How we do what we do: A brief history of the clinic and Community Acupuncture

Many of you have been curious over the years about how we are able to offer such affordable Acupuncture. I wanted to dedicate some space here to discuss a bit about community Acupuncture and our business model.

The Community Acupuncture business model is based off how Acupuncture has often been practiced in China. Group setting Acupuncture allows for many people to be treated simultaneously an affordably. We practice what is called a high-volume / low-cost model. This is as opposed to private practice which is a low-volume / high-cost model. Because we are high-volume, our income is formed and distributed over a large patient group. This creates a broad and financially stable income base for us as practitioners.

This in turn greatly benefits the patient. Through this low-cost model, our patients can afford to receive Acupuncture regularly and frequently which is how Acupuncture is most effective. Additionally, the increase in experience that we gain as practitioners in a high volume clinic is invaluable. Our patients receive affordable acupuncture from highly experienced practitioners.

The Community Acupuncture model also greatly promotes and furthers the overall field of Acupuncture as a medicine. Acupuncture was only introduced to the United States in the 70’s. It is still a growing field of medicine in this country. Because of Community Acupuncture more people have access to and can afford to experience Acupuncture which benefits the entire field of this medicine.

Most Community Acupuncture clinics are either privately owned or non profits. The People’s Acupuncture of Asheville is privately co-owned by myself (Aimee) and Sam. We have been co-parenting the clinic together since 2008 for over 13 years!

The first Community Acupuncture clinic in the United States was established in Portland, Oregon in 2002. It is called Working Class Acupuncture and was founded by Lisa Rohleder. Lisa has continued on to spearhead the growth of the Community Acupuncture movement across the country and globe.

Even though we are privately owned, we are part of a broader network of clinics. Most Community Acupuncture clinics are connected through membership to the POCA Co-op also founded by Lisa Rohleder. POCA stands for The Peoples Organisation of Community Acupuncture. < > In order to be a member we pay a membership fee and keep our sliding scale and clinic practices within standards set by the co-op.

As practitioners, POCA serves as a web forum to read about and communicate with other practitioners, as a platform to share business ideas, and as a way to stay up to date with and support the Community Acupuncture movement.

There are now thousands of Community Acupuncture clinics in existence. In a time of soaring medical bills and lack of access to care, the success of the Community Acupuncture business model has fittingly been called ‘the quietest revolution ever staged’.

Patients can also be POCA members! Check out the info we have in our waiting room or go to <>. Being a member is on a $25-$100 per year sliding scale. In exchange for supporting the co-op through your membership, you get 3 free treatment cards to give to friends and a free treatment for your birthday. A POCA membership more than pays for itself! Also anyone can go to the POCA website and click on ‘locate a clinic’ to search for the location of any POCA clinic nationwide.

In a time where healthcare, especially in this country, struggles to overcome the roadblocks of affordability and accessibility we are so proud to be part of the community acupuncture movement!

One of the main ways that you can help support the clinic is to tell your friends! Spread the word about us and Community Acupuncture!

For further reading, check out our Community Acupuncture books that can be read in our waiting room at the clinic. We also have these books for sale.

Also check out The Periodic Table of POCA Community Acupuncture Clinics below as well as on the wall in our front clinic bathroom. We are number 31!

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