Infertility Around the Holidays: How to Cope

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Holidays Infertility Support GroupInfertility Around the Holidays: How to Cope

The Holidays are again upon us and for those dealing with infertility it can be a less than joyful time. While those around are celebrating with family and friends and one’s own family wants you to join in, the holidays can magnify even more the sadness felt at not having a child of one’s own. Gatherings are numerous and often focused on children. The end of the year can accentuate another year marked with no baby.

What are some ways to cope with this?

1. Give yourself permission to acknowledge that this is stressful and you are not being a Scrooge.

2. Identify your “A” team of family and/or friends who “get it” and can be supportive and spend more time with them. Identifying your “A” team is something many of my clients find helpful all year-long. There may be people in your lives who are good and well-meaning but say or do things that can be unintentionally painful. Maybe they are on the “B” or “C” Team because they care about you but don’t understand the things to say or do regarding infertility.

3. If invited to a Holiday gathering, you may not really know whether you can face going until that very day/evening. People cancel at the last-minute for lots of reasons and so can you. Or, if you decide to give it a try, and you are part of a couple, have a prearranged signal that you give to one another when one of you absolutely must leave. Stay close to each other while at the gathering to be mutually supportive.

4. Perhaps, instead of the usual round of holiday parties, you go off this year to some place by yourselves. Reassure your family that you’re not changing family tradition forever; you just need to take care of yourselves this year. Pamper yourselves. It could be something as big as a trip to Hawaii, or as simple as a weekend at a Bed and Breakfast.

5. Consider taking the month off trying to get pregnant. This can be difficult when you are feeling a time crunch but consider it a gift to yourselves to enjoy lovemaking and time together with no pressure.

6. Men and women often have different ways of coping. Remember that no one way is the “right” way and try to be accepting of difference. A good example, which I often see in my practice, is that men cope by wanting to hold on to whatever is “normal” in life. They want to go to all the parties and “enjoy” the holidays after months of disappointment. Women find holiday parties loaded with “danger” of talk of pregnancies and children and cope by trying to avoid them.  Respect each other’s way of coping and talk in an accepting way towards a compromise.

This post was contributed by Anne Korpi Dolan, LCSW, DCSW. Anne has more than 25 years working in this field, including leading groups for RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. She can be reached at 1-617-650-3732

 

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Schedule Changes : Acupuncture Hours Added

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Schedule Changes effective 6/19/17

Not much is changing here at Blossom- we still have 3 acupuncturists here 6 days a week and our massage therapist here on Tue/Wed/Sun; However, there will be some changes to Liz RIchards’ schedule effective Monday June 19th:

  • Liz will be in Wednesday evenings instead of Monday evenings.
  • Liz has added in Fridays to her schedule. You can schedule online here.
  • Liz has also added more morning hours to Thursdays.

We hope these schedule changes improve our availability. See you soon!

Schedule changes Mindbody Online Blossom Clinic scheduling

Schedule online easily by downloading the MINDBODY app, We promise you will love it!

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Vitamin D for Fertility and Pregnancy: Are you Getting Enough?

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Vitamin D Fertility Pregnancy Infertility If you’re thinking about having a baby it’s strongly recommended that you have your Vitamin D level checked, especially if you’ve been trying for a while or have a history of pregnancy loss.  Your doctor can order a simple blood test to ensure you have enough of this vitamin that is so important for fertility and healthy pregnancies – for both mothers and their children.  Vitamin D is typically low in the winter and spring months and in darker northern climates.  A Vitamin D deficiency puts pregnant women at risk of developing serious health complications.

Preconception & Infertility

If you’re having trouble conceiving, low Vitamin D could be contributing to your fertility issues.  A low level has been associated with Repeated Pregnancy Loss and Unexplained Infertility.  It’s been found to affect implantation which can cause bio-chemical pregnancies or miscarriages. [i]. Also more research is being done on PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) since these women often have Vitamin D deficiency and evidence is showing that supplementation may be beneficial for egg development and regulating menstruation. [iii]. One study found a healthier increased uterine lining in women with PCOS who were given Vitamin D during their IUI cycles. [ii].

