Saturday, October 18, 2008

One month!

This Friday was our one month anniversary. Wow. I'm still reeling at the idea we are open, and so much has happened in the past four weeks that it feels like a year has been compressed into one short month.

Here is the quick breakdown:
Sept 17th, opening day: free acupuncture -- 21 treatments in 4 hours.
Sept 21-26, Week 1: 37 treatments
Sept28 - Oct3, Week 2: 27 treatments
Oct5 - 10, Week 3: 38 treatments
Oct 12-17, Week 4: 47 treatments
Total number of acupuncture treatments in one month = 170!

What this means:
Most of those treatments are returning patients, many of whom came more than once a week. These are people who are coming in getting acupuncture often, and as a result they are feeling better, and seeing improvements in their health. Best of all, they can afford it.

Some patient experiences I had in this time:

The first is a young woman who has been experiencing migraines for more than a decade. Pain, is only part of her migraine experience; she also experiences shaking limbs, dizziness, and loss of consciousness. She told me that she had to "migraine-proof" her apartment to prevent her from hurting herself if she passes out during an attack. I've been seeing her two or three times a week since we opened. A week and a half ago she told me that this was the first time she has been symptom-free in months.

The next three all occurred this week. Each was suffering from severe back pain. A sign-maker, a grocer, and a dance choreographer. The sign-maker called early in the week and came in that day. She has bulging discs at L4-L5/S1, and rated her pain at a 7 out of 10. She left without any pain, and minimal pressure. On her second visit, she left without any complaints, and is coming back for follow-ups until her vacation at the end of the month. The grocer came in the next night, and was unable to bend over or stand up with out strong pain in his right lumbar region. On his way out he demonstrated his ability to touch his toes without pain. He's coming in for a follow-up later in the week. The dance-choreographer was a drop-in visit. He was in so much pain that he was doubled over, and unable to straighten out. He left with 50% improvement, and is returning for follow-ups this week until he is 100%. Each of them left with a smile.

I'm not relaying these experiences to brag about how great an acupuncturist I am. I'm not. I'm still pretty fresh out of school, and leaning from more experienced acupuncturists. The reason these people feel better is because they are able to come in often enough, and frequently enough to get better.

In one short month, I've personally experienced the beauty of the Community Acupuncture model. I first learned about it almost two years ago when I read some articles written by Lisa Rohleder at Working Class Acupuncture in Portland, Oregon. From that time on, I knew that I would open a Community Acupuncture clinic. What I didn't know was how exciting and enriching it would be once it was open. After one month, I'm looking forward to many more years.

Monday, October 6, 2008

September 17, 2008: A Birthday Bash to Remember

September 17 was a big day for us here at Circle Community Acupuncture. Not only was it our Grand Opening, it was also resident acupuncturists David and Jennifer's 38th birthday -- born a mere 20 minutes apart, David in Austin, Texas, and Jennifer in Torrance, California. Who would have known these 2 Virgos would end up opening an acupuncture clinic together, along with their wonderful and witty Libran classmate, Melissa Craven.

The day started out with a bang! Between 12pm and 4pm, all 7 of our recliners were full with happy folks taking us up on our free four hours of celebratory acupuncture. The resounding theme of the day was people telling us what "great energy" our clinic has. For me at least, there could be no greater compliment (other than "you've cured me of all my ills!"). I have to agree with them -- We do have a very special spot here in the SOMA neighborhood, calm, serene, light, and spacious, with palpable good healing energy.

Then from 5-8pm we invited all of our family, friends, colleagues and neighbors for some tea, champagne, and wonderful healthy snacks catered by David's lovely wife Meghan (with adorable son Austin in tow). Thank you for all the beautiful plants everybody! They're exactly what we needed. Here are some pictures from that day. I hope you enjoy them. A joyous day indeed.

Happy Autumn,