How Many Chinese People Do You Treat?

The recent Working Class Acupuncture Seminar in St. Paul was quite inspiring. 

  • I thought the “Acupuncture as a scam for white people by white people” was particularly funny. When we are discussing and comparing ruling class and upper middle class values by comparing what they would want in dresses and acupuncture clinics, it suddenly reminded me of what people always asked me when we did talks on acupuncture.

“How many Chinese people do you treat?”

  • As if acupuncture was something strange that only Chinese people believed in or worked for Chinese people. 

And the honest answer? “Um….very few, most of our patients are Caucasians.”

If ruling class people value spa acupuncture, and upper middle class people value white coat acupuncture, what kind of acupuncture do Chinese people value?


  • Acupuncturist

They have to be ancient.(j/k) I mean really ancient. I don’t think anyone under their 70s is really respected. Mid 60s would be cutting it kind of close.  Preferably looks like they came from old Kung Fu movie (I am not joking 😉 I trained with these drs)

  • Location, Location, Location

Preferably in the depths of Chinatown or reasonably similar ethnic “ghetto”. Clinic has to look absolutely terrible and uncared for. So you know that the acupuncturist only VALUES the medicine and nothing else. Smells heavily of herbs.  Maybe run out of the person’s tiny apartment which is filled to the brim with all sorts of dried herbs and Chinese medicine books. No one can find anything in the clutter but the acupuncturist themselves. 

  • How did you find out about it?

Through a referral from a Chinese person, who has been there and know the exact dark alley you have to walk down and dimly lit staircase you have to walk up. He/she brings you there, since there would be no way you could find it by yourself.

  • How was the experience?

The experience? You mean some old guy feeling your pulse, scribbling down some herbs, and acupuncture without too many questions in bad english, very quickly? What experience? Probably a bit scary.  

  • Cost?

Barely anything. Mostly herbs.  

  • Values that this experience reflects: Age, Experience, Focus on medicine, connections, Knowledge, Low Cost

So what’s the real reason I don’t treat any Chinese people?

  • Well first of all I need wait about 40 years.
  • Second of all I need get all of funny looking Chinese Characters off my walls. (Did I mention since I am in a small town I couldn’t figure out what to decorate my office with, so I brought all the Chinese characters “art” from Family Dollar and “borrowed” one of my boyfriend’s birthday cards that we got in China (for lack of better “Chinese” looking things”) (I mean I should convince the Chinese people not to laugh too hard when they pass by)

And no Chinese people really go to a BA practice. It’s just too much.  

(please take into account that this post is written with humor and I am not anti-Chinese ;)) 

Jade Fang
Author: Jade Fang

Opened Jade Community Acupuncture in July of 2009. Loving the CA experience. Love being a part of the community. It's my first time being in business by myself, so writing about the roller coaster ride it is being a first time businesswoman. Have some marketing experience, love to help people with their marketing. Really appreciate the community of support with CAN! Everyone's helped me so much!

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  1. Umm…if anyone can teach me how to post proper spacing

    It’d be much appreciated! 

    Jade Community Acupuncture, Winona, MN

  2. No no no! In China,

    you’re not worth anything till you hit 9 times 9!  (At least that’s what they all told me in China.)  You need to wait a lot longer.

    I had to laugh at this, because your descriptions are RIGHT ON!  Folks, she is not exaggerating!  I got a new patient last week: Chinese lady in pain.  She was very pleased after the treatment, and I was doubly pleased!

  3. Yikes !!!

    I was wondering why I have so few Chinese patients. I guess balding white guy wearing Birkenstocks, playing space music isn’t going to do the trick.

  4. Jade, I can’t wait to meet

    Jade, I can’t wait to meet you someday.  Anyone who decorates their clinic with borrowed greeting cards & stuff from Family Dollar is all right with me.  Keep up the good work!