Sunday, November 15, 2009
Miriam Lee Tribute Day - FREE acupuncture on December 9, 2009
Bay Area Community Acupuncture Clinics Honor Pioneer Miriam Lee
With A Day of Free Acupuncture
Seven Community Acupuncture clinics in the greater San Francisco Bay area will offer free acupuncture on December 9, 2009 to honor Miriam Lee, the woman who set off the movement to legalize acupuncture in the US. An eight clinic in San Rafael will offer the free treatments on December 8.
Born on December 9, 1926 in China, Lee immigrated to the United States in 1969 and settled in Palo Alto, California. Because it was illegal to practice acupuncture, she took a job on an assembly line. However, Lee found it impossible to not offer her skills and was soon seeing patients clandestinely. Over time, her reputation grew, until her practice became too large for her home. One anecdote related in her book, Insights of a Senior Acupuncturist, mentions the collapse of the steps to her back porch due to the number of people waiting to see her. Eventually, she found a sympathetic M.D. who allowed her to work out of his office during off-hours.
In 1974 Lee was arrested for practicing medicine without a license. Her patients filled the courthouse at her hearing, demanding the right to receive acupuncture. Miriam Lee had offered them compassion and health, and now they came to her defense. Thanks to this public outcry, acupuncture was declared an “experimental procedure” and Lee was granted the right to see patients at San Francisco University. In 1976, acupuncture was legalized in California. Lee retired in 1997 and died at age 82 on June 24th of this year.
Miriam Lee felt compelled to offer the healing power of acupuncture to as many people as possible. She treated a variety of illnesses for two decades in Palo Alto, starting her day early and treating as many as 10 patients per hour using tables and chairs in several rooms. In order to work quickly and effectively, Lee developed a simple 5-point, 10-needle protocol which proved helpful for the majority of common health complaints.
Community acupuncturists draw inspiration from Miriam Lee and share her desire to provide acupuncture to as many people as possible. Following the example of Working Class Acupuncture in Portland, Oregon, Community Acupuncture clinics in the Bay Area offer affordable, sliding-scale acupuncture in quiet group spaces. Their mission is to increase access to regular and frequent acupuncture treatment for people with ordinary incomes and to build a sense of community among those receiving and providing care.
In Lee’s memory, several Community Acupuncture clinics in the Bay Area will provide her treatment protocol (known as the "Miriam Lee tune up") free to clients on December 9, 2009. Participating clinics are listed below. Contact them directly for business hours and other details.
Sarana Community Acupuncture
968 San Pablo Ave., Albany, CA 94706
Free “Miriam Lee tune-up” treatments by appointment from 10am-4pm.
100 % of optional donations will go to the Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic, which offers free alternative medicine care to low-income women with cancer. Book appointments here.
Berkeley Community Acupuncture
2880 Sacramento St., Berkeley, CA 94702
Davis Community Acupuncture Clinic
Itay Neta, LAc
817 4th St., Davis, CA 95616
Oasis Community Acupuncture
36614 Newark Blvd., Newark, CA 94560
Oakland Acupuncture Project
576 Laurel Ave., Oakland, CA 94602
Body in Balance Community Acupuncture Center
4133 Mohr Ave., Ste E, Pleasanton, CA 94566
Community Acupuncture Works
2889 24th St #A, San Francisco, CA 94110
Community Acupuncture of San Rafael
2130 Fourth St., Suite C, San Rafael, CA 94901
Free “Miriam Lee double” treatments by appointment from 11:30am to 3:30pm on December 8th (not 9th). 100 % of optional donations will go to the Marin Abused Women's Services.