The world can be a cruel and tough place, fast paced and harshly unforgiving. I am reminded of my working class privilege on a weekly basis when take the elevator ride up to the 3rd floor of the Access Health Centre and step into the bustling headquarters of AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI). I work with marginalized folk that utilize vital services on the Tuesday night Wellness program.
I lend 2 hrs of my week and my expertise to provide 20 minutes of peace and a few days of relief from the weariness of a life of drugs, homelessness and hopelessness. A basic guerrilla acupuncture set-up of chairs, my clean field for needles and the AVI clients provide ambiance. Despite seeing the afflictions, gouges and scars left on the bodies and souls of those I treat, I am always touched by the gratitude and the unseen, secret community that people form to look out for one another. Its touching to see the glimmers of compassion and display of solidarity between those who are marginalized.
It is my weekly commitment to volunteering that reminds me about how Community Acupuncture is a venue and medium in which we create a profound and much needed space for collective healing. Each and every participant that enters and exits our space adds and absorbs a little of that collective energy that unmistakably fills the room and it just wouldn’t be the same without the contributions of all of our community members.
At Heart & Hands, healing is not an isolated act and here are reasons why:
A strong therapeutic effect
Acupuncture increases the flow of life energies, which promotes in healing. And all living things exchange energy. By amplifying this energy flow as well as allowing individuals to receive treatment more frequently, the therapeutic value of the treatment increases.
Being treated in a group is a profound social experience. To be in the quiet presence of others during a treatment reminds us that we are not alone. Reducing isolation can strengthen a person’s resistant to disease and improve mental-emotional well-being.
How Community Acupuncture Helps to Build & Strengthen Community
All living things generate magnetic and electrical energy as well as exchange energy. Acupuncture increases the flow of these energies, which promote healing. When people receive acupuncture together, this life energy is collectively amplified and the therapeutic value of the treatment increases.
Also, by receiving acupuncture in a group you share a grounding experience together. It’s a group experience of revitalization of mind, body, and spirit. There is something rarefied and precious about that momentary stillness and rest that so many of us lack in our daily lives. And to share that universal pause with a group of sleeping strangers is uniquely safe, welcoming and lovely. This isn’t a privilege or a luxury, this is a NECESSITY that needs to take a greater priority in our society. There is more to life than busy-ness and we could be experiencing life differently if we took more time to pause. When we share an experience that results in a greater sense of well-being and we are better able to feel connected to something larger than ourselves.
Community Acupuncture and Group Building at Work
Is there a way in which Community Acupuncture can benefit the groups and organizations you work with? We would be delighted to provide acupuncture in conjunction with your group building processes and events. For instance, it is an excellent modality to use in conjunction with group retreats and team building workshops. It also works well as a remedy for group “burn-out” (especially community, education, social work and public health fields) and helps to resolve tension and conflicts.
Knowing all of this, why would you want to receive acupuncture alone? When you receive acupuncture in a group, you are not only looking after yourself, you are looking after each other. So the next time you step into our little clinic, remember that our space just wouldn’t be the same without you.
~Christina Chan, R.Ac.