San Francisco Acupuncture College Now Offers Acupuncture Treatments at Lifelong Berkeley Primary Care

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ACTCM has a new acupuncture externship site at Lifelong Berkeley Primary Care, which is located in the Herrick Building of Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley, California. Integrative healthcare is provided for low-income patients living with chronic health issues, and acupuncture students receive valuable training in a public healthcare setting.

acupuncture school

The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francsico

We are developing many ways to function within an integrative medicine model, while working with the realities of high patient volume and limited funds.

American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) of San Francisco has expanded its community outreach and services to the East Bay. ACTCM’s acupuncture services at Lifelong Berkeley Primary Care (BPC) not only help improve the health and lives of those who may not otherwise have access to integrative medicine, it allows acupuncture students to get invaluable hands-on experience in a public health clinic. Acupuncture interns work alongside BPC healthcare providers who are informed about acupuncture and value the additional care their patients receive.

“This is a win-win arrangement,” said ACTCM clinical supervisor and ACTCM alumni Bonney Lynch, L.Ac. “The students get practical experience in addition to their intensive on campus training at ACTCM's Community Clinics and the patients learn more about the benefits of acupuncture and how to take better care of themselves while they receive treatment for chronic pain and lifestyle related conditions like hypertension and diabetes.

“Our patients tend to have multiple stressors in their lives that affect their health. Our goal is to help get patients out of immediate crisis, so they are stable enough to focus on taking better care of themselves. Patients may then take additional steps towards wellness like eating better, exercising regularly, reducing stress in their lives, and making good use of the many educational and support resources available at BPC and within the greater community.”

The staff members at Lifelong Berkeley Primary Care are often familiar with Asian medicine, and refer patients who they feel could benefit from acupuncture for a series of six individual treatments. This format allows for more comprehensive care than the group or "community" model of treatment often available in low-fee and detox programs.

The individual care promotes a more proactive, self-informed context for further treatment and lifestyle choices, including BPC support groups or classes. Lifelong Berkeley Primary Care offers classes or counseling related to Diabetes, Women's Wellness Support Group, Smoking Cessation, Nutrition, Prenatal Support and Health Education Coaching.

“We are developing many ways to function within an integrative medicine model, while working with the realities of high patient volume and limited funds,” said Ann Song, new Clinical Director at Lifelong Berkeley Primary Care. “We are very excited to have ACTCM interns provide holistic health care by integrating acupuncture and Asian medicine into a Western clinical setting."

Lifelong Berkeley Primary Care was founded two-and-a-half years ago to treat diverse, often uninsured patients with chronic health issues. The clinic works with patients by referral from their primary physicians, social workers, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives.

Many providers are available for brief consultation, either directly or via nurse case managers. The clinic has direct access to patient charts, and the staff can order lab tests and refer patients for additional care, support groups and classes.

“A lot of these patients have health conditions like diabetes, heart conditions, and chronic pulmonary illnesses,” said ACTCM's Dean of Clinical Education John Kolenda, LAc. “These are patients who would not be able to receive care otherwise—and certainly not acupuncture. We are proud to do our part to serve our neighbors.”

ACTCM has several clinical externship sites in San Francisco, including the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic, the Jewish Home for the Aged, and the Stroke Project at California Pacific Medical Center—in addition to the on campus Community Clinic and Community Ear Acupuncture Project.

ACTCM’s community clinics serve as a diverse and demanding training ground for students, while providing affordable health care services to the community. ACTCM certificate programs include Tui Na and Shiatsu and an introductory class in traditional Chinese Medicine for the public. The college provides additional educational opportunities for current ACTCM students, ACTCM alumni, healthcare professionals and the Bay Area community.

About the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM)
The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) has been at the forefront of educating students in Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Bay Area since its inception in 1980. The college offers two degree programs—the Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine (MSTCM) and the Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM). Both programs provide exceptional professional education.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) restores internal balance and health, and effectively treats a wide range of illnesses and chronic pain. Increasing numbers of people are turning to acupuncture for insomina back discomfort, neurological disorders, anxiety, fertility issues, allergy relief, weight loss, addiction and substance use, sports performance enhancement, immune support, and PMS.

Those who receive treatment are informed that sterile, disposable needles will be used. Because the needles are thin, solid and pliable, most people feel little to no discomfort. Patients typically feel energized and relaxed, and are given a recommended course of treatment and self-care based on a specific TCM diagnosis.

For more information about the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM), call Alissa Cohan at (415) 355-1601 x 12. For more information about ACTCM's acupuncture program at Lifelong Berkeley Primary Care call Michelle Lough at (510) 204-3065.

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