We asked some patients at POCA clinics to tell us what affordable acupuncture means to them.
Here are some of their answers:
I am hard pressed to think where I would be without POCA. About 9 months ago I was diagnosed with Meniere’s, this condition affects the inner ear. It causes debilitating vertigo & nausea, along with tinnitus. After several episodes of vertigo I decided to give acupuncture a try as the regular Dr. could offer no solution. After my first visit of many, my vertigo and nausea disappeared. I now only have a slight hum in one ear. I wish I would have tried acupuncture sooner. It would have saved me over $400.00 that I wasted at the ENT Dr!!
I have schizophrenia and PTSD. POCA has made a prominent difference in my quality of life. Depression and anxiety has decreased dramatically along with some pain I have been dealing with for over 35 years.
First of all, God's blessings on the person who is not himself, or someone they love, in continued financial hardship. As a person on permanent social security disability, I find that the biggest impact of having low funds is that in every direction, it limits your options. Community Acupuncture is a treasure. It is a mighty weapon in my quest to maintain (and now IMPROVE) my health, independence, and ability to care for myself. Community Acupuncture will also PREVENT many future health complications.
In the past, without affordable acupuncture, intervention and care of my symptoms has cost the government many thousands of dollars with each episode. My cognition and motor skills were often severely impaired. Now, with Community Acupuncture, I am instead well enough to give some aid to my neighbors and friends. Community Acupuncture sends me clear messages that I am valuable just because I am a person, that I am not trash to be discarded, and that someone cares that I am in pain. People truly wish me well.
Life is often difficult. Sometimes bad things happen and your resources are limited. Community Acupuncture means that there is still hope, that life can improve, that one's days can at the least be more bearable.
My version of the WCA mottos is that "affordable acupuncture can heal the world." Freedom from pain and increased abilities allow me to be a better steward of my resources and to make a more positive impact on my world. I know that my home and neighborhood have more peace and love because my pain has decreased. Affordable acupuncture does not enable me, it empowers me. By gifting me with better health I can then go out and do my part to fix the ills around me. The outward ripples of healing from Community Acupuncture are exponential. How can this be a bad thing?
Another wonderful component of this business model is that I can offer similar relief and healing to my family, friends, and neighbors, My mother, who lives on the other side of the country, has found relief with Community Acupuncture. Due to budget constraints, years earlier she had to give up the acupuncture treatments she was finding helpful. Now relief is again within her reach.
Quite a few of my friends use Community Acupuncture. With their treatments, my friends are better caregivers, employees, and parents. Think about it: many of your service providers cannot afford traditional Western acupuncture. Do you really want to depend on, say a taxi driver, who is in pain and cannot afford relief and better functioning?
Somewhere there is the idea that people with limited funds have used bad judgement to get to such a position. This is only sometimes so. Regardless, this viewpoint overlooks the reality that situations and people can be redeemed and change. Life itself is valuable and should be cherished. The world would be very miserable indeed if there were no second chances. Every time I visit my Community Acupuncture clinic, I see and hear the punks being heroes to people in need. In my opinion this is true beauty.
As a disabled veteran with PTSD if it wasn’t for POCA I wouldn’t be able to afford treatments. For the three months I have been in WCA treatments, for the first time in years my PTSD/anxiety has become manageable.
Acupuncture is my saving grace. It doesn’t really matter what the ailment is. If my body needs some extra TLC (Tender Loving Care), I feel secure knowing I can plug into community acupuncture at an affordable price, for as long as my body needs in order to jumpstart the healing process. I have shared acupuncture w/ family & friends and the results and benefits are infinite. For this I am truly grateful.
Affordable acupuncture has contributed to making me feel empowered in healing. I always leave with a renewed sense of positivity and hope. Everyone deserves access to these experiences of healing and hope.
A friend with cancer endured rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and the misery they cause. At the urging of his oncologists “Gary” began twice-weekly acupuncture treatments to combat the debilitating nausea, pain, and fatigue. The expertise, encouragement, and compassion of his acupuncturists helped Gary in his three-year battle with cancer. Were it not for the affordable fees at Working Class Acupuncture (POCA) twice-weekly visits would not have been possible and without those treatments Gary’s nausea, pain, and exhaustion would have prevented him from making the most of his final years with family and friends.
After a serious sports accident that ruptured multiple discs, I developed severe chronic pain and exhaustion (Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). My doctors prescribed a batch of medications that helped the pain, but left me brain-dead and increased my fatigue. I was forced to quit a lucrative career and my income dropped below poverty level. There were nights of such severe pain I prayed God would either bring relief or “take me home” with Him. A friend encouraged me to try his acupuncture clinic. I questioned the benefits of acupuncture and sharing a room with other patients, but I was desperate. After several treatments I was able to reduce my daily intake of pain meds and I became comfortable in the group atmosphere, relaxing in a cozy recliner in a room with subdued lighting and soft background music. I have been getting two acupuncture treatments per week for several years now and my quality of life has improved. The affordable rates and restful atmosphere of community acupuncture, the friendly staff, and dedicated acupuncturists make acupuncture a “must” for anyone seeking pain relief without resorting to ever-increasing doses of prescription drugs.
