Community is the Heart of Health

Our motto at CommuniChi is “Community is the Heart of Health”. For six years atop Beacon Hill in Seattle, we’ve offered many thousands of affordable acupuncture treatments. Sometimes our ten recliner chairs are simultaneously full of people, half of them snoring peacefully. The record is somewhere around thirteen, with people also being treated in the waiting room. A community acupuncture clinic full of people receiving acupuncture is a bit like a chapel, or a meditation shrine room. There’s a powerful locus of calm and peaceful energy which builds up over time. Many people have remarked how peaceful and energizing the room feels upon entering.

Of course, we do pay a lot of attention to where we place the needles, but there’s a tacit acknowledgment in community acupuncture professional circles that the latent energy of a room charged with many thousands of acupuncture treatments does half the work of reducing the pain and dissolving internal blockages. And much of the rest is supplied by the mental decision of the patient to seek healing. This of course turns conventional medical thinking on its head which implies that the healing comes from a pill, or even an acupuncture needle. No, I don’t think so.

However, it is difficult to validate such conjecture via scientific study because it enters the realm of mental phenomena, something which reductionistic and materialistic Newtonian science does not excel in understanding. Indeed, in Buddhist philosophy, the mind is without beginning or end – infinite. How can something without physical limits be quantified and therefore studied using traditional scientific methods?

Even beyond the power of a circle of acupuncture patients receiving acupuncture, there is a more far reaching, albeit more subtle, pervasion in the statement: “community is the heart of health”. And that is that we are all connected…every living being on the planet. And people are starting to acknowledge this in our wider culture. For example, people are beginning to understand that if we don’t reduce human activities like driving cars and eating meat – to name two – that the global climate changes which follow could cause extreme suffering and even extinctions for many life forms.

When we raise our own healing vibration through receiving acupuncture, we assist in raising the vibration of everyone else in the room, everyone we meet as we leave the building and walk down the street, everyone in the neighborhood, city, bioregion, continent, and beyond. All the more so when we consciously cultivate an intention around healing beyond our own mind-body-spirit, but also acknowledging the wider sphere of life.

How often when we take medicine – of any kind – do we pause to create intention? Even just to say – may this medicine bring me the highest possible healing? And then letting go of any expectation of result. How much more powerful if we can say – “may this acupuncture treatment, this cough drop, this food, nourishment, water, breath, etc….bring healing wisdom and spiritual awakening to all living beings everywhere.”


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