The World Needs More Community Acupuncturists!

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This past weekend, I presented at the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) along with Tess Bois, a community acupuncturist in Fitchburg. It was an inspiring experience, but also one that highlighted a sorry truth about community acupuncture—there are not enough of us to go around!

Our workshop was fairly small, only six participants, and none of the attendees had every experienced an acupuncture treatment before. After talking for a bit about community acupuncture in general and why we got into it, we began doing treatments. Because of the small size of the group, we were able to treat everyone in the zero gravity recliners that Tess brought.

With the six people relaxing in a semi-circle and the lights dimmed, it was a close approximation of how a community acupuncture clinic would actually function. Tess and I were thrilled. It may sound dorky to say it, but I think most community acupuncturists would agree— there is something extremely soul-satisfying in witnessing a group of people sharing healing energy.

The treatments lasted 30 minutes, about half the length of an average acupuncture treatment, and the participants (turned patients) seemed very pleased with the experience. We told them all about the Community Acupuncture Network (CAN), and how to find a community acupuncturist near them.

Unfortunately, several of the attendees lived in areas with no community acupuncturist nearby. For example, did you know that there are no community acupuncture clinics in the entire state of Vermont? It was disappointing to see people– who were so enthusiastic about the concept– let down in this way.

One solution, which we suggested to the participants, is to ask your local acupuncturists to consider starting a community practice, even if it’s only a few days a week. If more acupuncturists start offering affordable treatments, a larger portion of the population will be able to experience acupuncture’s benefits. This results in a greater number of people recommending acupuncture to their friends and family… which leads to more patients for the acupuncturists! It’s a win-win situation!

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