A study (published in Fertility & Sterility in 2014) of 99 women undergoing IVF (in-vitro fertilization) at USC in Southern California looked at the impact of Vitamin D on IVF cycles. The percentage of women who became pregnant was 74% in those with sufficient vitamin D levels (above 30 ng/ml), 42% in women who were insufficient (20-30), and only 35% with deficiency (below 20).  Babies were born to 59% of the women with adequate D levels (above 30) and 31% of women whose levels were below 30.  [iv].

Vitamin D Fertility Pregnancy

If you’re thinking about having a baby it’s strongly recommended that you have your Vitamin D level checked, especially if you’ve been trying for a while or have a history of pregnancy loss.

Vitamin D in Pregnancy

Vitamin D is very important for brain development.  A recent study in the Netherlands of more than 8,000 women and their children showed a clear correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and autism.  Children whose mothers tested low in their 20th week of pregnancy were more likely to have autistic traits by the age of six. [v].  Other studies have seen an increased risk of schizophrenia with inadequate Vitamin D. [vi, vii].

When mom’s Vitamin D level is too low deficiency can be present at birth.  Babies receive this vitamin through the placenta, and after birth through breast milk or fortified formula.  Babies who are solely breastfed are more at risk of having deficient Vitamin D because human milk has a very low concentration, about 1.5-3% of the mother’s level.  So, exposure to sunlight is also recommended. [viii].  An Irish study found their dark winters produced more babies born in March and April with Vitamin D insufficiency, about 46% of births during that time.  You can read more about the importance of Vitamin D during pregnancy and while breastfeeding here.

Low Vitamin D during pregnancy has been linked to small-for-gestational-age births, increased susceptibility to infections and reduced bone density. [viii].  Kids whose moms did not have sufficient Vitamin D in their 3rd trimester had more broken bones than other children.  An Australian study published in 2016 tells us that children who have a lack of D in early childhood are more prone to developing allergic disorders like asthma and eczema. [ix].

Also, it’s very important to know that pregnant women with low D are more susceptible to developing preeclampsia, a complication of pregnancy including high blood pressure and kidney problems which can have very serious consequences. [x]. Often an earlier birth by medical induction is necessary, which increases the odds of a cesarean delivery.   Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with developing gestational diabetes, so, you definitely want to make sure your level stays within optimum range. Continue reading

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Portland Monthly Top Docs 2017 : Congratulations Liz Richards

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Over 13,000 medical professionals voted for Portland Monthly Top Docs this year. We would like to congratulate Blossom Clinic owner and acupuncturist, Liz Richards, on her nomination for the third year in a row. In practice since 2002, Liz is known for her compassionate and process-oriented approach. She specializes in fertility and pregnancy and has helped hundreds of families have healthy babies.

Interested in a free phone consult? Find out more information here. Portland Monthly Top docs Liz Richards

Liz Richards Acupuncture portland oregon blossom clinic

Click here to Schedule a Free Phone Consultation with Liz Richards

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Watch this Video to Learn More About Blossom Clinic

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Curious about what we do here at Blossom Clinic? We’ve created this video to introduce you to some of our practitioners and services. Thanks for watching!

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5 Yoga Poses to Enhance your Fertility

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This post is by guest blogger Lynn Jensen, E-RYT, RPYT, MBA, co-author of Yoga for Fertility: A Journey to Health and Healing. These poses are also in Nourishing Fertility: An A-to-Z Guide.

Yoga for Fertility 5 poses If you are trying to conceive, yoga can help support fertility, and ease the path to parenthood. I developed my Yoga for Fertility program in Seattle in 2002, as a long-time yoga practitioner and teacher who had dealt with personal fertility challenges over several years. More recently, I co-authored a book called Yoga and Fertility, A Journey to Health and Healing. Below, I suggest a few simple but powerful poses from the book that anyone can do at home.

