Temporary Closure begins Tuesday, March 17th

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With heavy hearts we have made the decision to temporarily close our clinics beginning Tuesday, March 17th. We don’t take this decision lightly. We are closing because we take our mission to promote community health seriously. Evidence regarding COVID-19 shows that the best way to ensure that this epidemic threatens as few in our area as possible is to limit its spread through physical-distancing. As you all know, we are typically open 7 days a week. This is the only time we have closed our clinics for this long in over 12 years of operation. But, playing a role in helping to “flatten the curve” of COVID19/coronavirus is paramount at this time.

 

To be clear, we are not aware of any confirmed case of COVID19/coronavirus in our staff or patient community. We are doing this as a precaution and to follow public health advice to limit gatherings of people. We hope that our closing will be part of the momentum of people staying home to prevent a severe outbreak. If ours and others’ measures to encourage physical distancing are successful, we may never see COVID19 become as widespread and destructive as it is in other places.

 

In two weeks, we hope to be open, but we will be evaluating and assessing this situation as it continues. We thank you in advance for your support and patience, and look forward to seeing you when we open our doors again soon.

 

If you would like to support the clinic through this tough time, consider buying one of our pre-paid Easy Cards. For the next two weeks we will be selling these at the discount price of $65 for a 5 treatment card or $125 for a 10 treatment card. You can purchase these either through our paypal account or by mailing your check to:

Oakland Acupuncture Project

440 Santa Clara Ave.

Oakland, CA 94610

 

Your purchases of pre-paid treatment packages are going directly to keeping our expenses covered so that we can return to normal clinic operations as soon as possible once we re-open our doors.

 

We hope that you all will stay connected to your communities and support networks in whatever ways you can, from a distance, and that you will reach out to local resources if you need support. 

 

Warmly,

OAP Staff

 

Join us at POCAfest Marin Sept 27th to 29th

People’s Co-op of Community Acupuncture conference in the Marin Headlands

POCA Fest is coming up the weekend of Sept. 27-29 in Marin Headlands. This annual gathering of community acupuncturists is an opportunity for punks, patients, students, and their families to connect with friends and colleagues around the country, learn new skills, swap stories and have a really good time. The whole OAP and SAP family is going! Learn about and register for the upcoming event on the POCA website: www.pocacoop.com.

Jeff Goes to POCAfest 13 in Wisconsin

Over the weekend of May 17th to 19th, Oakland Acupuncture Project sent me deep into the Midwest, to Pearlman Retreat in rural Wisconsin, outside of Milwaukee, to attend the 13th POCAfest where acupuncturists from all over the United States (and Puerto Rico!) got together to talk about working in a community setting. Even though there are 23 POCA (People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture) member clinics in California, I was the only Californian there, and felt honored to represent our beautiful and dynamic state.

It was a heartfelt and intense weekend. Within the profession, we have affectionately shortened the term community acuPUNCturist to the apt moniker: “Punk.” We’re all a little bit rebellious and committed to the revolutionary idea that health care should be equally accessible to all, so the nickname feels appropriate. Over the three days, we explored what it means to be a Punk, ways we can do our job better, what we can do to make acupuncture more accessible, and how we can grow the profession in positive and sustainable ways. My favorite part of the weekend was being able to reconnect with Cait Cain who worked at our Laurel Ave. clinic for many years. She and I are old friends from acupuncture school and had a lot to catch up on. She has been busy growing her clinic in Lincoln, Nebraska, Lincoln Acupuncture Project. We shared stories about our struggles and triumphs at work and in our personal lives.

One of the most inspiring parts of the weekend was that it included a training for people in other professions to practice the NADA protocol, which is a group of 5 points on each ear that treats addiction and PTSD. It’s also sometimes called 5 Needle Protocol, 5NP, or acudetox. Its origin has a great history that involves the Black Panthers and Young Lords which is described in the zine you can download here. It’s a simple and effective protocol that should be more widely offered, but unfortunately, its practice is limited to only acupuncturists and only in certain states, including California. Wisconsin is in the process of reforming its laws to allow other kinds of health care practitioners, with proper training and supervision, to perform this treatment on people who need it to heal from their addictions and traumas. This is solid and inspiring healing work that we need more of in this chaotic world.

I also got to visit three other community acupuncture clinics: Lincoln Square Acupuncture in Chicago, IL, Milwaukee Community Acupuncture in Milwaukee, WI and Racine Community Acupuncture in Racine, WI. It feels very familiar to walk into a big room with mellow lighting and music, full of chairs that recline, and spots to pick up pillows and blankets. Over my years in the profession, I’ve always enjoyed seeking out and quietly observing other community acupuncture clinics. I take notes on subtle things that we can do better or differently in our own clinics in addition to a general admiration for how hard community clinic owners work to find, create, and nurture a healing space.

Community acupuncture clinics are just one of the somewhat unusual things I seek out when I travel. I also love seeing lighthouses. There are some similarities. Both are created by determined and intrepid people and take you off the beaten path. Their networks were both created in a relatively short time across a broad swath of the country to address very real problems: lighthouses to address shipwrecks and other maritime disasters, and community acupuncture to address inequality and other American healthcare disasters. The people who cared for these places worked tirelessly and are often anonymous and received little gratitude or monetary compensation for their efforts. To me, both shine like a beacon of hope and possibility.

Coincidentally, the next POCAfest, September 27th to 29th, is in California and is taking place at Marin Headlands where one of my favorite lighthouses is located: Point Bonita Lighthouse. The lighthouse opens for visitors at 12:30 on Sunday which is right around the time the conference ends. If you’re feeling short on inspiration, consider attending POCAfest, visiting the Point Bonita lighthouse, or both!