Community Acupuncture Documentary

Community Acupuncture: The Calmest Revolution Ever Staged

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by Brian Lindstrom, 35 minutes

What is it?

This is a new documentary by award-winning local filmmaker Brian Lindstrom. The film is: “Community Acupuncture: the Calmest Revolution Ever Staged”.  Lindstrom is best known for his cinema-verite documentary, “Finding Normal”, which chronicles the lives of three people in recovery from chemical dependency. He uses the same style in the new film, shooting and editing himself, to tell the story of the community acupuncture movement – probably one of the few social movements to start in NE Portland's Cully neighborhood and subsequently spread around the country. The film follows six diverse community acupuncture patients and shows the impact of affordable acupuncture on their lives and communities.

In 2002, Portland acupuncturists, Skip Van Meter and Lisa Rohleder, opened a clinic in the Cully neighborhood with the intention of making acupuncture affordable and accessible to people of ordinary incomes. They redesigned the conventional acupuncture business model, treating patients in a communal setting in used recliners, and charging a sliding scale of $15-35 per treatment. They started by treating about 12 patients a week; today, Working Class Acupuncture treats some 450 patients a week at its Cully location, and another 200 per week in its Hillsdale location, making it  the busiest acupuncture practice in Oregon. WCA's model has been replicated in some 200 other affordable acupuncture clinics all over the country.

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