Cait’s Farewell

Years and years ago, I remember Jeff and I talking with Whitney at our old acu- school, AIMC in Berkeley.  Whitney and Roselle had just opened OAP and Jeff and I were close to finishing our programs; there we stood listening to Whitney talk about community acupuncture and how much fun she and Roselle were having providing lots and lots of high quality/low cost acupuncture to folks in the Diamond Laurel.  After she left, I’ll never forget Jeff and I looking at one another and saying, ”How great would it be to work at a place like THAT when we get out of here!?”

Fast forward to the Fall of 2011 and a phone call from Jeff asking me if I “knew anyone who would want to work at OAP”.  Having just passed my acupuncture boards, I had one clear response, “Sure do, Dude.”   Over the past five-plus years, I have had the honor and privilege, the joy and pleasure of working with and for some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met.  OAP has been such a source of growth, expansion, solidarity, community and love for not only me but many many others.  I had no idea of the true power and reach of acupuncture before I arrived here for I was still fairly new to community acupuncture.

 As my time here grew, I’ve gotten to see our Laurel location continue to thrive, the opening and blossoming of our Grand location and our newest bustling Sacramento location come into existence with a bang. I’ve watched Roselle leave to open her own CA clinic, Whitney move up to Sacramento and I’ve gotten to work on an amazing team of committed, caring punks who are really good at how and what they do. I’ve also gotten the chance to become deeply involved in POCA, the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture ( working with the Clinic Success circle, teaching at POCAfests and mentoring POCAtech students at our very  own  acupuncture school.  I love my job and it has been an excellent, wild ride.  Thank you all for being a part of it.  Thank you for bringing your friends, family, co-workers and, of course, yourself into OAP’s doors.  Thank you for teaching me how to work really hard and how to still manage to play harder.  I appreciate your trust and dedication, your loyalty to our community and being part of our vision to provide lots and lots of simple, effective, affordable acupuncture to tons of people in Oakland and beyond.

 This May, I’ll take my show on the road and head to the midwest where I intend to continue to spread the OAP lineage to Lincoln, Nebraska where I’ll be opening Lincoln Acupuncture Project.  Woo Hoo!!   I’m thrilled that OAP will continue to grow and thrive long after my departure.  Forever, I’ll carry the OAP Family in my heart and soul.  If you’re so inclined, I’d love to gather some testimonials for my new website, which can be emailed to  May we never forget, life’s for living and here’s to the adventure!

 Cheers, Cait       

Introduction to Community Acupuncture

East Bay POCA (People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture) Clinics come together at Oakland Acupuncture Project to provide a detailed introduction to Community Acupuncture!

You will learn what community acupuncture is: why to do it, how it works, get a glimpse into a day in the life of a community acupuncturist; learn how to needle patients in armchairs, what treatments and treatment plans to use, case studies from our clinics AND meet a panel of community acupuncturists who can answer questions and provide demos!

This event is located at the Grand Ave clinic of Oakland Acupuncture Project: 3718 Grand Ave Suite 1 Oakland, CA 94610

4 CEUS (Category 1 California Acupuncture Board, pending)

$20 in cash or check, pay at door, no refund after the class has begun.

You MUST be registered to attend this event.

Please email Mary at Put “Attention Mary” in the subject line. Include your commitment to attend, your full name as it appears on your license and your California license number. If you a student, please let us know what school you attend.

Ray on Standing in Healing with Standing Rock

Since April of this year, Native peoples from hundreds of tribes nation-wide have gathered in North Dakota to protect the land and waterways threatened by the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) . As an acupuncturist, I see the protest of the DAPL as a practice of holistic healing. The slogan of the protest is “Water is Life,” uplifting the importance of protecting the waterways threatened by the pipeline construction, and all the life that is being put in danger as a result. Without clean water, we can’t live.

Water in Chinese medicine corresponds with source energy, and the Kidney organ system. The Kidney system is all about our will, our longevity, our primordial essence, our reproductive power. In Chinese medicine, we consider all the diverse conditions within a person’s body and life experiences that play a role in the disharmony that manifests as pain or disease. The context of what’s happening and the history of the condition are interconnected with what is happening in the moment. This is true in the body, and on the planet.

Just as putting a tiny needle in the foot can relieve the pain of a headache, even those of us that are far away from the struggles in North Dakota can play a role in the cultural healing that’s happening there. The culture of capitalist greed that prioritizes a pipeline of fracked oil over the safety and sovereignty of Indigenous people and their commitment to preservation of the environment is the same capitalist culture that has commodified acupuncture, making it a luxury item accessible only to the elite. In these ways, our individual healing, even as non-indigenous settlers, is linked to the environmental justice fight happening in North Dakota, and to indigenous self-determination, in general.

Community Acupuncture, and the social business model of OAP is a radical shift toward resource sharing and sharing our healing experiences. Here, the OAP community can look to the commitment and bravery of the warriors at Standing Rock as an example. We are connected, and when we are able to be really present, there’s a collective experience that we share. Our healing is linked, and we can feel that when we come together and share the experience.

How beautiful to come together to heal, and how beautiful to come together to support the healing that has manifested as the fight for justice against the corporate greed of the oil industry. In North Dakota, people are putting their bodies on the line in this fight to ensure clean water for our future. The Protectors are setting a precedent about what we need to prioritize, as a culture, in order to sustain the health of our country. From a Chinese medicine perspective, this is about nourishing our kidneys, our collective longevity- the water element, the source, the will to create a safe environment for all life to continue to thrive.

This December, OAP will be holding a donation drive for the Water Protectors at Standing Rock. This contribution by the OAP community is important to me because of the connections between what we’re doing here at OAP and what the Native peoples are fighting for in North Dakota. The OAP community benefits from the resistance to the DAPL, and I believe that in turn, we are responsible to the Water Protectors in the North as well.

In an effort to respect and uplift Indigenous voices on this issue, here’s some resources written and compiled by folks directly involved in the struggle: