Occupy Acupuncture – Power to the POCA

Last night I stopped by Occupy Seattle’s Meditation tent to sit in solidarity with non-violent peaceful freedom loving individuals enduring 40 degree damp chill. The twenty minute meditation was joined by about a half dozen other people as the rest of the encampment milled about prior to the General Assembly.

It was only my second time at the encampment, a fact I don’t feel guilty about.  As a community acupuncture clinic owner,  I know where my primary commitment lies, and that is ensuring that there is affordable acupuncture in my community, a big part of which is managing a sustainable business that pays its employees, pays the government its payroll taxes, and hopefully has something to pay the owner a sustainable wage at the end of every month.

CommuniChi is approaching its five year anniversary in January. I figure we’ve offered close to 15,000 affordable sliding scale acupuncture treatments in that time, something that brings a lot of happiness to my mind when I think about it.

Some of the more noticeable feel good stories from the clinic lately are helping a six month old infant get huge relief from regular acupuncture treatments for her asthma, and helping a man who was diagnosed unexpectedly with stomach cancer return to health. Someone at the hospital actually said to him when they first came back with the results – “do you want to die at home, or in the hospital?” How utterly deficient in both compassion and wisdom to say such a thing!

There is a lot of suffering in this world and spiritual origins aside, much of it comes from economic, class and racial oppression and marginalization which is why there is unequal access to basic services such as health care.   While it is always a challenge to run a successful business, regardless of the model or the philosophy, or the target  - one percent or ninety nine percent  -  students and budding practitioners would do well to take heed:  

More money and bragging rights to celebrity acupuncture patients  do not by themselves bring happiness. A wealth of virtue is the foundation. Acupuncture practices and the profession itself do not exist in a socioeconomic and political vacuum.  The choices we each make regarding who we choose to serve and who we choose to ignore, has huge implications for our communities and our world.

Jordan Van Voast

CommuniChi Acupuncture Clinic

Seattle

This story was posted on December 8 2011 by River Jordan.

Comments

  • December 13 2011 at 11:51 PM
    Nityamo writes:

    Thanks Jordan for your thoughts and for sitting in with your Occupy group. Something I still have to do!

    Nityamo

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