Elana on POCAfest Marin 2016

The Laurel Clinic Crew

This past weekend, we at OAP joined together with our SAP (Sacramento Acupuncture Project) family and other acupunks (AKA Community Acupuncturists) from across the country in beautiful Marin Headlands for POCA Fest. If you don’t know by now, POCA is the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture whose mission is “to work cooperatively to increase accessibility to and availability of affordable group acupuncture treatments.” Basically, POCA has created an amazing platform that helps to make it possible for hundreds of community clinics to pop up around the world, spreading the positive vibes and benefits of acupuncture world wide.

It was my first POCA fest and a weekend full of amazing workshops and connecting with passionate acupunks. Jeff from our Grand clinic led a workshop on effective HR tools and tricks for keeping our acupunks properly trained and working to their fullest potential. Cait from our Laurel clinic and Molly from SAP shared their experiences and advice on keeping healthy boundaries with patients in and outside of the clinic walls. I was excited to learn some new acupuncture protocols and herbal formulas to help treat anything from shoulder and ankle pain, IBS, common colds and all the way to fertility.
At night, we huddled together by the bonfire, caught a few shooting stars and shared stories with fellow acupunks. It was amazing to see all of the clinic owners, acupunks and students interested in POCA from Canada, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Mexico and more with the same goals and desire to continue making acupuncture accessible and affordable to the masses.
All in all, it was a beautiful weekend with incredible views, warm and generous people and the spirit and love of community acupuncture.

Margo On Being a POCA Member

Community is awesome in all forms. Since the moment I learned about Community Acupuncture by reading Acupuncture is Like Noodles, I was in.  I love being a part of communities on all levels: from small and local (Sacramento Acupuncture Project) to international and on the internet (People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture aka POCA).

Oakland Acupuncture Project (AKA: OAP) has now grown into SOAP – Sacramento/Oakland Acupuncture Project. We have three clinics: two in Oakland and one in Sacramento. Each individual clinic has it’s own small community with its own vibe, punks*, and patients, but we are all part of the bigger SOAP community.

The SOAP community is part of an even bigger community through POCA. POCA is made up of community acupuncture clinic owners, punks, patients, and volunteers, and we all love Community Acupuncture. There are so many benefits to becoming a POCA member that I’ll just let you peruse on your own here: https://www.pocacoop.com/membership/join-patientcom/, but the biggest benefit is that you are part of an organization that supports the solidarity of local communities.

POCA helped me find my new job at SOAP, and I could not be happier to be part of the smaller community at Sacramento Acupuncture Project, the larger community of SOAP and of course the ever growing, international community of POCA. Help me support this movement by becoming a member today.

*Punk = affectionate term for Community Acupuncturists

POCA Membership Drive and Raffle!

Love what we do? Interested in becoming a part of the international community acupuncture movement? Consider joining our co-op, the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture. POCA clinics gave a total of over 750,000 acupuncture treatments in 2012. Your membership will help support opening more acupuncture clinics through microloans. 300 new patient members will provide the funding for a new POCA clinic in an underserved area!  For more information about the many benefits of a POCA membership, go to POCA’s website and become a member today!

As an added incentive we will be running a special for POCA members in November. But that’s not all! We will also be raffling off two 5 treatment Easy Cards and two OAP tote bags at the end of the month. To enter the raffle sign up for POCA membership and forward your confirmation email to oaklandacu@gmail.com.

“Community Acupuncture: A Non-Consumptive Healthcare Model”

Check out this great article on community acupuncture from The Post Growth Institute: “There is a silent revolution in healthcare emerging in the United States. Based on a tradition that boasts a several thousand-year history, the community acupuncture movement is pioneering a non-consumptive healthcare model that brings people together to promote human well-being in an affordable way. There is an implied class-consciousness involved in the proliferation of these clinics. Practitioners are motivated by the belief that acupuncture is effective and should be made as widely available as possible…” The author does a great job of outlining how community acupuncture clinics are changing healthcare by breaking down social and economic barriers to care- and he even mentions OAP!

Let’s POCA!! (or, How You Can Help)

POCA artworkHas Community Acupuncture made a difference in your life?  Would you like to be able to refer your friends and family to affordable community clinics like OAP all over the country?  Then please, JOIN POCA!  The People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture is a multi-stakeholder cooperative whose goal is “to make acupuncture available and accessible to as many people as possible and to support those providing acupuncture to create stable and sustainable businesses and jobs.”  Currently POCA is working on some awesome projects, like establishing micro-loans to help community clinics get started in underserved areas, and establishing a new acupuncture school that will make acupuncture education affordable.  POCA is changing the look of health care in America, and YOU can be a part of it! Annual memberships are just $25-100 (sliding scale, of course!), and come with some great benefits including a free birthday treatment and three “free first treatment” certificates that you can use to introduce your friends and family to community acupuncture.

In the words of POCA volunteer and fellow acupunk Cris Monteiro, “We live in a time where isolation is one of our greatest societal ills, and people are rediscovering the powers we have to pull together, to provided needed services and resources for one another, our families, and our communities.  POCA is one example of how collective and collaborative work empowers us and makes our world a better place to live.”  Join today!

13 Ways Acupuncture Can Change Your Life in 2013

Many people initially come to acupuncture seeking relief from pain or illness. The relief they find often does change their lives in obvious ways- for instance they are able to get back to work without pain or to resume a favorite hobby. But acupuncture also changes lives in more subtle ways. Many patients report that they feel more like themselves with regular acupuncture treatment, experiencing a sense of relaxation and well-being that goes beyond simple pain or symptom relief. Check out this article by Sara Calabro of AcuTake for more about how acupuncture can change your life this year!

Why You Need to Try Community Acupuncture Now

This is a nice article about the community acupuncture movement from a fellow community acupuncturist in Berkeley, at Yellow Emperor Community Acupuncture Clinic. “Because CA is definitely a movement. Beyond a clinic model, it is a simple and radical rethinking of what health care is and what it can be. With a few simple guiding principles, CA envisions how medicine can become more affordable, accessible, person and community centered, low impact and effective.” Read more here!