Friday, November 11, 2011

Community Acupuncture documentary!

Brian Lindstrom came to Philadelphia Community Acupuncture last January to film a segment for the amazing documentary that is now available to watch at bliptv.  The entire documentary is about 35 minutes, and copies of the DVD are available for sale at PCA.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Korben and family moving in August: a thank you note to my patients

With great sadness and also excitement, I’d like to let those who don’t already know that my family and I are moving back to New England in August. This is one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made, trying to reconcile our desire to be closer to family (especially in regards to my son, Julian) with the profound sense of belonging that you’ve all given me as your community acupuncturist.
I’m afraid I’ll never be able to express my gratitude for being able to work so closely with all of you. I have never felt more alive and connected and useful as I do each time I spend I few moments with a patient like yourself, listening, maybe laughing, or maybe saying nothing at all, surrounded by other perfect and mysterious and resting someones, and with the sun at whatever angle it is, and hopefully helping you to settle into a slightly more cooperative and flowing place within your body.
So, a huge thank you to everyone I’ve ever treated here at PCA. I will not remember your symptoms, but your beauty and the very particular way you went ahead and believed in your body and your mind despite the challenges.
Also, thank you to the unbelievably righteous band of volunteers who made this place work logistically and who give it nearly all of its flavor and rhythm. And, thank you to Ellen Vincent, Pascal Vincent, Amy Walsh, Waliyyah Muhsin, Jacks Cody, Lou Cutler, Danielle Stimson, Zem Chance, and Linford Martin for building this thing together. I hope it lasts forever.
Thank you to the rose window on the Hickman Temple for reflecting back perfect design from the north. Thank you to the countless sunsets and occasional violent storms coming from the west. Thank you to the gigantic oak I can see out the back, south window, probably on Springfield, which always focused me when I washed my hands, and to one of the neighborhood hawks which lands in that tree sometimes. Thank you to the many moon rises behind the skyline and to that beautiful (unfinished?) mural, both of which woke me out of complacency when I started feeling like I was “working”. I hope to come back often and bask in the very special energy which is this exact place on earth at rest and at peace.
I will work my regular schedule up through the last week in July. If you are a regular patient of mine, I encourage you to go ahead and get a treatment with one or two of the other fantastic acupuncturists now, so that if you want you can still schedule with me and give feedback and get encouragement.
Please stay tuned for info about a going-away party in July.
With love, Korben. (

History and Myth in Chinese Medicine

If you are interested in Chinese Medical History, there is a lecture on "History and Myth in Chinese Medicine," on June 5th from 3 - 5 pm at the Won Institute. Here is how Salguero describes his presentation:

"Practitioners of Chinese medicine often characterize their healing arts as “ancient,” imagining an unbroken tradition stretching back over thousands of years. Historians of Chinese medicine, on the other hand, have emphasized the ever-changing nature of Chinese medicine and have shown that modern practices have little to do with ancient precedents. This presentation will introduce the audience to the latest historical research on the origins of acupuncture, and the transformation over the past 2000 years in theory and practice. At the heart of the presentation are the questions of why history matters to practitioners, and whether facts and myths can be reconciled."

Pierce Salguero is Assistant Professor of Asian History at Penn State's Abington College. Dr. Salguero has a Ph.D. in the History of Medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and has published numerous books and articles on Asian medical history. He is a historian of medicine in China, specializing in religious healing in the medieval period.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Introducing: People's Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA)

The Community Acupuncture Network (CAN) is the world-wide organization of which Philadelphia Community Acupuncture has been a part since opening. Within the next several months that organization will transform itself into a multi-stakeholder cooperative entitled POCA, the People's organization of Community Acupuncture.
We hope that you'll read a little bit of the following, and see how we're trying to figure out how to even more effectively deliver affordable healthcare, and how POCA will help us acknowledge even more how central you are to the every day and to the future of community acupuncture.

Since its inception, the Community Acupuncture movement has been led by practitioners to serve patients. The movement has grown from a single clinic in Portland, Oregon, to hundreds of clinics around the country and the world. Practitioners and acupuncture students turning to this model of affordable, sliding-scale care in a group setting have generated a critical mass of energy that is propelling the Community Acupuncture movement into its next stage of growth and development. To date, the Community Acupuncture Network (CAN), a 501c6 non-profit professional organization, has been the main vehicle to foster the growth and proliferation of community acupuncture.

