New article about CA in California Journal of Oriental Medicine

I posted this in the Forums, but thought I’d re-post here in order to give more folks access. This article is called:
How Community Clinics Can Transform
and was written by my business partner, Pam Chang, of the Yes! / Utne fame. It is a very good very detailed overview of the Community Acupuncture business model / movement. She worked really hard on this piece and I think it came out well. There are lots of quotes / testimonials from patients and practitioners.

I have not figured out a way to attach a PDF file here, but if the link above does not work for you, it can be downloaded either from the Marketing forum here: (if you are a CAN member) or from our clinic website links page here:

Author: tatyana

<p> I grew up in the Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States as a teen, living in New York and Chicago before moving to the Bay Area in 1998. I began as a Yoga instructor and as a practitioner of Ohashiatsu bodywork and have been practicing Acupuncture/Chinese Medicine since 2003. Before switching to community acupuncture practice model I had a sporadic and struggling private practice, worked as an herbal pharmacist, as an instructor and clinical supervisor at an acupuncture school, plus did a two-year stint doing acupuncture at a public health clinic, working with mostly HIV/HCV+ populations in San Francisco. </p> <p> My discovery of Community Acupuncture practice model (via Lisa Rohleder's Acupuncture Today columns) profoundly transformed my life -- not just my work life but many other aspects of it. I gained a vocation, a community of friends and the most stable and rewarding job I have ever had. I see community acupuncture practice model as the most sustainable and most fitting to my values. It makes sense to me from the point of view of healthcare access, social justice, spirituality, and as an antidote to isolation. In 2008, together with another stellar acupunk Pam Chang I...

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  1. thank you Pam

    Excellent article. Thanks for all the time you obviously put into it. One very minor piece of critical feedback….I feel compelled to challenge – what may be only semantic misunderstanding on my part – but it just struck a dissonant chord in me when you wrote:

    “community acupuncture, with its low sliding scale fees,
    addresses a growing and barely-tapped economic niche”. Perhaps you meant “economic niche” in relation to the overall health care economy – yes, acupuncture is a niche in that respect.

    But if you compare the market in America for CA at $15-$35 per treatment, to the market for traditional treatments at $65 and up….the latter would seem to be more rightly deserving of the “niche” label.

    All true religions seek to gain access to that level of consciousness which is not ego-bound.</

  2. Really nice…

    I also thought the article was very well done. All the different points of view – CA practitioners, senior acupuncturists, patients – all lent to a nice overlay of CA experiences.

  3. Distributing the article to a wider audience

    I printed off  copies of this article and gave them out to a group of high school students who came into the clinic this morning to learn about acupupuncture.

    The first question asked was “I am I allowed to stretch out in the recliner?”  Go for it!

    Well, they learned more about acupuncture.  I did a demonstration on their teacher.  Talked about what we theorize what acupuncture does, but it is all still vague and mysterious.  And then I talked about CAN.

    I also gave them a reading list of websites, blogs, and books and coupons to come back for a free treatment (if under 18, they must come back with their parent)  Before they left I booked an appointment for a young patient to see my business partner tomorrow afternoon. 

    And we just keep growing!

    Love, Elizabeth

    P.S. just to support the article.  Sam and I got started this summer.  At the time I was treating 4 people a week out a room in my home and charging on a slidig scale of $40-$65.  I still do massage work on the side, but this week I will do 24 acupuncture treatments.