Archive for the ‘Community Health Care’ Category

World AIDS Day

December 2, 2009 Leave a comment


by, Sully Pixel

During my Western Pathology Class this year, we had a very emotional day when discussing the topic of HIV and AIDS… it’s truly a heartbreaking disease, and if only I could I would heal the whole world!  Since it is World AIDS Awareness Day, I figured I better post something and raise awareness not only of the disease but of the potential for Acupuncture to be beneficial in its treatment.  This is an excerpt on an article in Acupuncture Today reporting on the 13th Internation Conference on AIDS by Carla Wilson.  It is from October, 2000 but, it will give you a little peek into the AIDS epidemic that is still alive and growing.

More than 12,000 delegates and observers from 180 countries gathered in Durban, South Africa this July to break the stigma, indifference and ignorance surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

South Africa currently has the highest concentration of HIV cases in the world, with an estimated 4.2 million HIV-positive people. Six thousand people in Africa die of AIDS every day, while the rate of infection increases by 1,600 daily.


This year, I provided acupuncture treatment every afternoon in the conference’s exhibitors hall. I arranged chairs “detox style” and provided a “treatment on demand” clinic in the center of the NGO (non-goverment organization) community. My little “four-chair clinic” was never empty, and people waited in line for a chance to try acupuncture. I found that several of the conference participants were very interested in the possibility of acupuncture treatment to help manage HIV infection. Many languages were spoken, but frequently it was the universal language of gentleness and reassuring touch that mattered most, as countless people were able to have their first experience of the marvelous effects of acupuncture….

To read more please click on this link:  Breaking the Silence in South Africa

Somewhere in my archives of emails I also have a link to a blog about an acupuncture clinic in South Africa that treats victims of the AIDS virus… I’m going to try and find it, because it’s a great blog and when I do, you can bet I’ll post it for you!

… and here it is!  The Flying Needle Project!  A graduate from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine set this Acupuncture clinic up in South Africa in August of this year.  Here is a little taste of what they are all about:

The Flying Needle Project is born out of the need for a form of HIV/AIDS healthcare that is affordable, effective, mobile, supportive and widespread. It is founded on the principle that health care is a right, and not a privilege.  The vision of FNP is to offer complementary health care to anyone who requires it in order to bolster the strained national health system.

In August 2009 the project opened a clinic at the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town, where it utilizes a revolving door of health care professionals specializing in Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Reiki, Massage and Holistic Medicine.  In order to reach the townships and more rural areas, FNP hopes to create a mobile clinic within the first year of operation. FNP will either partner with an existing mobile clinic or purchase and design its own. This step will bring the medicine to those in need who cannot afford transportation to the city.

FNP’s vision relies of four key principles that will drive it to meet its mission:

No cost to every patient

Mobile and widespread

Effective and efficient

Educational and Empowering

Each of these goals works in conjunction with one another and foster sustainable results that reduce suffering, increase health and vitality and improve the quality of life for the HIV populations in South Africa.

Please check out this blog, and donate to the cause!  The Flying Needle Project

~Be Well~


Source:  Wilson, Carla, Breaking the Silence in South Africa,, Dec. 1st, 2009, The Flying Needle Project, Dec. 1st 2009


Support Your Vets!

April 15, 2009 Leave a comment



A few years ago my Dad was diagnosed with PTSD; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; from serving in the Vietnam War.  Since then I’ve gotten to see a side of my dad that I never knew existed, one that surely shed some light on the actualities of war, and who the real victims are.  For one thing it’s taught me a lot about my family, human relationships, the real effects of trauma and for another, it’s one of the bigger reasons that I am studying the medicine that I am today (Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine). 

Currently my Dad is being treated by an angel of an Acupuncturist as well as seeing a therapist who practices EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing); which is a type of therapy that basically retrains your physiologic and neurological pathways.  Or better put;

“It attends to the past experiences that have set the groundwork for pathology, the current situations that trigger dysfunctional emotions, beliefs and sensations, and the positive experience needed to enhance future adaptive behaviors and mental health”

Both modalities have been shown to be highly effective in the treatment of PTSD for any kind of trauma but in this case particularly for Veterans.  Currently the Department of Veterans Affairs is utilizing EMDR as a treatment modality and praises its effectiveness.  Organizations are starting to pop up throughout the country that are specifically designed for the treatment of veterans as well as those who are currently active.  One of these is Acupuncturists Without Borders, an organization originally put together to help the victims New Orleans in 2005.  Since their induction they have been gaining ground helping the victims of traumatic events.  For more information about Acupuncturists Without Borders and their mission you can check out their website HERE and/or my Blog post from January 8th, 2009.

The Veterans Project, which was instated in 2005 in Albuquerque, New Mexico by Acupuncturists Without Borders is also gaining ground across the country.  It offers free group treatments to vets, active duty and their family members in dealing with the effects of war. 

 “The potential of this program is enormous. History has shown that the long-term impact of war takes a tremendous toll for decades. By providing free acupuncture treatments to veterans currently returning from war, we can play a part in preventing history from repeating itself, and by providing treatments to veterans from past wars and conflicts, we can take part in helping mend the psychological wounds of the past”

The program has great potential to help thousands, but since it’s a service to these vets and their families they need all the help they can get, they rely on your help for funding towards facilities and supplies (namely just needles).  Please show your support and give what you can, we have the tools to help so many people and all it takes is just a little.  You can enroll as a member, buy t-shirts etc., or just donate whatever is in your pocket at the moment.  The woman who is currently treating my Dad is working on setting up a facility in my hometown of Ketchum, Idaho and she has been working hard donating her own time and money to get the ball rolling, but she and many others still need your help, and every penny counts! 

