Wednesday, December 31, 2008

“Everything is made of fire,” claimed Heraclitus. What is fascinating about this ancient remark is how it turned out to be so improbably true. Werner Heisenberg, one of the twentieth century’s most important nuclear physicists, wrote in Physics and Philosophy that “modern physics is in some way extremely near to the doctrines of Heraclitus. If we replace the word ‘fire’ by the word ‘energy’ we can almost repeat his statements word for word from our modern point of view.” Twenty-five hundred years after Heraclitus, Heisenberg found his thinking much closer to modern physics than any philosopher who had followed him. Furthermore, Heraclitus did not try to separate himself from the natural world as philosophy has done from Socrates up to Descartes. It was Descartes, most profoundly, whose philosophy created a terrible sense of separateness between mind and body, human beings and the natural world. He destroyed the Logos, the gathering principle, by reducing the world to a set of objects that had little connection to one another.

Read the whole article here:
Notes from a Very Small Island

A practice in belonging to this world

by Erik Reece

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fiddle Workshop at PCA

Crossroads Music presents:

a fiddle workshop at Philadelphia Community Acupuncture.
Sunday, April 7, 11 am to 1 pm.
Ottawa Valley fiddle and stepdance.

There will be a concert Saturday, December 6 at 7:30 pm
Calvary Church, 48th St. and Baltimore Ave. in West Philadelphia.

You can get all the event info and sound samples @
Please look at the amazing series of music that
Crossroads Music brings to our neighborhood.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Community Acupuncture Network board meeting

Ellen an I traveled to Portland last week with my wife Amy for the board meeting of the Community Acupuncture Network, or CAN. It took place at the mothership, Working Class Acupuncture in Cully.
The board is working on a lot of things related to figuring out how to create affordable acupuncture, how to get acupuncturists out of theory land and get related to the people in their communities, and how to get more non-acupunks leading CAN. If you're interested in any of the business of the board, check out these articles on CAN's blog.
General description of meeting and members.
A new manifesto for emphasizing the "community": in community acupuncture.
Critique"integrative medicine" vis-a-vis acupuncture.

But, mostly our visit was just tons of fun being around a lot of great people who are really serious about our small part of the revolution, and serious about having fun.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rebecca Parker: new acupunk at Philly Community Acupuncture !

We are so so pleased to introduce Rebecca Parker. She is a delight, as a person and a practitioner. (I actually just got a treatment from her, and am feeling like a million bucks.) She has already been seeing patients for two weeks, working every Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. Ellen and I dreamed about Rebecca working with us when she finished her studies. And, it happened!

Rebecca wrote the following to introduce herself.

Working at the Firehouse is like coming home for me. Before my life as an acupuncturist, I was a bicycle mechanic. I worked toward the health of my community as a wrench at Firehouse bikes, and facilitator at the Bike Church bike coop. I started hanging out on Baltimore Avenue over a decade ago, and came back to visit periodically while away at acupuncture school. This neighborhood is a unique place where passion, creativity and community sensibility mix, and I’m thrilled to serve as a neighborhood acupuncturist here. As a practitioner, I think of myself as a facilitator who guides the acupuncture recipient through the process of rediscovering their own resources. As my teacher used to say, we just direct traffic, it’s the patient who is driving the car.

One of the things I love about PCA is that it’s a place that encourages people to take responsibility for their own health, empowering the patient as much as possible. People are given types of agency over their care that they don’t get in places where they are told exactly how much to pay, taken to exactly the treatment bed that the practitioner designates for them, and told how long their treatment will last. Here the patient is encouraged to pay attention to their body, because through this relationship comes the information needed to be healthy. I love acupuncture because it reminds my body of what it could feel like. It moves my stuckness, and sticks my moveness. I love it because it’s a simple, safe, cheap, effective medicine. With Big Pharma and Big Insurance making healthcare less and less accessible, it’s really important that we have ways of reducing our reliance on these sometimes unavoidable monstrosities.

So big thanks and gratitude are due to the amazing Korben and Ellen who turned this space, that was once a dumping ground for old bike frames and a tangle of wheels, forks, and banana seats, into a peaceful sanctuary for group nap-time. Much gratitude to my current and future patients, who teach me so much about human resiliency, and to all my teachers who shared their wisdom with me. And finally, much gratitude to West Philadelphia.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pay-what-you-want fundraiser for Studio 34

Experimental performers The Missoula Oblongata present "The Last Hurrah of the Clementines" as a fundraiser for neighborhood art/yoga space Studio 34. Check Puppet Uprising's website for details.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Community Acupuncture and "Social Business"

