Susan Johnson Seminar in NYC

I took my first seminar with Susan Johnson this past weekend and I learned many fascinating things such as how to needle CV 12 with a 60 mm needle, the insertion technique for a point in the achilles tendon that you needle until it just touches the bone, and how to cup the face for severe cases of TMJ.  I liked that Susan did the neelding demonstrations by showing one of her DVDs which saved time and made the techniques easy to see.  It was Susan’s first time in New York and she was received warmly and strongly requested to return to teach her more advaced stuff.  I saw two other CAN folks there from Massachusetts. 

During the class a Chinese woman named Bo sat next to me, when Susan started talking about herbs Bo told me about the herbalist she sees.  He has what I would call a “community herbal clinic”,  apparently he has 6000 active patients and does not take appointments.  His clinic is in Chinatown and people just line up down the hallway when he opens.  I decided to go see him, he took my pulse, looked at my tongue and Bo translated as he told me to eat more whole grains and moxa ST36 and KD 1 daily.  He wrote down the prescription in Chinese and then started getting the bulk herbs ready.  Meanwhile Bo sent me a text message with the instructions on how to cook the herbs, a mixture of old world wisdom and modern technology!  The consultation was $10 and then I just had to pay $18 for the herbs.  Sound familiar?

Bo and I had lunch over Tai food and I told her more about CAN and how my clinic is set up and she understood immediately because she has seen clinics like this in China and one or two in New York run by Chinese practitioners.  The next day Bo announced that she had talked to her business partner and wanted to open a community acupuncture clinic in Manhattan or maybe several and “hire all the out of work New York acupuncturists”.  I said “good idea, I like the way you think!”  I gave her the CAN website and suggested that she take a look at it first before jumping in.  I told her I will help her in any way I can and I will probably visit her soon.

                ***Open House Update***

I had an open house/free friday last month.  I recently decided that I will have one in the spring and one in the fall.  In my opinion it is absolutely essential to have someone run the front desk.   I had done a pretty good job of getting the word out through twitter, facebook, a listing in the local paper and my sidewalk sign adorned with a few colorful balloons.  We treated 18 patients in two hours and about half of them made an appointment the following week.  It feels good to have the clinic be busier.  I now have four volunteers and one first year acupuncture student who is very bright and earger to learn coming to help out.  This has really taken the pressure off.  I am getting better at delegating and it’s great not to have to do everything myself.  I would like to thank Anson Rathbone and my mother for helping out at the open house.

Author: thomasriordan

<p> Tom Riordan has been involved with Eastern philosophy and healing arts since 1990. After earning a B.A. in History at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, he spent four years working at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. In addition to daily hatha yoga and meditation practice there, Tom completed the Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training the Kripalu Bodywork Training. </p> <p> Tom is a graduate of The New England School of Acupuncture, in Newton, MA, the oldest accredited acupuncture school in the United States. He maintained a private practice for several years in Columbia, Missouri. He was the first person to be licensed to practice acupuncture in that city. He became very active in the State acupuncture association by serving as secretary for two years and treasurer for one year. Tom is certified by the National Council for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and he is licensed to practice in Massachusetts. </p> <p> He currently practices in Medford, MA where he has maintained a community acupuncture clinic since 2007. </p>

Related Articles

Survey of CAN clinics

Skeptics in the acupuncture community say that CA clinics can’t be successful.  A variety of reasons are cited – prices too low, patients want one-on-one attention and wouldn’t like treatments in a room with other people, Dr.


  1. that was great that you talked about what

    else has been going on in community acupuncture…a parallel universe.  There are many practitioners in SF that had community practices, all walk-in and very cheap.We students went to see them all the time because we couldn’t afford the Angela Wong’s in town.  As the Grateful Song says, “the trouble with you is the trouble with me, we have two good eyes and we still don’t see.”

    Thanks Tom for sharing. 

  2. Isn’t Susan AWESOME!!

    Susan was in Asheville the weekend before.  She was well recieved and we asked her to come back again soon. 

     She shared amazing stories about her friendship with Miriam Lee.

    come to Austin!! Sam and I  will see you there