Last week a patient relayed to me how she calls this time of year “The mudding season”. She says she notices it gets real muddy at this time every year as a pre-cursor for Spring. My yard is certainly a mud pit right now. I have a special appreciation for February as the last truly restful winter month of the year. Spring comes early around here and although March can be unpredictable it inevitably stirs a push to get things ready for spring.

As many of you know, I have taken over full ownership of the clinic as of January 2023. Many of you also know that Sam is planning on fully exiting the clinic at the end of 2023. As I start my search for a new practitioner for next year I’ve been re-examining what it means to be a community Acupuncturist. I’m certainly looking for a highly skilled practitioner that will be a good fit to continue to care for everyone. But I am also looking for someone who’s heart is dedicated to affordable care.

Community Acupuncture has been called the quietest revolution ever staged, [see Acupuncture is like Noodles in our waiting room] and I believe that is true. Health care is often a privilege not a right. Access to Alternative health care even more so a privilege. Very few have the disposable income to pay upwards of $100 a treatment which is the current going cost for one private practice Acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture is best when received frequently and regularly. Many of you know that some issues require 2 or more treatments per week to manage. Not having hundreds of dollars in disposable monthly income is simply the financial reality for the working class which is the majority of our population.

The cost of private practice Acupuncture not only creates a financial barrier to access this medicine, it also creates a barrier for the spread of Chinese medicine as a field of medicine. It’s hard to come by anyone who hasn’t heard of the efficacy of Acupuncture and isn’t curious to try it. Many of those interested may not have community Acupuncture clinics in their area and therefore cannot afford to tryout Acupuncture and experience its benefits. In other words there is a greater desire for Acupuncture than for what people can afford and that is hurtful to field of Chinese Medicine. Oddly enough, most Acupuncture schools continue to only train their students to be private practice practitioners and neglect to expose them to the Community Acupuncture model. This only works to further perpetuate barriers to the field of Chinese Medicine and Affordable care.

I am honored to be a community Acupuncture practitioner for over 15 years. Affordable care is revolutionary although it really shouldn’t be. The success of Community Acupuncture throughout the world has come from its quality of care and affordability. The People’s Acupuncture is not grant funded. All of our income comes from the work we do as practitioners serving our community. It is a viable way to make a living and thrive as a practitioner. I think that in itself says a lot for the potential of other forms of affordable healthcare. It is a win- win for both patient and practitioner.

I am excited to find new faces to join the People’s Acupuncture of Asheville. Those dedicated to the continuity of quality affordable care. I feel honored to be a part of recruiting new practitioners as a part of furthering this revolution in affordable alternative care.

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