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May Day

May 1st, also known as May Day marks the beginning of summer in many cultures – roughly the mid-point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. In many places around the world it is also known as International Workers Day – a day that commemorates the struggles and gains of working people around the world.  What does that have to do with acupuncture? Well, for us community acupuncturists, a lot actually.  

Acupuncture, like bodywork, is a relatively simple and effective treatment modality.  The practice can be easily taught and safely administered with a bit of knowledge about meridians and how they function, to prompt healing in the body.  In this sense it was designed for working people – simple, easy, and effective – to help people go about their daily lives in a happy and productive way.  With this in mind community acupuncture focuses on simple and effective treatments offered in a community setting – healing in community. 

The second way International Workers Day relates to acupuncture is accessibility. In our culture, alternative medicine is often out of reach for the average working person.  When I am teaching to a group of acupuncturists one of the first questions I often ask them is, “how many of you can afford your own treatments?” The answer is more often than not, fewer than one or two out of a group of 20 or more. Community Acupuncturists believe that care should be based on need not on a persons income – much in the same way we think about our basic healthcare support in Canada. That’s why we created a model of service that reduces the cost of an individual treatment to be more in line with what a person can afford to spend on healthcare. That’s also why many community clinics use a sliding scale fee structure. 

In 2007 Hemma started the first community acupuncture clinic in British Columbia to follow these principles. We have been offering our services this way ever since and have provided more than a 100,000 treatments over that time. Our mission has been to create a space that was welcoming and accessible to as many folks as possible – all ages, and all walks of life. 

In honour of workers everywhere our Punch-Cards will once again be on sale from May 1-13th.  During this time you can purchase a 5 treatment punch card for $110!  Happy May Day!