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, sciatica, headaches,
fibromyalgia, carpal-tunnel syndrome

Emotional and psychological disorders
Anxiety, depression

Circulatory disorders
Hypertension, angina, arteriosclerosis, anemia

Smoking cessation, alcohol and drug dependence

Respiratory disorders
Emphysema, sinusitis, allergies, asthma

Digestive disorders
Ulcers, chronic diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, gastritis, IBS, colitis, Crohn’s

Reproductive disorders
Irregular menstruation, infertility, pms,
menopausal symptoms, painful menstruation

* These are just some of the health issues that people seek acupuncture care to treat.  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. *

How does sliding scale work?

Most US acupuncturists are able to see only one patient per hour, and therefore charge $75 to $175 per treatment. Unfortunately, in private settings, due to the cost of treatment, patients often stop coming in for treatment as often as needed in order to get well.

In the community setting, several people are able to be treated simultaneously, and hence the cost of treatment can be lowered. We use a sliding scale fee so that patients are able to afford to commit to their course of treatment, to get well, and to stay well.  We leave it up to our patients to decide what they can afford, and we realize that each patient's financial abilities may change from time to time.

What is Community Acupuncture?

Barefoot Doctor is a Community Acupuncture Clinic.  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 practiced most widely in the US.  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, patients receive their treatments in recliners 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. The community acupuncture model takes the emphasis of healing off of the practitioner and places it on the body’s ability to heal itself, and a person’s own awareness of what they experience in their own body once needles are placed and are allowed to relax in stillness and quiet.

For more information about the community acupuncture movement and the cooperative that our clinic is so proud to be a part of, please visit the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA) website at www.pocacoop.com.


Community Acupuncture:
The Calmest Revolution Ever Staged

Brian Lindstrom, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, produced a half-hour film about the community acupuncture movement.  He interviews patients, acupuncturists, and the founders of Working Class Acupuncture and the Community Acupuncture Network. "This is the story of how a small group of loud-mouthed, over-educated, under-employed activists and a massive group of ordinary people with average incomes revolutionized healthcare systems by using large empty rooms, old recliner chairs, and two-cent needles. See what the revolution is all about!


the Peoples’ Organization
of Community Acupuncture

Barefoot Doctor is proud to be a member of the Peoples’ Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA)!

POCA is a multi-stakeholder cooperative; our goal is to make acupuncture available and accessible to as many people as possible, and to support those providing acupuncture to create stable and sustainable businesses and jobs.  Community Acupuncture is a social business model.  As social businesses, we place value on contributing to others, and we rely on the support of our patients and community members and recognize you all as an integral part of making our mission possible!  We all have a stake in having other family and friends and co-members of society having access to a remarkable and inexpensive form of medicine.  With more than 200 member clinics nationwide, it has become easier to recommend these family and friends to like minded acupuncture practices - although there are still many towns and cities in great need of affordable acupuncture.

POCA encourages and needs all types of member support, whether you’re an acupuncturist, clinic, organization, or awesome patient member!  To see what types of volunteer opportunities are available and how membership benefits you, click HERE. Thank you for being a part of our movement!

Please visit POCA’s website, read the public blogs, and gain a deeper understanding of what we at Barefoot Doctor represent.