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!
Has 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!
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!
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!
We recently sent Jeff, Cait, and Whitney to Portland to learn more about running a large community acupuncture clinic. They were able to hash it out with acupuncturists from all over the country who either run, or hope to run, clinics just like OAP. It was a fun and informative weekend full of camaraderie and intelligent insight. As you can see from the photo, we love what we do.
The POCA Technical Institute is the educational arm of the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture. POCA’s 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. POCA Tech’s aim is to provide the cooperative with educational programs that back up its mission. Its first goal is to create entry-level training programs for acupuncturists that are affordable to prospective students of ordinary incomes. The POCA cooperative urgently needs qualified licensed acupuncturists both to work in existing community acupuncture clinics and to open new clinics in underserved areas. This is one of the most pressing necessities for the cooperative as a whole, and so it is POCA Tech’s highest priority. POCA Tech is currently raising funds to launch its entry-level training programs for acupuncturists. Every bit counts- donate today!
POCAfest is the annual conference on all things Community Acupuncture- a time to share what’s working well in our clinics, and to learn what we could be doing better. But the best part is spending time with so many inspired and passionate people who are all working toward the same goal: ensuring that people across the country and around the world have access to affordable acupuncture. Jeff and Cait share their takes on the conference below.
“Ahh, POCAfest. I never knew earning Continuing Education Units could be so much fun. The first pleasant surprise was that it was located at Marin Headlands, that little shoot of fog infested land hanging out on the ocean side of the golden gate bridge. The next lovely surprise, was that the fog was clear and everyday of the weekend was sunny and sparkling. That made it hard to be sitting inside a classroom all weekend, but luckily we were engaged in topics we were all passionate about: community acupuncture and how to make it better. We learned how to run clinics more efficiently, to reach more patients, to give more effective treatments. Not just from the wise old speakers running each breakout session, but also from the vast stores of wisdom embedded in the experience of each and every attendee. Nobody was arrogant. Everybody’s contribution had relevance to what we do day to day. This type of learning continued into the social hour around the after dinner campfire. What really sweetened the pot was that the food was amazing. In particular, the lunchtime sandwich bars, still haunt my meat filled dreams. At the end of it all, it seems like, for each of us there, our love of what we do was substantiated and enhanced. Already looking forward to next year.” – Jeff
“It was really terrific being at POCA-fest. The salty sea air, the tasty food, the barrels of local beer and wine and, most importantly, all the amazing people I met who support Community Acupuncture each and every day. Acupuncturists, patients, multimedia wizards, family members and so much more! Such an eclectic, talented group of people who believe acupuncture can and should be both high quality and affordable. There were great presentations filled with wonderful insights, ideas and techniques focused on how to be better – for you, us, our families, neighborhoods and communities, our cities and small towns. Community Acupuncture is clearly taking off, in this country and in others. Can’t wait til next year!” – Cait
This is a great article about the power of community acupuncture from the National Post in Canada. “Health and wellness practices such as acupuncture…remain distant possibilities for anyone struggling to make ends meet. It’s a sad irony: Practices that are so adept at pain relief and stress management are not easily accessible to those burdened by the corrosive effects of chronic illness and disadvantage.” Read more here!
Another nice article on community acupuncture: “Acupuncture is not common in the U.S., especially with working class families. For most patients, visiting a POCA clinic is very different from any healthcare they have imagined. There are no doctors in white coats and no pharmaceutical prescriptions. Perhaps the greatest difference, however, is that there are no unintelligible, high-priced bills…” Read more here!