For more information on donating or becoming a member of Acupuncturists Without Borders, please CLICK HERE

In other news, I just attended a research poster session, showcasing current research projects from my school; Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, as well as the National College of Naturopathic Medicine and there were a few projects currently underway regarding Veterans and PTSD.  It was exciting to see just how effective Alternative modes of treatment such as Acupuncture, QiGong and other relaxation methods are in decreasing anxiety, stress, depression and other symptoms affiliated with PTSD!  So, please help in whatever way you can, it will mean the world to somebody!



Acupuncture Made Affordable

March 2, 2009 2 comments


Acupuncture Made Affordable… it’s a dream come true…

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a seminar held at OCOM on Working Class Acupuncture.  What it is is, Acupuncture held in a group setting treating high volumes with low prices. It’s something I’m really interested in as a future practitioner and look forward to learning more about in the meantime. 

As a student and former employee of the general workforce where I wasn’t making much money, I know what it’s like to skate by every month on small paychecks that barely account for your groceries and bills.  Before coming to school and getting great student deals, Acupuncture was a luxury that I could only sometimes afford, and more often than not, it was usually in the form of a Christmas or Birthday gift.  Unfortunately, I think most people can’t afford to get Acupuncture.  So what are we supposed to do, just throw our health out the window and bank on the idea that we aren’t going to get sick or have any health problems?  My guess is that most of us are in need of a little help in the health arena, and would like to be and continue to be healthy, and wouldn’t it be nice, if you could afford to do just that on your current budget?  

One of the great problems I see with Acupuncture treatments in general is that in order to receive the greatest effects of this medicine, it may be necessary to get treatment as often as three times a week for a number of weeks or possibly over the span of a few months.  How can anyone commit to something like that when it’s going to cost them upwards of $65 a treatment out of pocket?!  Acupuncture is such an amazing medicine, it should be available to all people who need and want it, but it starts to get pretty spendy.

Working Class Acupuncture got started in Portland OR, in 2002, and has been gaining ground across the country as a viable option for those who simply can’t afford regular treatments .  Treatments are held in a group setting, so many people can be seen at once and it is either around the cost of $25 treatments or on a sliding scale starting as low as $15 (that’s as much as a copay).  Working Class Acupuncture has steadily been gaining popularity amongst patients and practitioners alike, people want to go, and Acupuncturists want to model their own business’ after them.  Recently Working Class Acupuncture launched the organization Community Acupuncture Network, CAN, to share their model across the nation and bring Working Class Acupuncture to every city and town across the nation.   

Here is a quick youtube video about Portlands Working Class Acupuncture Clinic given by one of their own Licensed Acupuncturists

If you are a Portland, OR resident, please check out Working Class Acupuncture’s Website here and if you are looking for an organization elsewhere, please visit CAN’s site here, and click on the world map to find a treatment clinic near you!

Another option for those of you looking for an affordable acupuncture clinic, check to see if there is a Chinese Medical School in your city, and look into treatments there as well!  Since they will most likely have a teaching clinic, usually prices are pretty good!  I know at OCOM (Oregon College of Oriental Medicine), right now, treatments are $22, and in a group setting only $10.  If you are interested in body work, we also have Shiatsu and Tuina Massage available.  So if you live in or around Portland, this is definitely a great option as well, and if you come in starting April 5th, you may even get to see me in your treatment room (I will just be starting my observation rounds), so see you there!  Click here for more information!


Sources:  March, 1, 2009; March,1, 2009;  March, 1, 2009

Acupuncturist’s Without Borders

January 8, 2009 Leave a comment



Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) vision is to foster the creation of stable, peaceful global communities through its community-based acupuncture services and training which interrupt the cycles of unresolved trauma.

AWB’s mission is to provide immediate relief and recovery acupuncture services to global communities that are in crisis from disaster or human conflict.    

 This community based program was initially pulled together to help victims deal with the trauma in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.  The program deemed itself so beneficial that it has grown into something much bigger.  In addition to helping the people of New Orleans, they got to help victims of the Southern California fires last Fall and are in the process of creating a Veterans Program that helps returning vets deal with trauma in a group setting.  

Community based acupuncture is set on the foundation that people who have experienced trauma, in whatever form that may be, will heal better in a group setting.

Done in groups, community acupuncture can help break the isolation often felt after traumatic events. Even those who resist traditional treatment for Acute Stress Disorder are often willing to receive acupuncture. Treatments support rebuilding strength and resiliency, essential for the recovery process. Acupuncture treatments have a calming effect and help those struggling with anger, hostility and frustration.

AWB is also working on integrating community acupuncture into the standard disaster relief protocols used both for victims of the crisis as well as emergency responders.

I encourage you to visit their website and if you feel so inclined to even donate a little money to the cause!

Acupupuncturist’s Without Borders


OCOM’s Acupuncture Relief Project

December 5, 2008 2 comments


The Acupuncture Relief Project is a Community Health organization set up to provide poverty stricken countries with free Acupuncture and health treatment.  This year a team of four arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal at the beginning of November to see what they could do.  They seem to be making a real impact over there and have been overwhelmed with all the positive feedback from the locals, who have in general never seen a health practitioner. 

“After seven 10 hour days, our team of four has treated nearly 600 people. It has been a very exciting, challenging and exhausting week for all of us. Many of our patients have never seen a doctor in their entire life and every morning they flood into the clinic and sometimes wait up to six hours to be treated.”

Please check out their blog and see what they are up to.  If you feel so inclined you can also donate to the cause.  The blog will answer any questions you have about what they are doing, where they are, who they are treating and where your donation may go.  Please visit their blog here:

The Acupuncture Relief Project

This sort of organization has always been something I’ve wanted to be a part of, and I hope to just as soon as I finish school!  The crew will be there for a total of 6 weeks so be sure to check in on them during their stay!

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