However, needs have arisen that will be best met by a new type of organization—a multi-stakeholder cooperative. One of the most basic issues addressed by the cooperative that was not served by CAN is the direct involvement of patients in the process of governing the organization. Participation in a coop means that membership is a shared responsibility – everybody is invited to become involved.


  • Acupuncture is important to our health – as individuals, families, co-workers, and community members – because it provides inexpensive, non-invasive relief from pain and suffering.

  • Community Acupuncture defines and supports a mode of direct delivery of affordable care for people of ordinary incomes regardless of insurance coverage.

  • Community Acupuncture provides a new model for healthcare and self-care empowerment.

  • Community Acupuncture has at its heart a commitment to social justice and the deconstruction of barriers to care and resources.

  • Community Acupuncture’s commitment to social justice is expressed in part by addressing specific barriers to accessing care and training in the field of acupuncture, namely cost.

  • Community Acupuncture has created, just in the last 5 years, employment opportunities where there were none. However, because of the debt load that graduates bear coupled with the culture of the acupuncture profession, many of these positions have yet to be filled.


  • Proliferating and sustaining affordable acupuncture

  • Offering affordable training and education for acupuncturists

  • Articulating new paradigms of healthcare and health empowerment

  • Growing vital local economies

  • Creating social and financial capital – both in our local communities and within the community acupuncture movement

  • Expanding into currently un-served communities

  • Linking with other communities working for social justice

  • Meeting the many needs of existing clinics: employees, micro-lending, training materials, personnel materials, managerial materials, mentoring, other hands-on support


  • Patient/Community member benefits: coop’s (vs. non-member) sliding-scale, 10th tx free, special offers, initial fee waived at member clinics, three “Free Treatment” cards to share, newsletter, (poss. access to membership list for cross marketing purposes)

  • Punk/Student member benefits: forum, employer support, collective buying power, LOC directory, low-interest loans, employment network (poss. malpractice ins.)

  • Every Voice Matters—It starts with “how you feel” after coming for acupuncture—once, ten times, fifty times. When acupuncture is able to provide lasting relief from a problem or help to optimize one’s health, it is important to share this feedback with others. The riches of our collective knowledge are a valuable community resource. Sharing this resource by sharing our experiences will help to bring students, practitioners, patients, regulators, and others to the movement.

  • Every Vote Matters—Individual coop members each have one vote in the decision-making processes that will define and guide the coop towards its stated goals. Annual elections for coop board members and specific projects are a shared responsibility of the membership. In this way, the accessibility and proliferation of an effective form of health care is directed by the very people the coop serves: its practioners, its patients, its community.

  • Coming Together—we create mutually beneficial relationships where patient/community members can give hands-on support inside the clinic and out in the community. We continue our advocacy as patients and practitioners to bring affordable acupuncture to places where it is still needed. We manifest our vision of vital local economies and healthy, empowered communities of individuals. Through our collective resources, we create training and employment opportunities. Our collective voice speaks our purpose to the acupuncture profession, its regulatory bodies, and the health care field at large.


Watch the CAN blog for POCA updates

Raed POCA's mission and vision statements, and our goals and objectives.

Join POCA on Facebook (until the official POCA website launches, we hope in early May)

Download and read “Solidarity as a Business Model” at

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Community pitches in for local artist's medical bills

On Thursday Novmber 5th, , local artist and educator, Hope Rovelto was hit by a car crossing 2nd and Girard in Philadelphia. The accident left Hope with severe injuries to both her knees and since then Hope has had multiple surgeries and extended hospital admission.

The driver who hit Hope fled the scene.

Please support Hope by subscribing to this blog as there will be updates and news on fundraising events and ways you can support her recovery.

Please have a look at the beautiful work dozens of artists contributed to be sold at a January 30th fundraiser.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

a piece on the state of community acupuncture by Larry Gatti

Great blog post from fellow acupunk in Tuscon, Arizona. Please read.

"People of ordinary income treating other people of ordinary income devoid of the idea of charity or philanthropy have together created a new culture. One that has at its root the principles and values of equality, access, social change and social justice. One that is willing to put the people first, always. One that is ready and willing to confront racism, classism, sexism and ableism. One that is both altering the current professional landscape while continually undergoing its own evolutionary process."