Community Acupuncture & Me

Thank you for the opportunity to share my story. I have now been a member of CAN for seven days, I attended the recent Working Man’s Acupuncture training, and I am opening my community practice tomorrow. I am so inspired by all of you, but especially Lisa Rohleder. Folks, isn’t she a saintly woman for taking on all those poor people in her practice? You betchya she is!

I find the CAN website to be an eloquent treatise on community acupuncture. This  and this are my two favorite posts. Well, actually they’re the only two which I’ve read, because there is just so darn much information in your forums. But as soon as my practice is up and running, I promise to sit down and read through everything. In the meantime, I need to establish my Young Living account and order a diffuser and some Rose essence, because I understand that Rose is especially beneficial for promoting prosperity.

As for the Working Man’s workshop, I think you kids should consider presenting at the AAAOM convention next year. The cookie demonstration was especially thought-provoking, although I didn’t really understand why participants were upset that I had most of the treats; I mean, I offered to share a portion with the less fortunate. (And while we’re enabling cookies, may I suggest that next time you invest in the organic brand please, because the regular ones have too much Trans-Fat.) Unfortunately, I missed the HIPPA-talk because I was still doing my mid-morning yoga facelifts in the hallway, but I appreciated the fact that you had a discussion concerning HIPPA, and I am certain you raised some really excellent points. I will ensure that my intake room has acoustic panels for soundproofing, and I will instruct everyone to use soft eyes in the treatment space.

I simply LOVE the Working Man’s Acupuncture shirts and books (especially the “Love Your Microbusiness” e-book). I also like the drawings in your Pasta (Cook)Book. I don’t really understand the Noodles to Acupuncture analogy, but then again I haven’t had time to read it. I do, however, sleep with the book under my pillow every night in hopes that some of its wisdom will osmotically seep into my consciousness during Stage 4 of REM.

Let me tell you about my practice. Well, first let me tell you a bit about my credentials, because I can’t imagine why anyone would come to my clinic if they didn’t know about me.

Ten years ago, I received my Masters of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (M.A.OM.) from the oldest and most highly regarded school of acupuncture in the country. The M.A.OM. degree exceeds the basic requirements for a Masters in Acupuncture (M.Ac.) by over a thousand educational hours. I am proud to say that I voluntarily paid for an additional thousand hours of clinical work even beyond that, just so I could graduate Magna Cum Laude. Furthermore, I hold an advanced clinical training certificate in acupuncture from a Traditional Chinese Medicine hospital in China. I am licensed in a state in which I neither reside nor practice, for the sole purpose of using their title: “Doctor.” I received merit as a Diplomat in Oriental Medicine from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), and I continue to pay exorbitant sums of money to maintain this elite distinction.

Since graduating, I have published dozens of articles and several books about my esoteric acupuncture theories. I teach meridian location–a foundational course for acupuncture students–at the local acupuncture college, which provides me the perfect opportunity to present eager young students with information about my community clinic. I presently offer online CEU’s to acupuncturists, and will soon add Community Acupuncture workshops to my repertoire. Because I have already attended the WMA workshop, am now a member of CAN, and I Sleep-With-Spaghetti, I am perfectly qualified for this role. (I will not serve Kool-Aid like those silly old hippies, though. Instead, I will offer a delightful assortment of sparkling water and fresh produce for the satisfaction of my attendees. I also promise to address my hygiene and habits so as to not carry an…um…unpleasant odor about me.)

But enough about myself; let’s talk about my practice. Because I want to offer options, I will promote two different practices: “Bootie-Cutie” and “Communi-Tootie.” I discuss the virtues of each on my website (although more bandwidth is devoted to Bootie-Cutie). Since one’s first impression of my clinic begins with the website, ambient music sings from my home page. Each webpage boasts a sign stating, “Favorite in the County.” (Unbeknownst to my peers, I staged a “Favorite Acupuncturist” competition on an obscure website, and when nobody else in the region partook in it, I proclaimed myself “The Favorite.”)

For the inquisitive patient, my website has a comprehensive FAQ page which goes into a bit of detail about TCM pathogeneses, such as Phlegm-Fire Harassing the Heart and Liver-Wind Agitating Within (which, frankly, several of you should study). I find that the discriminating consumer is interested in the philosophical, medical, spiritual, and scientific aspects of our medicine. Additionally, exhibiting my superior understanding of these mysterious patterns helps to indicate my status as a well-educated medical professional, which is important to Joe-the-Plumber.

