Why We Belong to POCA

People need community and human connection and while the physical community is slowing shrinking the online community grows.  I've been told that the average person spends 1 hours each day on Facebook.  Even though people are not physically seeing each other as much, we as humans still have deep desire to connect to other humans.

While many are upset with this new replacement for physical connection I relish it.  If it weren't for social media, I would not know about POCA.  POCA is my own little personal world where I can meet and speak with other community acupuncturists, though we may be scattered across the country for now.  I hope that one day the scattered seeds of CA clinics will grow to green grass and give off their own seeds until the country is a green field of acupuncture that can reach thepeople who make up the general population.

To me community acupuncture brings the fabric of a community and stitches it together, just like POCA brings a community of like minded acupuncture-loving punks and patients together.  Now there is a forum on which for us to plan, discuss, connect, drean, and create new possibilities.  POCA is a winning formula for gathering to support eachother as individuals and I feel amazing knowing that there are thousands of like-minded people who believe in community, and therefor, who believe in humanity.  Even in the darkest hour of planning a new clinic, I know there is someone out there in the netherverse who has done it before me, who cares about sharing their experience and knowledge with me, and is only a panic button click away.  Community is about sharing, it isn't about closely guarding your families ancient secrets of healing so you can be the hero.  It's about sharing the knowledge so that anyone can be a hero.

I belong to POCA because 3% of Americans have tried acupuncture and I want that number to be more like 75%!  You know the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child?”  Well the same rings true for acupuncture, it takes POCA support to open a community acupuncture clinic.

-Meredith Vorrath

I joined POCA because I think it's easy to see that many of us are not getting the care we deserve in the current medical system.  Recognizing that it's highly unlikely that either the government or the insurance companies are going to all of a sudden change the tune they've been whistling happily all the way to the bank, POCA and its members have instead formed a cooperative that is run in every way by the people it matters most to: its patients and practitioners.  It's not reliant on grants or government subsidies nor if the amount or type of care controlled by greedy insurance companies.  However, what it does need is Members.  Why?  So new clinics can be founded in underserved areas, so an existing clinic can bring more practitioners on to help even more people (Urbana Acupuncture was recently the proud recipient of just such a micro-loan which enabled them to bring yours truly aboard), and perhaps most importantly to continue engaging with and supporting our local communities now spread all over the country.  So whether you're a patient, just graduated acupuncture school, or a seasoned punk, if you're not already a member please take just a moment to consider getting involved.  Sticking together we can expand access to even more people and places that can benefit from this simple and effective ancient remedy for our ailing modern times.

-Sean Finley

I am a POCA member because POCA needs me.  And I need POCA.  POCA member clinics, and their patients and practitioners, are making a huge difference in people's lives.  Where else can you heal your pains and stresses while napping with strangers, simultaneously changing the system and perhaps the world?   It's a two-birds-with-one-stone scenario that we all benefit from; even those who don't get treatments receive the benefits of community acupuncture.  POCA as a cooperative provides resources, strategies and tools for people to build community to break through the illusion of alienation, isolation and distrust the capitalist system creates.  The first lesson of POCA is that we've got to stick together.  So that's why I'm a member.  I'm sticking with POCAso that we can get community acupuncture to more people in more places.

-Meghan Bohardt

I joined POCA because it's inportant not only to talk about community health, but to make it.

-ElizaBeth Simpson

There is an instant sense of belongedness whenever I reach out and join in the POCAshere.  My heart opens and glows…my mind quiets and sound reasoning bubbles up.  We simply and naturally take to eachother…and looking over the forums, videos, meetings, books, POCA Tech, fests, funkaparties…on down to the repotted plants and clean laundry in the clinics…it's rich and varied simple and natural.  Obviously, this just doesn't happen everywhere, you have to love it into life!

-jimmy

 

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The theme for this conference is “Breaking Barriers”. You know, there are so many barriers to break in acupuncture that it was really hard to choose which ones to talk about for this speech. But since I’ve spent so much time talking about classism as a barrier, I thought it might be fun to shift gears a little and talk about numbers.

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  1. Dear Jimmy, Meghan, Sean, ElizaBeth and Meredith:

    Thanks for asking us to post this! I’m not sure why but I couldn’t cut and paste this to put it in blog form. But it meant I had to retype your words, your lovely sentiments, and it cracked my heart wide open all over again. This is a beautiful testament to a living POCA organism and shows how involved we must be in order to bring such a beautiful thing to pass.

  2. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
    -Aristotle

    Wikipedia: Synergy is the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. The term synergy comes from the Greek word synergia, meaning “working together”.

    I joined for ONE purely selfish reason. I was in pain and wanted myself to feel better. I saw the free treatments as a way to do it cheaper.

    I achieved TWO things. I, myself, AM feeling better! But after seeing all the good POCA does, I also feel better ABOUT myself!!

  3. I’m a POCA member because I live near Lents and there is a clinic near me, because I am Chinese American andI grew up visiting my uncle in Flushing and sometimes when we went over he would answer the door with needles in his ears and I’m happy to have access to healing modalities that I can afford that are part of my heritage, because I am a long-time activist, organizer, trainer, for social justice and POCA and WCA align with my values, because I am currently on unemployment and don’t have health insurance and this fits within my budget, because I recently had a neck and back injury and definitely could not afford acupuncture or massage therapy at the mainstream rates. I go back because the practitioners are really good and most of the volunteers at reception do not fit the stereotypes about white people in Portland, and because the patient base is pretty diverse, and because I saw some of the doctors do intake with some challenging patients and I was impressed with their compassion and patience.