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.