The Calmest Revolution Ever Staged

Accessible Acupuncture is proud to be a part of a healthcare revolution and help bring Community Acupuncture to Orlando! 

This revolution was pioneered by two acupuncturists in Portland, Oregon who refused to blindly accept the status quo of the acupuncture profession that neglected those in the working class neighborhoods they came from and the working class neighborhoods they lived in.  Not only did they muster up the courage to question the prevalent model of practicing acupuncture, but the courage to do something about it in a way that made acupuncture more accessible and more effective for the vast majority of people.  They appropriately called their clinic Working Class Acupuncture and now have 4 clinics in Portland providing well over 500 acupuncture treatments per week.

In a nutshell, they started treating their neighbors in a way that enabled them to afford regular acupuncture, with multiple patients receiving care in the same quiet, soothing space, relaxing in comfortable recliners, each paying what they felt they could afford on a sliding scale of $15 to $35 per person without income verification.  One of the acupuncturists, Lisa Rohleder, started writing articles about their endeavors in one of the acupuncture trade publications (Acupuncture Today).  As you can probably imagine, her articles created quite a stir in the publication's online forums and the acupuncture community.  She wrote 6 articles over the course of about 15 months before the publication informed her that they were no longer publishing her column as it was "dangerous to the profession".  Yep - finding a way to make acupuncture more accessible and more effective for the vast majority of folks and then trying to share it with others so they could replicate it in their communities was labeled as "dangerous to the profession".

Yeah, we find that thinking to be disturbing also, but the good news is that despite the establishment's attempt to stunt the growing interest in her radical ideas, it was simply too late.  By the time Lisa's last article was published she had ignited interest in the hearts of many like-minded and like-hearted acupuncturists across the country who were also dissatisfied with the status quo and who also believed that the value of the profession should not be measured by how much money patients are charged for services, but by the number of people who actually have access to acupuncture.

Does it really matter how great and numerous the benefits of acupuncture are if you don’t have access to them?
— Bob Conrique, Accessible Acupuncture

Since then, Community Acupuncture has spread like wildfire with over 200 independently owned clinics opening across the United States and abroad thriving in urban, suburban and rural areas alike.  In fact, Community Acupuncture has become such an incredible phenomenon that some folks thought it was worthy of a documentary entitled Community Acupuncture: The Calmest Revolution Ever Staged and we've posted it here for your convenience.

Why is it referred to as "The Calmest Revolution Ever Staged" ?

Although a revolution usually refers to a radical and pervasive change in society made suddenly, and often accompanied by violence, this is not what we're about.  At least not the violence part.  Instead of bearing arms against others, we prefer to put others to sleep!  We say this since most folks tend to experience a calming effect while receiving acupuncture and many even find themselves taking a very therapeutic nap, or 'acunap', while relaxing in a recliner.  In addition, by receiving acupuncture at a local community acupuncture clinic operating as a social business like ours does, folks are actively participating in and supporting the revolution all while taking a nap.  Thus, The Calmest Revolution Ever Staged.

Seriously?  A revolution?  It seems as if you're being overly dramatic here.

What does acupuncture have to do with revolution? 

That's a VERY good question!  I think it's best to let the aforementioned Lisa Rohleder answer that one.

Imagine what would happen if a pharmaceutical company announced it had invented a drug which could effectively treat practically everything that could go wrong with a person. The short list would include asthma, arthritis, indigestion, PMS, sinusitis, insomnia, fibromyalgia, hot flashes, high blood pressure, infertility, constipation, the side effects of chemotherapy, and the common cold, not to mention every conceivable variety of pain. And imagine that not only could this drug address all of these problems, but all of it’s “side effects” are positive; it has stress-reducing and mood-elevating properties, and in fact is so relaxing that some people who have nothing wrong with them like to use it on a regular basis, just because they enjoy it so much. And yet it isn’t addictive, and there’s no way to overdose on it. Think about the potential market for such a drug - - and how it would challenge our assumptions about how medicine works.

Now imagine that this drug isn’t a drug, but a practice so old that it cannot be patented or claimed by anyone.

A practice that requires almost no materials and potentially costs almost nothing.

In a country that is not only in the midst of a health care crisis due to skyrocketing costs, but also sunk in the worst recession in memory.

See where we’re going with this?

But wait - - imagine that unfortunately this practice that should cost almost nothing and should be available to virtually everybody has somehow become so expensive that almost nobody can afford to try it. And to add insult to injury, imagine that it’s being used more and more to do “facelifts” for the very wealthy, because not only can it lower blood pressure and get rid of migraines, it can diminish wrinkles, too. And so what ought to be an inexpensive treasure for everyone, especially in dire economic times, has become an overpriced luxury for a very few.

Doesn’t that sound like it might be time for a revolution?
— Lisa Rohleder, from her book Acupuncture Is Like Noodles, 2009

Yes.  It absolutely does!