POCA

Are you looking for cheap acupuncture? If you didn’t know that cheap acupuncture existed, the co-op called People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA) has made it possible. According to their mission and vision: “POCA, as a multi-stakeholder co-op, is designed to build a long-term, stable economic relationship based on fair treatment for everybody.” Community acupuncture makes acupuncture more accessible by treating people in group sessions.

It began with Working Class Acupuncture (WCA) in Portland, Oregon, in 2002, by acupuncturists Lisa Rohleder and Skip Van Meter. They developed a community acupuncture (CA) model, “which includes some fundamental re-imaginings of what acupuncture is and can be, and many helpful systems that help clinics run smoothly. It is also influenced by the concept of social business as defined by Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus.”

In 2005, WCA published their first book, The Little Red Book of Working Class Acupuncture. By the end of 2006, 11 clinics had started practicing as CA clinics. A network started to grow into the Community Acupuncture Network (CAN) and the 200th CAN clinic opened in 2011. On March 18, 2011, POCA formally incorporated in the state of Oregon. POCA offers membership and leadership to community acupuncturists and patients.

The POCA website has a great location finder for the US; my state, Massachusetts, currently has nine locations in Ashland, Cambridge, Milford, Newton, Somerville, South Dennis, Stoneham, Woburn, and Worchester. The movement is spreading across the US, but needs more growth in the mid-west. The POCA home page also has a video on the benefits of this kind of acupuncture. Beyond the US, another organization called Association of Community and Multibed Acupuncture Clinics (ACMAC) is spreading affordable acupuncture. Practiced in groups, average citizens can be liberated from illness and healthcare costs with affordable, practical access to acupuncture.

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