What Is the Meaningfulness? Goodwill Drive for POCA Tech!

As you all know, last week some of the staff and volunteers of POCA Tech did a public presentation. It was heartfelt and we worked hard on it. Afterwards, talk about our presentation and our school began to circulate. On one social media page for local acupuncturists, someone posted that she wasn’t “sure how she felt” about POCA Tech. Various pieces of misinformation began to emerge about how our school wasn’t meeting the same educational requirements as other, more expensive acupuncture schools. I usually try to stay away from those kinds of places on the Internet but clearing up that kind of confusion is, unfortunately, my job. So I joined the conversation and at one point I mentioned that the general public can’t afford acupuncture that costs $75-$100 a treatment.

And then an acupuncturist posted the following comment:
(trigger warning for classism and ableism)

“So, I'm curious what Lisa's definition of “general public” who can't afford regularly rated acupuncture treatments. To me, those are the people (in majority of the cases) who refuse to prioritize their health over other things like booze, eating out, shopping, recreations etc. Who are your target patients and what is your goal of acupuncture treatments to people beyond making acupuncture accessible to MORE number of people? I'm already sick of people who think acupuncture is a cheaper, and more natural version of steroid shots and/or SSRI, while they have no intention of changing any part of their lifestyle, job selection, relationship, sleeping schedule, eating habits and lack of exercises etc. $15 a pop acupuncture treatment, I think, only supports most people's bad habitual patterns to continue because they tend to “feel better” after needling without changing anything else in their lives. And it's affordable to do that! But is that what you are going for? What is the meaningfulness of making acupuncture treatment more affordable financially?”

There’s a lot to unpack here.

For instance, if feeling better isn’t the goal, what is? (Feeling better is otherwise known as “quality of life for patients”.) Is the goal a certain level of lifestyle refinement and purity? Defined how, and by whom? And if acupuncture by itself isn’t good enough to achieve this purity, if you’re supposed to do all these other things before you’re allowed to feel better, why is $15 acupuncture the problem? Is it OK to get acupuncture for $75 a session if you are working hard enough on yourself? Is acupuncture some kind of a reward for the deserving?

Basically: this is why we need POCA. This is why we need POCA Tech. Because although it’s harder, these days, to find representatives of the acupuncture profession who will admit in public, in print, that they feel POCA’s target patients are not worth treating — it’s still the underlying attitude that we are up against, that we have always been up against.

What are we supposed to do with this kind of contempt? Comrades, I think we need to answer the question:


Which brings us to the Goodwill Drive. How much do you disagree with that quote above? How much do you believe in the opposite: that everybody deserves to feel better? Show the world! Do one or more of the following things!

1) Give POCA Tech your words. Tell me WHAT IS THE MEANINGFULNESS to you of POCA and POCA Tech? Did affordable acupuncture change your life or the life of somebody you care about? Leave a comment below, or post in the Patient Stories forum.

2) Give POCA Tech some money. Any amount. One of the things we have to do to prove our legitimacy to the rest of the profession is to demonstrate that the school is financially stable. According to our CPA, one definition of financial stability for a nonprofit is to have 6 months of operating expenses in the bank. To do that, our Treasurer has determined that we need to raise just $40,000 over the $76K+ we’ve already raised. That means we're closer than ever to our goal! I’ve got $20 that says I believe everybody deserves to feel better and I’m giving it to POCA Tech right now — how about you?

3) Give POCA Tech some attention. Share our Goodwill Drive with somebody. Tell them about POCA, POCA Tech, and affordable acupuncture. Let’s go viral. We're in a profession that despises what we do and who we serve, and we need all the help we can get.

Author: lisafer

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  1. That comment makes me insane. Why do so many non-punking acupuncturists think that being an acupuncturist gives you the right to judge someone else’s lifestyle?! Crazy-making. ::throws money at POCA Tech to abate the seething rage::

    Also? thank you for this post. I needed that kick in the pants.

  2. To CA or not to CA, that is the question!
    Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take needles to legs, ears, and arms, against a sea of troubles!

    And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep,
    no more. By sleep, we say to end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation devoutly to be wish’d.

  3. It’s pretty funny that someone who doesn’t get enough of the “right kind” of patients at $75, gets upset about CA punks getting all the “wrong kind” of patients at $15-40. Clearly too much time on her hands from all that lifestyle advice she’s not able to sell.

    Here, POCA Tech, take my money too.