Yoga poses, as well as breathing and meditation techniques, have multiple benefits for supporting fertility:

  • increases blood flow to the reproductive organs;
  • calms the central nervous system;
  • reduces stress hormone levels in the bloodstream which have been shown to have a negative effect on fertility. Also, the calming effect of the poses and breathing and meditation techniques can be very helpful in dealing with the emotional ups and downs of trying to conceive.

The yoga routines offered in the book are organized around the menstrual cycle. There are poses that I recommend doing in the first half of the cycle, prior to ovulation, which will bring more blood flow and energy to the ovaries. In the latter half of the cycle, post-ovulation, it’s best to perform poses that are more supportive and less stimulating in order to support the uterine lining as well as aid in conception and implantation. Many poses are helpful throughout the cycle. The following poses can be done at any time during your cycle. Continue reading

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5 Foods for the 2 Week Wait

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nutrition for fertilityIf you are trying to conceive, you probably know all about the 2 Week Wait. It is the time period between ovulation and the date that you find out if you are pregnant and it is often filled with worry. In my Nourishing Fertility e-book, I talk about “adding in” foods that are nurturing and good for you. Here is a little list of great foods for the second half of your cycle. Continue reading

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IVF Tips for Patients: Top Ten Things to Do

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Liz Richards, L.Ac., MAcOM has been treating fertility patients with Traditional Chinese Medicine in Portland, OR since 2002.  Here are ten IVF tips based on her clinical experience with patients receiving acupuncture at Blossom Clinic while undergoing IVF at Oregon Reproductive Medicine

acupuncture portland oregon1. Begin acupuncture treatments right away:

As a general rule, the way you treat your body three months prior to trying to conceive is more important than anything you can do right now to boost your fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant. This has been a clinical observation of mine for years, and I am lucky enough to have colleagues who are now documenting this statistically with clinical research.

Most of our patients visit us weekly, and as they reach their goals, the visits taper down. We recommend a minimum of three menstrual cycles of treatment for both women’s and men’s fertility support.

To find the practitioner that is right for you, here are some things to look for in a fertility acupuncturist: Continue reading

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Pineapple and IVF Success- It’s all about Embryo Implantation

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Pineapple and IVF Success- It’s all about Embryo Implantation

Pineapple and IVF and embryo implantation

Have you ever heard of eating pineapple to aid embryo implantation? Dr. Elise Schroeder did some medical super sleuthing and came up with a few logical and plausible explanations for pineapple’s role in conception.

If you are reading fertility blogs or talking with other women going through IVF, you have probably heard of the pineapple trick. The idea is to eat a whole pineapple, including the core, before and after the day of implantation. OK, sounds good, and couldn’t really hurt, but as usual I am asking the questions:

“What’s the mechanism?”  and “How does that work?” Continue reading

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Moxa for Breech Presentation

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moxa breech Moxa for Breech Presentation?

I often get calls from pregnant patients who need help turning their breech babies into a better position for labor and delivery. Chinese Medicine works beautifully in many of these patients.  I always work closely with their midwife or doctor and make sure that the position of the baby will be monitored regularly to ensure that the baby has been turned to the cephalic position (head down).  Once the baby turns into the vertex position, the patient is instructed to discontinue the moxibustion (moxa) treatment. Continue reading

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5 Essential Oils You Won’t Want to Live Without

Do you love essential oils? We’re totally into clean air and lovely scents here at Blossom Clinic. Today on the blog, Janene Mitchell, Acupuncturist, shares some of her favorite 5 Essential Oils. Enjoy!

Do you love essential oils? We’re totally into clean air and lovely scents here at Blossom Clinic. Today on the blog, Janene Mitchell, Acupuncturist, shares some of her favorite 5 Essential Oils. Enjoy!

1. Bergamot

All citrus essential oils are uplifting but this one really shines for it’s effects on mood.  Bergamot balances the right and left sides of the brain!  It addresses mood swings – being very up then very down. Mental tension is relieved, listlessness, discouragement, frustration and anger are released.  This oil is also helpful for insomnia.