The Integrator Blog, edited by John Weeks, presents "news, reports, opinion, and networking for the business, education, policy and practice of Intagrative Medicine and CAM." Weeks wrote an article last week about community acupuncture and the "social business" model, as defined by Mohammed Yunis.
Read the whole article here.
It quotes Community Acupuncture founder Lisa Rohleder as saying "A social business is not a 'socially responsible business' and it is not a nonprofit. It functions completely differently. The structure of a socially-responsible business is to make a profit and then use the money for good. The structure of a nonprofit is to subsidize doing good with money that has been made some other way. The structure of a 'social business' is not to make a profit at all, but to create 'social dividends.' If a social business does make a profit, it reinvests that profit immediately into itself rather than pulling it out and giving it to its owners or shareholders or to some separate nonprofit (as a 'socially responsible business' would do).
She goes on to say that the social business model "is just to exist and do its thing without either depending on subsidies or making extra money beyond what it needs to meet its social goals." Instead, WCA's social goals are "to create jobs for acupuncturists and to provide acupuncture to people with ordinary incomes."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Urban Sustainability Series

From natural building to seed saving to herbal tinctures, most of the series hosted by the Jewish Farm School will take place in West Philly. Here's the schedule.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Here's the "Marketplace" piece

Here's a link to the piece on community acupuncture by local Philly journalist, Joel Rose.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

PCA on National Public Radio this week

NPR's "Marketplace" is running a story on us this week or next. How crazy is that? We'd love to give you a heads up, but, they're not sure when it's going to run. We'll let everyone know as soon as we know.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Citypaper article

From local writer, Andrew Zitcer. Read it here.

Free acupuncture for Veterans in Philly?

Acupuncturists across the nation are volunteering their time and skills to make free regular treatments available to returned and returning vets.

We'd like to start such a program here. Are you interested in helping? We need volunteers for various jobs to get it going and keep it going.

Contact Korben Perry

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ellen in the news

A big photo of acupuncturist Ellen Vincent graces page 76 of the new Utne Reader. Actually, it's almost the same photo as the one below. It's a good article about the Community Acupuncture movement. Even though the cover of the magazine makes it look like a fast food trade magazine, we're still proud and delighted about it. I'll link to it if they put the article on line. Actually, here's the article as it first appeared in Yes Magazine.

Also, Ellen was recently the recipient of the Trailblazer Award for women owned business in Philadelphia. Here's a Philadelphia Tribune article about the awards.

Check back soon for another soon-to-be-published article about Philadelphia Acupuncture.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

the nice spring light returns to the PCA clinic

A belated Happy May Day to all!

Acupuncturist and co-founder Ellen Vincent and a room full of people being treated.

We'd like to publish some original descriptions/testimonials/essays/poems on what a treatment feels like, where you go, who you become, the way time moves, etc.
Feel free to email us stuff and let us know if it's not OK to publish.

Here's an excerpt from Lisa Rohleder's "Working Class Acupuncture for Patients", available as a download or book from

Acupuncture works best in an atmosphere of quiet and internal focus.As one of our patients explained, "when I come in here I feel like I can let go of everything and get completely into my own internal space. I can concentrate on myself completely. This is my sanctuary. I don't even notice, much less care, what's going on around me."
Treating patients in a community space also allows a unique kind of synergy to kick in. When everyone in the room is in a state of deep relaxation, the energy of each individual treatment spills over into the whole and creates a powerful shared state, similar to the experience of group meditation - even though the majority of our patients are not meditators. That shared state in turn makes each of the individual treatments more potent. From that perspective, the community allows us to do more for each individual for less money. Furthermore, the patients are creating the healing atmosphere as much as the practitioners are, which helps us remember where the real strength resides.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Art and Healing Network

Please check out this amazing podcast project of interviews with artist/activist/healers around the subject of art and healing. It's part of the Art and Healing Network

Friday, February 8, 2008

what national health care looks like right now

Walmart is opening 400 new health clinics nationwide by 2010. Wow.

Here's an article:
Baltimore Business Journal

Remember "company scrip", the currency issued in certain industries to pay workers. Such scrip can only be exchanged by wage-earners in company stores owned by their employers and often charging inflated prices. In the UK, such systems have been formally outlawed under Truck Acts.

In the U.S., mining and logging camps were typically created, owned and operated by a single company. These remote locations were cash poor and workers had very little choice but to purchase goods at a company store. With this economic monopoly, the employer could place enormous markups on goods, making workers completely dependent on the company, thus enforcing employee loyalty.

Friday, January 11, 2008

HealthCare for All!

Join PhilaHealthia founder Paul Glover as he discusses why and how WE can create our own cooperative health coverage plan, based on his successful Ithaca Health Alliance in New York:

Health Democracy contributes, by local example, to the campaign for universal health coverage. Check out


· Benefits both the insured and uninsured

· When 1,000 people pledge $100 a year, we will begin a

minor medical plan

· As more people join, coverage expands!