On Community Style Acupuncture

I consider myself to be practicing Community Style.  It is a little hard to pin down exactly what that is.  This is mostly because everyone so far has started out learning something else first.  Depending on the practitioner,Community Style may contain elements of 5E, TCM, Kiko, auricular, tan, tung and so on.  Community Style can’t be considered any of these things in a pure sense because it breaks a lot of their rules.  That is what upsets people.

Community Style is a modern style of acupuncture designed to treat the common illnesses of regular people in the west.  It also takes into account limited time and resources.

Some community acupuncturists are not practicing Community Style.  They are practicing a derivation of Tung (as taught by Dr Young, Susan Johnson, Dr. Tan, Miriam Lee and so on).  Tung relies heavily on distal strategies and so they can get away with this.

I learned 5E is school but am not practicing 5E now.  3 major treatments of 5E- IDs, EDs and AE all rely on needling the torso.  Couple that with not treating symptoms and practicing 5E in a CA setting becomes very difficult if not impossible and limits how successful a CA practice will be.  So IMO it is best for 5E acupuncturists wanting to practice in a community clinic to learn Community Style.  They will have to go through some extra special twists and turns to make this work.  It seems like it maybe slightly easier for TCM folks to learn Community Style.

Someone who is practicing Community Style is happy to get inspiration and strategies from a tung source and then break those rules too.  That is why it doesn’t matter HOW Miriam Lee treated or what she intended ML10 to be used for.  ML10 has been appropriated by Community Style for our own purposes.

Community Style works and is very safe.  There are tons of people getting Community Style treatments everyday and they are getting better.  This is not coming from me (a punk who has been out of school for close to 2 years).  This is info I have put together from paying attention to the folks who are the pioneers of Community Style.  This is knowledge is based on 100s of thousands of treatments over many years by hundreds of punks.

Someone who practices 5E style has no business saying a TCM practitioner is “doing it wrong.”  Someone who is practicing tung style has no business telling a punk doing community style that they are “doing it wrong.” 

If you want to know about 5E ask a 5 element practitioner.  If you want to know about Tan ask a Tandinista.  If you want to know about Community Style ask a punk!

Author: Ztrukn

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  1. Just bumping this post because i’ve been thinking a lot about this subject of late. Larry G made a very good comment on one of the FB threads about patients with previous acu experience who needed to be sort of introduced to the notion that this treatment was not going to be like those they’d had with their previous acupuncturist (unless they’d been to a CAP of course). Indeed, my own process over the last few years has involved coming to the realization that this isn’t a cheaper version of the private-room stuff i learned (and practiced, and taught), it really is a Thing in itself (to borrow from Lisa’s expression), and respecting and embracing that.