For those of us who practice community acupuncture, the term community has two meanings. One, of course, is a reference to the group setting. We believe that when people are treated together in a group, they experience deeper relaxation and enhanced treatment benefits.
The other aspect has to do with our hope to be a useful part of our local communities. In addition to making acupuncture more accessible to the community, community acupuncturists also try to support local programs through activities such as being a drop-off point for CSAs, displaying the work of local artists, and volunteering at veterans acupuncture programs.
At the Holistic Happenings health fair last weekend, I asked attendants to share their thoughts on the meaning of community. Although some people found this difficult to answer, the combined answers come up with a very complete description.
Here are several of the responses I received to the question â€œWhat does community mean to me?â€
Family, support, and service
Helping one another in times of need or even just for no reason at all
A group of individuals coming together to achieve a common purpose/goal
It is what you put into it
A group of people who live and work together supporting one another to satisfy their needs
Those you care about and spend time with
Comfortable caring environment filled with people that care and want to help
People working and getting along together
Friends supporting each other
From these definitions, it seems that the concept of community has three parts. The first is the idea of togetherness. A community must include more than one person, and they can’t exist in isolation. The next thought is that community requires work. For a community to survive, everyone must put in the effort to satisfy their common needs and goals. And finally, a community includes a sense of caring and compassion for one another. This sounds like a great definition to me!
What does the term community mean to you? Do you think that â€œcommunity acupunctureâ€ practices actually contribute to the well-being of the community? If not, how can we improve?