Bootie-Cutie and Communit-Tootie will both be offered at the same location. I have worked diligently to present the most exotic, elegant décor for my clientele. Swanky red leather chairs adorn the reception room, and Chinese characters are placed in precise feng-shui throughout the office. Images of Buddha beautify the treatment spaces, and tea lights flicker throughout the hallway. As a special feature to Communi-Tootie patients, we will offer improv music in the treatment room on Fridays. (I trust that the perfect performer will be guided to offer their services to us, so I will not bother auditioning the musicians.)

My employees –well, I like to call them “employees” because then I can pat myself on the back for creating jobs in a recession, but honestly they’re on their own with Uncle Sam as “Independent Contractors”–all wear professional uniforms. Each acupuncturist sports a freshly-pressed and spotless white lab coat. I have even gifted them with matching pocket protectors, bearing the clinic’s logo.

Because I want Communi-Tootie to appear on CAN’s Locate-A-Clinic page, I will be mindful of the upper-limit on its sliding scale. Communi-Tootie will offer treatments for $25 – $40 (except for fertility work, which is only available at Bootie-Cutie). The initial, comprehensive, six-page paperwork fee will be $20. Individuals will be encouraged to pay as much as possible, because you reap what you sow. I will treat one patient every 30-40 minutes in a single room with two tables, and the tables will be carefully separated by large screens. Absolutely nobody will stay longer than an hour, but I’d really prefer it if the ‘Tootie patients all left in much less time. The tables are essential, because I feel that an acupuncture treatment without the shu points is like linguine without the saffron.

En route to the group space, I will offer a tour of our private rooms so that Communi-Tootie’s patients can see what they’re missing. Perhaps it will entice them to value their health a bit more and pay for what they truly deserve: My Attention.

Communi-Tootie will be open on Mondays from 9-11am and on Fridays from 6-8pm. I will call our Fridays “Happy Hour” and talk to participants about how much healthier our Happy Hour is than the one at the exclusive nightclub down the street. Sure, a patient could order 3 or 4 decent martinis at the other Happy Hour for the price of one acupuncture session at our “Happy Hour,” but my condescending and judgmental attitudes about that will be perfectly clear.

All Communi-Tootie patients will be instructed to receive herbs (they will have to schedule a $45 herbal consultation), lest my clinical efficacy suffer. I will use only the oldy-moldy-goldy raw herbs, quickly explaining the complicated cooking instructions. For an extra $40 though, I will prepare and bless the herbs myself.

At Communi-Tootie, I will collect money from each patient with my own hands and document their payment in the clinical chart while they watch. This will help me assess how to direct my attention, and it will let patients know that their ability to pay directly affects the treatments they receive. For example, if somebody consistently pays $25, then I will know that they are only taking advantage of my low prices and are probably not serious about their health. For these people, I will not waste a lot of my precious time. But for those who pay $40 per visit, I might offer a few more needles and a little extra lifestyle counseling.

Patients with more than one complaint will be told about the benefits of a tailored, private room treatment at Bootie-Cutie. (I even offer a FREE phone consultation, for this very purpose!) Private treatments start at $150 and may cost more, depending on the alignment of the stars on any particular day. Or, private treatments sometimes cost less based upon the condition’s acuity and my own discretion. (All of which is why I don’t actually post Bootie-Cutie’s prices on my website.) The Bootie-Cutie practice does not hold regular office hours, instead offering “Appointment-Only,” because it is very important that I maintain my own schedule of alternative therapy appointments…not to mention the pedi’s, highlights, and facials that I need to keep-up.

And so I ask all of you, the collective wisdom of CAN, can you see any reason why Communi-Tootie might not be permitted on your Locate-A-Clinic page? Are there any barriers which might impact the success of my community clinic? Do you have anything to add?

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  1. THIS:

    “En route to the group space, I will offer a tour of our private rooms so
    that Communi-Tootie’s patients can see what they’re missing. Perhaps it
    will entice them to value their health a bit more and pay for what they
    truly deserve: My Attention” is *priceless*.  In fact it’s so priceless I almost wish I could send you money for it.  Of course, I was already in stitches over the saffron, so that might have jaundiced me (so to speak).

  2. Ellen, Ellen, Ellen. *sigh*

    You have your priorities all wrong.  Maintaining the integrity of this medicine is far more important than promoting its accessibility.  This is about Art. Culture.  Tradition

    Would Sun Si Mio have vacuum-packed and Fed-Exed his secret formulas?

    I think not.

    Get your lazy ass off the couch, shut down the television, and start tromping the 1,000-mile-journey to my clinic’s front door.  I can’t possibly do anything for you without inspecting your tongue (never mind about my deuteranopia).

  3. But of course you can send money, Nora.

    I have a PayPal account.  (I do not, however, accept macrame.)