From my newest book, Peaceful Places: Portland:
Working Class Acupuncture
Category: Shops and Services
My “Memphis Mind” was up in arms: “You’re gonna let those goofy people stick needles in you?” I had to assure my Tennessee-raised self that people have been doing this for centuries, that it’s for a book, and that nothing else was helping my back, anyway.
Maybe you’re a little like me, so maybe you can let go of whatever images you have of acupuncture. Lose the fears of high costs, huge scary needles, pain, and discomfort. Replace them, instead, with a suggested donation, tiny needles you’ll barely feel, and a recliner chair in a quiet, dimly-lit room, where you lie still (with a blanket, even) for as long as you like.
Right there, did you just feel yourself relax just a little? Wait til you kick back in that recliner.
The scene at the original clinic on NE 57th – there are two others in Portland and a network across the country – can take some getting used to, since we don’t generally get medical care in big rooms with other people. But since those are people are all off in floating-body-land when you come in, it’s really not a worry.
At your first appointment, they’ll walk you through the basics, like “You don’t have to believe for it to work; animals get benefit from it, too.” Then you tell the person what you’re in for, even if it’s multiple things, and pick a recliner. They’ll come around and, yes, stick needles in you. Remember, doing it for centuries …
Then you just relax, maybe listen to some tunes, even go to sleep if you want to. Just make eye contact when you’re ready to go. And I can add this: I found the whole thing very soothing, and my back really did feel better.
Address: 3526 NE 57th Avenue, Portland (plus other locations; see website). Phone: 503-335-9440. Website. Online appointments. Cost: Sliding scale. Times: Appointments available from 8:30 a.m. to 7:50 p.m. weekdays, and until 5:50 p.m. weekends. Transit: TriMet #24 or #71 to NE 57th and Fremont (Stop 7732).