First Community Acupuncture Workshop in Israel

Last month we celebrated the first ever community acupuncture workshop, here in Jerusalem, Israel. I’ve been planning on doing such a thing for a very long time, but it wasn’t until Ilan Migdali of Acu-lounge expressed to me his will to contribute to community acupuncture in Israel, that things started to happen. Ilan, a senior acupuncturist and relatively new Punk, offers Tan workshops once or twice a year in Israel and is the first not only to bring Dr. Tan (the method and the man himself) to Israel, but also the first senior acupuncturist I personally know of who adopted the CA model with heart felt enthusiasm.

So we talked on the phone and came up with the idea of a workshop. The daylong event was actually divided in two, the first offering 3 presentations and the second with Ilan demonstrating community style treatments. It opened with my own presentation on the philosophical and social roots of the model, core principles and a review of some of the characteristics of successful clinics in the U.S.

Next was Miriam Flashman who hosted the workshop at her campus-based CA clinic in the Hebrew University, who gave a great presentation on marketing. The first part of the day ended with Tom and Ariel’s excellent presentation on their clinic in the northern city of Haifa, which was built in accordance with community and professional principles of the Chinese hospitals where they interned a few years ago. You can say that their model of community acupuncture is very Chinese.

The more practical issues of running a CA clinic were discussed between us throughout the day. Ilan gave Tan style treatments to students who are regular patients at the campus clinic, proving that treating several patients per hour is both doable and enjoyable…

The atmosphere was excellent and the spirit of sharing was noticeable. Following the workshop, lively discussions continued on the internet, mainly on the subject of defining the model (price, style and spirit-wise) and what the next step towards some form of a movement should be.

To all of you wondering what acupuncture is like in Israel, please read again Lisa’s description of acupuncture in England in her keynote speech at the POCAfest. Things are VERY similar between Israel and England, with acupuncture perhaps being even more popular here. The greatest similarities concern the issues of the better healthcare system than in the U.S. and the lacking of a true “villain” to fight against (as Lisa wrote: “You know how a good villain can really move a plot along? Charlie had told us that overall, the acupuncture establishment in the UK was quite supportive of community or multibed acupuncture…”). Well, that’s a pretty accurate description of what goes on in Israel, except that what we have here could barely be called an establishment (the Israeli Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine is mostly made up of well intentioned practitioners who do all their work voluntarily – no six-figure salaries here….)

These issues will have a mark on the future of community acupuncture in Israel, as time will tell. Hopefully, this workshop will get things moving in a good direction.


A few shots of the workshop on Facbook


Author: royg

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  1. It’s great that there is more support for community acupuncture and multi-bed clinics coming from organizations largely representing non-CA acupuncturists in the UK and Israel. However, Roy, I get the sense that you’re pointing out that even with this support and a better bio-medical care system, the CA in Israel, as in the UK, is still in its beginning stages.

    Can you say more about what you’d like to see happen for Israel with regards to Community Acupuncture.

    The conference sounds like it was great- always good to get together with punks and others.

    BTW- did Ilan comb his hair?

  2. Yes Cris, community acupuncture is definitely in its beginning stages here, and when I say “support” from the organization I mean that they’re not opposed to it, or feel threatened by it.
    I’d like to see more clinics in other areas than the big cities. Israel is actually about the size of New Jersey, so the existing 3-4 successful clinics aren’t all that bad. However, Israelis would not drive an hour to get acupuncture, or take a bus for that matter. The scale here is different. And so I feel that more clinics should open, and there should be a “home” for punks.
    I also feel that it is important to emphasize what CA is and what it is NOT. As we all “get along” so well with each other, I sense that we might be getting too lenient with setting the boundaries of the model. I want to keep the idea and spirit of it clear, and so that’s something we are paying attention to these days.