Caution:  All citrus oils are photosensitive so no sun or ultraviolet light exposure for 24 hours after using to avoid burns.

2. Geranium

Do you love essential oils? We’re totally into clean air and lovely scents here at Blossom Clinic. Today on the blog, Janene Mitchell, Acupuncturist, shares some of her favorite 5 Essential Oils. Enjoy!An adrenal tonic and hormone balancer, it is very helpful for PMS, painful or irregular periods and symptoms of menopause.  2 drops in a foot bath is a wonderful remedy for the swollen limbs that often come in late pregnancy.  Or you can make up a massage oil to use stroking up from the ankles and wrists to reduce swelling and relieve pain. On an emotional level geranium is used for grief and sadness, loss of confidence, depression, lack of motivation, as well as agitation, worry and restlessness.

Caution:  Do not use in the 1st trimester of pregnancy.

3. Eucalyptus

This is a wonderful anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal oil.  Its strong action clearing phlegm and mucus makes it ideal for soothing bronchitis and sinus congestion.  Add it to a humidifier in a child’s room or adults can do a steam inhalation, using 2 drops in a bowl of hot water closing your eyes to avoid irritation.  You can also inhale it directly from a drop on a cotton ball.  Eucalyptus affects our mental state by clarifying feelings, addressing poor concentration or memory, and confusion.  It brings things into focus.  It’s very good for feelings of lethargy, low motivation, depression, grief or low self-confidence.

4. Lavender

A very versatile oil, known primarily for it’s calming effect.  Lavender is good for ongoing stress or an acute crisis, even leading to shock and trauma.  Tension, irritability, depression, fear or anxiety all respond to this soothing oil.  Applied directly to insect bites it takes away the sting and helps skin heal.  A lesser known quality is its ability to reduce pain – good for menstrual cramps and labor pains.  In a pregnancy massage oil it relieves aching backs, legs and ligament pain.  A lavender bath is good for fevers with body aches, sore throat, etc., great for children.  And applying or inhaling it before bed leads to a more deep and restful sleep.

5. Rose

Do you love essential oils? We’re totally into clean air and lovely scents here at Blossom Clinic. Today on the blog, Janene Mitchell, Acupuncturist, shares some of her favorite 5 Essential Oils. Enjoy!Finally, the nurturing essence of Rose can enhance self-esteem and soothe feelings of insecurity, broken trust and heart break.  Resentment, anger, frustration, jealousy, sadness, grief and disappointment all respond to this oil.  For this reason it’s great for women and men going through fertility issues.  As a uterine tonic it’s used topically (diluted in oil) for both heavy menses and pelvic congestion where things are not flowing. It’s lovely for dry, sensitive and mature skin. Rose is good for broken capillaries and stretch marks that come in pregnancy.  Combine it with lavender in a massage oil for the last few weeks of pregnancy.  It’s an excellent choice for a bath in the 1st stage of labor.

Do you love essential oils? We’re totally into clean air and lovely scents here at Blossom Clinic. Today on the blog, Janene Mitchell, Acupuncturist, shares some of her favorite 5 Essential Oils. Enjoy!How to use the essential oils:

  • All are safe to inhale from a drop on a cotton ball or tissue.  Place it in a ziplock bag to carry around with you for use throughout the day.
  • You can also put 1-2 drops on a clean wet washcloth in the shower or bath and inhale.
  • Add 3-8 drops to a warm bath, swishing well to disperse the oils evenly before you step in.  For a child’s bath you can add 1-2 drops of lavender oil to a spoonful of whole milk, then mix that into the bath.
  • 2-8 drops are good for a diffuser.  Use only 1-2 drops for babies.  After 1 year you can increase to 3-4 drops in a child’s room.
  • Lavender is safe to apply directly to the skin.  Rose is ok in a small amount.  The others should be diluted in another oil – almond, jojoba, sesame, etc.  Use 15-30 drops in 1 ounce of oil, lotion or cream.

