Executive Summary

The Peoples’ Organization of Community Acupuncture


Established March, 2011

From the beginning, the Community Acupuncture movement has been led by practitioners to serve patients. The movement has grown from a single clinic in Portland, Oregon, to hundreds of clinics around the world.

Until 2011, the Community Acupuncture Network, (CAN, a 501c6 non-profit) professional organization was the main vehicle for the growth and proliferation of community acupuncture. But there were needs best met by a new organizational structure – ­ a multi-stakeholder cooperative. This cooperative structure creates a means for the direct involvement of patients in the process of governing the organization. Participation means that membership is a shared responsibility. Everyone is invited to be involved! 


  • Acupuncture is important to our health as individuals, families, co-workers, and community members, because it provides inexpensive, non-invasive relief from pain and suffering.
  • Community Acupuncture defines and supports a mode of direct delivery of inexpensive care for people of ordinary incomes regardless of insurance coverage.
  • Community Acupuncture provides a new model for healthcare and self-care empowerment.
  • Community Acupuncture has at its heart a commitment to social justice and the deconstruction of barriers to care and health care resources.
  • Community Acupuncture’s commitment to social justice addresses barriers to accessing care and training in the field of acupuncture.
  • In its first 10 years, the Community Acupuncture movement has created employment opportunities where there were none. However, because of graduates’ debt load and the prevailing professional culture, many of these positions have yet to be filled.


  • affordable acupuncture
  • professional clinic support including  staffing, micro-lending, training, management, and mentoring
  • affordable training, education, and continuing education
  • Identifying as yet un-served communities
  • new paradigms of healthcare and health empowerment
  • revitalizing local economies
  • social capital and financial capital in our communities and in the community acupuncture movement
  • bridging with other communities that are working for social justice


  • promote accessible and affordable acupuncture.
  • supports an international healthcare movement concerned with access to care and social justice.
  • help build POCA Tech ­ – an affordable school for training community acupuncturists.
  • open new clinics in un-served communities through business micro-loans.
  • have a say in how our coop does things. Every voice and vote matters. Join a POCA circle (committee), vote in the annual elections, be counted and heard.
  • create more living-wage jobs for acupuncturists and support staff.
  • volunteer at local clinics and in the larger organization.
  • support a working model for sustainable, ethical, and affordable healthcare practice.

Read about specific patient/community and acu-punk/student membership benefits.