Acupuncture helps many friends and family members obtain relief for slipped discs, headaches, post-operative pain, sports injuries, insomnia, arthritis, allergies, stress. POCA’s sliding scale allows low-income people to benefit from affordable acupuncture treatments. When you are in pain or burdened with physical or emotional ails you don’t need a private room with expensive furnishings, but you do need the same high-quality care you would expect in an upscale acupuncture office. POCA provides excellent up-scale care in a modest setting. When you are relaxing in a comfy recliner with your eyes closed you don’t care about the setting, just about the healing treatment.
I am the type of patient doctors dread to see come in their office. I am also a community acupuncture success story. For the last 14 years I have suffered from a chronic pain syndrome. When it started I was a young fairly fit 25 year old. I had been active with athletics most of my life and was trim and slim. The pain started benign enough. I had just been through several traumatic events including losing my mom fairly suddenly and helping my dad through 2 heart attacks and open heart surgery all in 18 months time. I was also a new critical care nurse. The pain was first in my joints and was just a mild annoyance. I saw many doctors who couldn’t find a source for the pain. The pain continued to get worse though. Quickly I was put “it’s all in your head” category and was told to see a psychiatrist. I was quickly put on a slew of medications which seemed to only worsen the symptoms. I also gained 100 lbs and was in bed 12-13 hours a day. For 14 years I went from doctor to doctor trying to figure out how to get the pain under control. I was put on every medication known to Western Medicine to try to help the now diagnosis of “fibromyalgia” and depression with post traumatic stress syndrome. By the fall of 2013 I was on a chronic opiate patch but that didn’t even seem to touch the severe pain that was now everywhere. I knew all the advice about “Fibro” such as exercise, eat healthy, moderate your activity and use good sleep hygiene. Most of my doctors and care providers just assumed I didn’t want to do this. What they didn’t realize is I couldn’t do this. I could barely make it out of bed some days let alone exercise. Food was simply for survival so I just ate what was easiest. All this was worsened by the fact I was a nurse. As a nurse you are supposed to have it all together. Furthermore to be a nurse on a chronic pain medicine was a chronic source of shame. Addiction is a major concern in the nursing world. I had tried traditional western acupuncture but it did little for my pain. It did help my anxiety immensely though. Then one day when I was seeing my pain specialist he put a couple needles in my ear. He has had some training in acupuncture and when he did this results were amazing for my anxiety. We discussed trying acupuncture again for pain and he recommended community acupuncture, specifically Working Class Acupuncture. The concept was not new to me but I always had reasons not to try it. I think though somehow I thought it must be a stripped down version of the real thing. At that point though, I was willing to try anything.
I have to say what probably got me there was just the fact I could make an appointment online. I was so low spiritually and mentally at that point that even talking to someone seemed out of reach. I didn’t want to have to tell my story over and over. My first appointment went well. My acupuncturist was very kind and caring. She didn’t ask me a ton of questions and I didn’t have to review every single painful fact. She didn’t try to push any herbs or other alternative things on me. She let the needles do the work. She encouraged me to come often but didn’t push it. So I started on my community acupuncture trek. At that appointment I was in the least amount of pain I had been in for years. Sadly though, it didn’t last. I had faith in the process though. I did research. I read “Acupuncture is like Noodles” and most of all I kept coming. On the bad weeks I’d come 5-7 days and on good weeks maybe only 2-3 days. Over the winter I had a bad kidney infection so I used it for that too. I think that acupuncture was the only thing that kept me out of the hospital for that. Within 4 months, I was able to cut the pain patch by half. I kept letting the needles do their work and by 6 months, I stopped by pain patch all together. My acupuncturists made some recommendations to help the healing process but never made that the focus of our appointment and never pushed it. They kept letting the needles do their work. Now almost a year later, there are days I am pain free. I still have my bad days but they are much less frequent. I had been missing work 3-4 days a month. I went a whole 4 months without missing any. Also my depression and anxiety are under the best control in years. Last month, I started going to Jazzercise. I am also eating healthier because I now have the strength and desire to. I am also sleeping better than I have ever in my life.
So what makes it worthwhile? For me it gave me my life back. Furthermore, my improvement has helped my friends and even my patients. I have referred several friends to community acupuncture and they have also had great results. I am able to be there for my patients now both physically and mentally. I didn’t need all the lifestyle recommendations or herbs. I had tried them all before and knew them all. I just needed the needles to do their work. For me that meant going somewhere I could afford to go frequently. I also needed what people don’t mention often. I needed to feel safe in a place with little judgment. I needed people who were there not to “fix” me by talking a lot or giving me lots of advice. I know my life is not completely fixed. I know that I am going to have good times and bad times. The most important thing though is I have something I know will help and somewhere I feel safe to be the “broken” me when I need to be. I need somewhere I can let the needles do the work.