If you see any reaction on the skin – redness, itchiness, etc, stop using the oil.  Some people are allergic to specific plants, so may not be able to tolerate any one of the oils.  And if you have very sensitive skin be sure to dilute all oils before applying.

Have fun experimenting with these amazing oils.  I use them daily for myself and my patients.  I love the results. They are a wonderful plant medicine that is widely available and easy to use.

Enjoy!

Janene Mitchell, LAc,  FABORM, Acupuncturist

Janene Mitchell, LAc, sees patients at Blossom Clinic on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Schedule online or call Blossom Clinic 503-287-0886.

Written by Janene Mitchell, LAc, FABORM – Acupuncture, Chi Nei Tsang, Aromatherapy

Janene specializes in fertility and pregnancy care but loves working with women in all stages of their lives, including menopause and healthy aging. With a background in energetic bodywork her treatments are deeply rejuvenating.  Janene has over a decade of experience using essential oils and is a certified Chi Nei Tsang practitioner. You can schedule with Janene online.

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Mother’s Day Massage Special

Blossom Clinic has a lovely Mothers Day Gift Certificate Special 🌺 $60 for 60 minute massage or $90 for 90 minute massage.

mother's day massage special

Give us a call or email us and the Mother’s Day Massage Gift Certificate will be added immediately to the recipient’s account upon purchase. 5032870886

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Give us a call or email us and the Mother’s Day Massage Gift Certificate will be added immediately to the recipient’s account upon purchase.
P.S. This special is good for all humans, not just mom.
P.P.S Our massage therapist is in on Sundays! Purchase by Friday May 12th at 3pm. 💕

 

 

 

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Please Welcome Blossom Clinic Acupuncturist, Janene Mitchell, L.Ac.

Please welcome our newest acupuncturist, Janene Mitchell, L.Ac! In practice since 2001, Janene Mitchell is new to Blossom Clinic but not to the practice of acupuncture. She comes to us from L.A., where she had a busy practice treating a wide range of conditions including fertility as a Board certified acupuncturist through ABORM. Janene will be seeing patients at Blossom Clinic on Tuesdays 10:30am-7pm and 10am-7pm on Saturdays.

Schedule online or contact us. 

blossom clinic acupuncturist Janene Mitchell acupuncture portlandJanene’s early interest in women’s health drew her to specialty training in fertility and pregnancy care. With a background in music, dance and energetic bodywork she developed a sensitive, intuitive approach.  Janene loves treating women in all stages of their lives – from the fertile years through pregnancies, menopause and beyond.  She also finds it extremely rewarding helping men and women who are having difficulty conceiving.

 

 

“I use an integrative approach, combining eastern and western therapies – acupuncture, herbal medicine, aromatherapy & massage with nutritional supplements, diet and exercise.  How we nourish ourselves is of great importance!

And hidden issues like vitamin deficiencies, gluten intolerance, unhealthy intestinal flora or auto-immune responses may need to be addressed to bring your body back into balance.

I’ve worked with many men and women, helping them create families through natural conceptions or assisted reproductive cycles – providing acupuncture to prepare for IUI or IVF procedures as well as on the day of embryo transfer.  Including the wisdom of Chinese Medicine can improve your chances of having a healthy baby – we’ll work together to discover how your diet and lifestyle choices are impacting your fertility.”

Janene has more than a decade of experience working with essential oils and includes them in her treatments for their deeply calming and rejuvenating actions, especially their ability to address emotional as well as physical issues.  She is also a certified Chi Nei Tsang practitioner and uses this type of abdominal massage to help regulate menses, improve digestion & elimination, and increase pelvic blood flow.

In over 15 years of practice she has treated a wide range of conditions. Janene works closely with western providers to ensure her patients have the best possible care.  She graduated with highest honors from Yo San University, Los Angeles, CA in 2001 with a Master’s Degree in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.  She is licensed in both Oregon and California as an acupuncturist and herbalist.  Board certified in the treatment of infertility since 2009, Janene is a fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM) and a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

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Job Opportunities : Blossom Clinic

job opportunities Naturopathic Doctor Massage Therapist job opening portland oregon Blossom Clinic is a well established natural health clinic in Portland, Oregon that specializes in Women’s Health, fertility and pregnancy. We currently have two job opportunities: We are looking for a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT).

