Poor Man's Prick Poor Man's Prick
Issue 013

Poor Man's Prick

by Joel Rose

December 3, 2008
Portland, Oregon, is a revolutionary kind of town, and so it's not all that surprising to find, downtown near Fremont Street, a building emblazoned with a big, red, up-with-the-people fist.What is surprising, in this case, is the accompanying slogan: "Acupuncture Can Change the World." An acupuncture clinic would hardly seem the place for radical fervor, and yet at Portland's Working Class Acupuncture, a new kind of revolution is taking place-albeit a very quiet one.Each week more than 400 patients pass through the clinic, including hotel maids, grocery-store stockers, and baristas-not exactly the Volvo-driving yuppies you might expect.
"There's a lot of classism in the acupuncture world," says the clinic's founder, Lisa Rohleder. She believes that anyone can benefit from acupuncture's ability to relieve pain and stress. But the high cost of treatment-$80 or more for typical one-on-one visits-has historically kept low- and middle-income people away.At Working Class Acupuncture, the sliding scale starts at $15. The clinic can afford to charge less because each acupuncturist treats several patients at a time. Since Rohleder launched the first community acupuncture clinic in 2002, more than 60 others have opened around the country. It's a business model that can really get under your skin.Learn More workingclassacupuncture.orgPhoto Lupine Hudson
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Poor Man's Prick