In 2002, Working Class Acupuncture in Portland, Oregon, started the community acupuncture “revolution” by trying out what was then a daring experiment by treating people in recliners and using a sliding scale. Two things happened very quickly: other acupuncturists wanted to know what they were up to, and their patients wanted to know if there were similar clinics in other cities for their families and friends who needed acupuncture. In 2006, they founded the Community Acupuncture Network (CAN), a nonprofit organization, to encourage a more accessible, sustainable way of providing acupuncture. They started calling what they did “the community acupuncture business model”, and hundreds of acupuncturists are now using it.
In 2011, CAN became the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA). POCA is a Cooperative owned by patients, acupuncturists, students, community acupuncture clinics, and their supporters, that organizes collective investments of time, energy, participation and money, to further its vision. POCA serves a variety of member interests, including access to affordable, quality acupuncture and the creation of living-wage jobs in the acupuncture profession. POCA contributes to vital, healthy communities by providing hands-on members support for the success of Community Acupuncture clinics from schooling to start-up to success.
The POCA website contains additional information about community acupuncture, along with a listing of community acupuncture clinics around the country. Please consider joining POCA, and help further the community acupuncture movement. You can also watch POCA’s 30 minute documentary, Community Acupuncture: The Calmest Revolution Ever Staged.