We are in need of dynamic team members who are comfortable working with multiple modalities. Blossom Clinic currently has two acupuncturists and one massage therapist. These job opportunities are high referral positions. We are currently turning patients away for Naturopathic care and massage.

ND Position: The ideal ND candidate will be available a minimum of 2 days per week. Primary job responsibilities include ordering labs, analyzing hormones, dispensing appropriate herbs/ supplements, and offering nutrition advice to our primarily female patients. You must be able to collaborate with practitioners of multiple modalities.

LMT Position: The ideal LMT will be available a minimum of 2 days per week. Practitioner must be experienced in pregnancy massage. Fertility or Mayan Abdominal Massage skills are a plus.

Blossom Clinic currently has two Job Opportunities for a Naturopathic Doctor and a Massage Therapist

Blossom Clinic currently has job opportunities for a Naturopathic Doctor and a Massage Therapist.

We currently have a lot of hours available in our larger treatment room with natural light.

Available times and days to choose from:

Mondays 8am-8pm
Tuesdays 8am-8pm
Wednesdays 8am-12:30pm
Thursday 8am-8pm
Friday 8am-8pm
Saturday 8am-8pm
Sunday 8am-12:30pm

There are multiple way we can structure this with you being an independent contractor at Blossom. The options will depend on whether you are currently on insurance panels and doing independent billing. Blossom Clinic is a fee-for-service clinic.

Please send résumé and cover letter to theblossomclinic@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Portland Massage Discount: $20 OFF

Portland Massage Discount: $20 off!

Living and practicing in New York City since 2003, Lisa Hulick has now returned to her second home of Portland to continue offering massage and doula services in Portland.

Portland Massage discount

Click here to schedule your first massage with Lisa Hulick at Blossom Clinic and get $20 off!

She began practicing massage in 1999 after completing her training at the Oregon School of Massage while finishing her undergraduate studies at Lewis and Clark College.

In 2003, she moved back to NYC to be close to her family, help care for her newest nephew and attend the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. In 2005, she spent 6 months in Pune, India apprenticing with an Ayurvedic doctor, learning traditional therapeutic massage. Upon her return, she completed a 300-hour yoga teacher training with Kelly Morris and several years of Tibetan Buddhist studies with the Yoga Studies Institute, going on to teach yoga, meditation and Buddhist philosophy in some of the most beautiful and respected yoga studios in NYC and Brooklyn. She completed prenatal teacher trainings through Ma Yoga and PURE and went on to create her own prenatal teacher training program for the Conquering Lion Yoga Teacher Training.

In 2013, she Founded MOM by LJ, a boutique doula practice providing pregnancy, labor, childbirth and postpartum care, combining her passion for prenatal care, yoga, massage and nutrition.

She is known for her caring, grounded touch and support and is thrilled to be joining the team at Blossom.

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Raphael House Fundraiser

Blossom Clinic Raphael House Fundraiser Portland

As a natural health clinic for women, Blossom Clinic practitioners support the health of women, their families and the overall well-being of their children. This is why we’ve decided to raise money for Raphael House, Multnomah County’s largest domestic violence non-profit. Our goal is to raise $2000. This amount would provide the down payment for an apartment and transition costs from the shelter back into a more permanent housing situation. For women and children who have suffered from domestic violence, safe nights are priceless.

There are three ways we are raising money for Raphael House:

  • 3% of all sales in April will be donated to RH. Just by coming into Blossom for treatments, you will be supporting our efforts.

  • We will be asking patients if they would like to donate an additional amount at check-out. There will be cards on the table to bring to the front desk if you would like to opt in!

  • You can donate online here and mention “Blossom Clinic” in the “How did you hear about Raphael House?” section.

Raphael House Fundraiser

We hope you will join us. Please find additional resources on the coffee table at Blossom.

Liz Richards

 

 

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