About the Clinic

May 21st, 2008 by admin

What is Acupuncture?  What is Community Acupuncture | How does the sliding scale work? | About the Acupuncturist | What does the “Barefoot Doctor” mean?

  • What is Acupuncture?

    Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used systems of healing in the world. Acupuncture is simple, safe, and sustainable healthcare. Acupuncture works.

    Traditional Chinese Medicine holds that there are over 2000 acupuncture points on the human body, which are connected by energetic pathways called meridians. These meridians conduct energy, or qi (pronounced “chee”), between the surface of the body and its internal organs. Each point on a meridian has a different effect on the qi that passes through it. Qi is believed to help regulate and balance the body’s functions.  Acupuncture uses insertion of fine needles at these acupuncture points to have a particular effect in encouraging health and treating and preventing disease in a person.

    Can Acupuncture help you?

    The World Health Organization has recognized the ability of acupuncture to treat dozens of common ailments including:

    Acute and Chronic Pain or Injuries

    Neuro-muskular-skeletal conditions: (arthritis, neuralgia, insomnia, dizziness, neck/ shoulder/ back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, carpal-tunnel syndrome)

    Emotional and psychological disorders (anxiety, depression)

    Circulatory disorders: (hypertension, angina, arteriosclerosis, anemia)

    Addictions (smoking cessation, alcohol and drug dependence)

    Respiratory disorders: (emphysema, sinusitis, allergies, asthma)

    Digestive disorders: (ulcers, chronic diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, gastritis, IBS, colitis, Chrone’s)

    Reproductive disorders (irregular menstruation, infertility, pms, menopausal discomforts, painful periods)

    *If you have questions about the possibility of treating a complaint not listed please feel free to call or email to discuss conditions at no charge.

  • What is Community Acupuncture?

The Barefoot Doctor Community Acupuncture Clinic in Fishtown is one of several community-style clinics opening across the country.  The aim of this type of practice is to make acupuncture and natural health care available to the majority of the population rather than the minority who can afford the out of pocket expense of the”spa” type treatment setting.  We believe that acupuncture doesn’t have to be expensive to work.  It doesn’t have to be done in a room by oneself to work.  In fact, acupuncture works best when people are able to commit to a course of several treatments which are commonly recommended once a week for a few weeks.  Because of the lower fees and sliding scale that community acupuncturists are able to charge their clients are more able to make this commitment to their healing.

In our clinic we use recliners, clustered in groups in a large, quiet, soothing space. Treating patients in a community setting has many benefits: it’s easy for friends and family members to come in for treatment together; many patients find it comforting; and a collective energy becomes established which actually makes individual treatments more powerful.

In the private style of acupuncture, the needles are often removed after only a few minutes or after a half hour at most. The community style of acupuncture allows patients to keep their needles in as long as they want. Most people learn after a few treatments when they feel “done”; this can take from twenty minutes to a couple of hours! Many people fall asleep, and wake feeling refreshed. This way of practicing takes the emphasis of healing off of the practitioner and places it on the body’s ability to heal itself once needles are placed and a person is allowed to relax in stillness and quiet.

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For more information about the community acupuncture movement please visit the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA) website at www.pocacoop.com

How does the sliding scale work?

Most US acupuncturists are able to see only one patient per hour and therefore charge $65 to $175 per treatment. In the community setting several people are able to be treated simultaniously so the cost of treatment can be lowered. Often times in private settings, due to the cost of treatment, patients stop coming in as often as needed to get well. We use a sliding scale fee so that patients are able to afford to commit to their course of treatment, get well, and stay well.  The following table shows recommended payment, however, we leave it up  to our patients to decide what they can afford, and realize that this may even change from time to time.


  • About the Acupuncturist

Jenny Corbin started the Clinic in 2008. She began living and practicing in Philadelphia in 2000 after finishing a 4-year Masters in Oriental Medicine program at the International Institute of Chinese Medicine in Albuquerque, NM. Her work experience in Philadelphia began with treating patients in a physical therapy office and as a pharmacist for China Herb Company. For 4 years she also worked in a non-profit clinic treating people living with HIV/ AIDS. She has maintained a private practice treating a wide variety of complaints, with a strong interest in treating women’s health, fertility, and pregnancy related issues. She has always felt a sense of need to make acupuncture accessible to those not able to afford the out of pocket expense of regular acupuncture treatments. After attending a course led by the founders of Working Class Acupuncture in Portland Oregon, she decided that community acupuncture offers a solution to both herself and her clients.


  • What does the “Barefoot Doctor” mean?

“Barefoot doctors” came about in China during the Cultural Revolution, with farmers who received training and worked in rural villages to bring health care to areas where urban-trained doctors would not settle. They promoted basic preventive health care and family planning and treated common illnesses. The name comes from southern farmers, who would often work barefoot in the rice paddies.

Barefoot doctors acted as primary health-care providers at the grass-roots level. Often they grew their own herbs in the backyard. They were still involved in farm work, often spending as much as 50% of their time on this – this meant that the rural farmers perceived them as peers, and respected their advice more. They were integrated in a system where they could refer seriously ill people to township and county hospitals.

The system of barefoot doctors was among the most important inspirations for the WHO in 1978 when a declaration was signed unanimously calling for local communities to participate in deciding health care priorities. It called for an emphasis on primary health care and preventative medicine, and most importantly sought to link medicine with trade, economics, industry, rural politics and other political and social areas.