune boosting qualities found in Alliums as referenced by the NY Times.  The rice porridge also known as congee will help you digest these ingredients better.  Enjoy at the first signs of fatigue / malaise. 

Be well.

Free Military / Veteran Ear Clinic every Saturday

by Sean Honea L.Ac

Sean and Erica Honea basic training graduation

Free Military / Veteran Ear Acupuncture Clinic

Every Saturday from 10AM-2PM  (hours updated 1/11/2018)

Appointments Preferred

Southside Community Acupuncture is proud to offer free ear acupuncture to all U.S. Military personnel and Veterans Saturday starting Sep 30, 2017.

Sean will be the acupuncturist on duty. He served eight years in the U.S. Army and is happy to serve his fellow service members. We will be offering the NADA Detox Protocol.

NADA stands for the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) is a non-profit organization that was established to support the ear acupuncture protocol that now bears its name. NADA, first developed for Vietnam Veterans in the 1970's, has been adapted for use in a variety of community health settings. In addition to aiding addiction recovery, the NADA protocol is used to support generalized stress, anxiety, weight loss, and smoking cessation.

The NADA protocol is a simple, standardized five-point auricular (outer ear) acupuncture modality, involving small, sterilized, disposable stainless steel acupuncture needles in 5 specific sites on each ear. NADA treatments are conducted in a group setting. After the needles are inserted, patients sit quietly for 30-60 minutes before needles are removed.

Sat Clinic Flyer


Making It Work: Reflections on Opening a Community Acupuncture Clinic

by Sean Honea L.Ac

reposted from Acupuncture Society of Virginia (ASVA), September 2017 Newsletter (page 10)


In June 2016, my wife and I opened Southside Community Acupuncture, LLC in Richmond, Va. Now a year later, the clinic is moving towards profitability, hallelujah, and although things have slowed down in late summer as people take those last vacations before the school year begins, we still attract new patients almost every week.

Much has changed since we opened our doors. Our fees have changed from a set rate to a sliding scale, the furniture has moved multiple times, and we have modified and upgraded our operating systems. Yet, we remain committed to providing affordable acupuncture to people who may have believed treatment was beyond their means.

During graduate school at Acupuncture and Integrative College in Berkeley, California, we were often told that going through the 3-4 year program was like running a marathon. Indeed, it takes so much of yourself just to complete your studies. Yet, you must save enough energy to pass the board exams after graduation, and then start the daunting task of opening a business, and finally, save enough energy to maintain your own health while you begin treating patients.

My wife and I signed up for an extra challenge by having a baby during our last term of school. So it became imperative that we ask for help and lean on family and friends to recover from graduate school while taking care of a newborn. We continue to be grateful for their support.

Starting your own business takes a lot of faith. I pray a lot, meditate, do affirmations, sing positive songs to my toddler, even if the sum of all those only adds up to 10 minutes a day. It makes a difference, but it's a process. Sometimes I get discouraged when the schedule isn't as full as we would like, but I try to take the long view and focus on how our patient numbers are steady or growing each week. And it is very encouraging that not only are patients referring their family and friends, but doctors, nurses, therapists and some energy workers have recommended us to their patients.

The words from my late Qigong Teacher Suzanne Friedman offer encouragement: “it takes at least 5 years to build a sustainable practice.” My wife and I have our first year down, with many lessons learned and many more to come. As we acupuncturists know, it's a privilege to do this work and take this journey.

Pain Awareness Month

by Sean Honea L.Ac



sore knee

The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) has declared September Pain Awareness Month: "a time when various organizations work to raise public awareness of issues in the area of pain and pain management." In that Spirit, we would also like to raise awareness of Acupuncture as a great complementary therapy for the management of pain.

For many people, acupuncture works well for the management of both chronic and acute pain. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, "a number of studies suggest that acupuncture may help ease types of pain that are often chronic such as low-back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis/knee pain." NCCIH continues that acupuncture also "may help reduce the frequency of tension headaches and prevent migraine headaches. Therefore, acupuncture appears to be a reasonable option for people with chronic pain to consider."

An Article written by STAT in May 2017 reports that the FDA gives acupuncture a positive recommendation as well:

"The Food and Drug Administration released proposed changes...to its blueprint on educating health care providers about treating pain. The guidelines now recommend that doctors get information about chiropractic care and acupuncture as therapies that might help patients avoid prescription opioids"

How exactly does Acupuncture help with pain? Recently, National Public Radio interviewed Wesley Gilliam, clinical director of the Mayo Clinic's Pain Rehabilitation Center in Rochester, Minnesota for the NPR article, Holistic Therapy Programs May Help Pain Sufferers Ditch Opioids. Although Gilliam did not specifically mentioned acupuncture, he offered key insights as to why various relaxation techniques are able to offer relief to chronic pain suffers.

"When you're in chronic pain and it's poorly managed, the nervous system can get out of whack. Your body behaves as if it's under stress all the time, even when it's not. Your muscles may be tense and your heart and breathing rates elevated, among other things. With meditation and relaxation exercises, we're trying to teach people to learn to relax their bodies and hopefully kick in a relaxation response. If I have low-back pain, for example, during periods of stress, muscular tension is going to exacerbate the pain in my back. We focus on helping people to disengage from their symptoms. By learning to relax in response to stress, muscular tension can be diminished and the experience of pain eased. This doesn't require a medication or a procedure, just insight and implementation of a relaxation skill."
However, the Harvard Medical School's publication "Health Beat," offers support for Acupuncture as an effective therapy for offering pain relief and relaxation by stating that Acupuncture "may relieve pain by releasing endorphins, the body's natural pain-killing chemicals, and by affecting the part of the brain that governs serotonin, a brain chemical involved with mood." These two mechanism together is what produces the Needle-Nap High(similar to the runner's high), that many patients experience during and immediately after treatment.

Southside Community Acupuncture is committed to providing affordable and accessible acupuncture through our group treatment model. Our goal is to offer people as much acupuncture as they need at a price they can afford in order to facilitate better health and wellness.






New Hours Wednesday and Thursday

by Sean Honea L.Ac

Fall Tree

*updated 9/10/2017

With Fall approaching faster than you can Say Pumpkin Spice Cheese cake, we are changing our hours slightly. Starting in September 2017:

Wed: 3-7 PM

Thur: 1-5 PM*

There are no changes to our other days.  

Thank you and have a great week!

Share Your Story


Have you had a great experience recently at Southside Community Acupuncture? Have you been wondering how to tell others about it? Well there is a way you can. We welcome you to tell us all about it:

  • What brought you in?
  • How often did you come?
  • How did we help?
  • How has your life improved?
  • What did you like about our practice or your treatment?
  • Would you recommend a friend?
  • What would you tell others about us?
  • Add any notes or comments you would like to share.

Please use this form attached below in PDF.

We also have copies available in the clinic.

Share Your Story Form


December 2017 (2)
September 2017 (3)
August 2017 (3)
July 2017 (2)
June 2017 (6)
May 2017 (1)
April 2017 (2)
March 2017 (1)
January 2017 (3)
November 2016 (2)
October 2016 (5)
September 2016 (3)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (9)
June 2016 (2)