Saturday, May 08, 2010

How Shoba Creates Community, One Session at a Time

Acupuncture is something I had always observed from a distance, like the display of Algerian delicacies, in a tiny storefront, not far from the RER exit in St. Germain. The pastries were tantalizing but a bit too foreign to try. My pregnant daughter-in-law had spoken highly of her acupuncture sessions, so I decided to book a session myself. For almost a year, Quiet Mind Studio has featured this holistic health treatment alongside yoga and massage. Outer Most Community Acupuncture is the brainchild of Shoba Satya, a red-haired, green-eyed world-traveler who finally settled down in Wellfleet. Trips to India sparked her calling: “I decided I wanted to help work on bodily issues so people would be free to work on the spiritual,” she told me yesterday.

Shoba grew up in Acton, MA, where her mom kept a book called "Old Vermont Folk Remedies" close at hand. When migraines became a problem, Shoba decided to go beyond aspirin and try acupuncture. “After five weeks, I remember thinking ‘I haven’t had a headache in a long time,’ and realized the power of the medicine.”

Noticing that the rates charged by Chinese acupuncturists allowed patients to return multiple times, Shoba decided to practice a similar policy, offering a sliding scale of $20 to $40 to the community, based on a business plan developed by a woman in Portland Oregon. The theory is that by listening to the story of your health and providing the time necessary to understand that story fully, the practitioner can detect the source of imbalance and bring harmony to the system with the use of acupuncture needles. One session is fine, but more are better.

After noting my medical history, Shoba led me into the large yoga room where three people already relaxed in black recliners. I sat down, then allowed myself to be tipped back. Shoba stuck me with about a dozen very thin needles, in both ears, in my forehead, on my hands, ankles, and knee. Never having experienced acupuncture before, I had no idea what to expect, so tried to keep my eyes closed, while listening to soft background music. There was definitely something unusual about lying there, with three other members of our community, a certain fragility and openness, absent in most social interaction. I peeked at my ninety-year-old friend Margo as Shoba helped her up. Towards the end of the 20-minute period, my body shuddered with a few energy releases. After Shoba removed the needles, I felt relaxed, almost too relaxed because I had to go home and clean the Green Room for new guests …

Best to call for an appointment if you want to try the healing power of Outer Most Community Acupuncture. Hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 11-3. This summer there will also be sessions available in the Harmon Gallery, next door, Wednesday and Friday 8-9:30 am.

Have you ever been treated by an acupuncturist? Should I return for follow-up visits? Did you get that "floaty" feeling that lasted for several hours? What's your experience with community acupuncture??