More One Percent Acu-BS

Some members of the acupuncture profession seem more interested in obediently repeating the mantras of the 1 percent elites in America, rather than questioning the structure of power and yawning chasm of class inequality that prevent vast numbers of people from being able to afford acupuncture services. In a recent article in an acupuncture trade magazine I read that:

High fees attract only the most committed patients and consequently have the highest chance of success, and thus referrals. This is especially true where patient involvement is necessary. For example, a patient who is willing to pay $300 for a “stop smoking” treatment is likely more committed to stopping than one who pays $10 for the same treatment.

Acupuncture Today February, 2012, Vol. 13, Issue 02; “Many Offices, Many Lessons”.

This is the totally recycled BS that I have been hearing from one corner of the acupuncture profession since I began school in the early 1990s – insinuating that wealthy people value their health more than working class citizens of more modest financial means. Only an ignorant fool would pay $300 for one acupuncture treatment, believing that somehow a) quick fixes for our health imbalances are available at a price, and b) people who don't have that cash to throw around somehow value their health less. This is privileged nonsense.

Community acupuncture clinics like CommuniChi offer acupuncture on a sliding scale of $15 to $35 per treatment, with a one time evaluation fee of $10 on the first visit. We assume that you care about your health deeply regardless of how much you choose to pay on our scale.

Our clinic receives no federal subsidies, no grants, and we do not participate in any insurance networks. We are totally dependent upon the community we serve, and our satisfied patients who tell their friends and family about this low cost, self-empowering, ancient medicine.

On Wednesday, February 1st, we are celebrating our 5 Year Anniversary and offering free acupuncture to new patients. 

Thanks for your support.

river Jordan
Author: river Jordan

After graduating from the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine in 1997, I had a hobby practice for a few years before moving to Northern India to study Buddhism. During this time, I volunteered in a local clinic, giving acupuncture to Tibetan refugees and Indian nationals. <p> Returning to the U.S. in 2002, I started a typical insurance based acupuncture practice catering to the upper middle class. In 2005, following Hurricane Katrina, I volunteered with <a href="https://www.acuwithoutborders.org/" target="_blank">Acupuncturists Without Borders</a>, using community style acupuncture to treat trauma victims in a natural disaster setting. </p> Inspired by the power and efficacy of acupuncture in a post-disaster setting, I began to contemplate issues of socioeconomic class. What could be done to make acupuncture accessible to everyone and still provider a livable wage for an acupuncturist? After attending WCA's first conference in October of 2006, I had found the answer to that question. In January 2007, together with my partner Serena Sundaram, we founded <a href="https://www.communichi.org/" target="_blank">Communichi</a>, Seattle's first dedicated community acupuncture clinic. <p> As a Buddhist, I believe that healing begins in the mind. As the positive qualities of wisdom and compassion are cultivated in the mind of a practitioner, this...

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