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.