Archive | May, 2012

Borderland Acu: June 2012 Newsletter

25 May



Closed June 12-16, going to Yale!

We will be presenting about our work in the borderlands at an international acupuncture conference hosted by Yale Medical School, Visionaries of Integrative Medicine, the week of June 12-16, so we will be closed. Click here read the Yale Medical School’s article on Yale’s NADA ear acupuncture clinic and training program for resident psychiatrists and psychologists.  In the words of one of their clients:  “It’s the best relaxation, anti-anxiety drug I’ve ever had.  It’s better than a Valium or Lorazapam or anything from the past.”

First 2 months report:  300 treatments amidst downtown blues

We’ve been here since the end of March here in downtown Las Cruces. Three weeks after opening, a high end restaurant next door, La Iguana, was forced to close amidst economic downturn. It was discouraging for every business in downtown, a sobering moment for the entire city. One of the reasons we’re downtown is because we believe that this part of the city needs to build social capital. Many of our clients say they haven’t been downtown in years. So far, in just 2 months, we’ve provided over 300 affordable acupuncture treatments, primarily to people who have never had access to acupuncture ever before. Thank you, Las Cruces and Greenworks! This was possible because of you.

Acupuncture for everyone? You really mean everyone?

The other day, a man expressed to us some angst that our prices were so low. He said we were “giving away” acupuncture to people who didn’t deserve it, told us we should be charging $60 a session. And I had to chuckle, and redirect him to our mission statement. We exist for one reason: to make acupuncture accessible to everyone. Not just those with disposable income. But everyone. We believe everyone deserves to have access to health care.

May special ends soon

$5-$20 Sliding scale continues through May 31, no initial paperwork fee will be charged for new clients, May’s a great time to become a client at Crossroads.

Treating Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders

We were most fortunate and humbled to meet in May with the Parkinson’s Support Group of Southern New Mexico. Click here to read our Crossroads blog about their group, their leader Bill Wallace (Citizen of the Year!) and the use of ear and scalp acupuncture for neurological disorders.

Free Acu Farmer’s Market:  Donations will support free border acu clinics

What:  FREE walk in acupuncture at the Wednesday Farmer Market

When: 9AM-1PM June 6, 20 and 27

Where: Greenworks Community Center, 125 N Main, LAS CRUCES, NM (one block south of the Rio Grande Theater, parking available next to Zeffiro’s and Bank of the West)

Why: In solidarity with 20 network Crossroads community clinics in the borderlands that right now offer free acu in low income neighborhoods, we’ll do the same here in Las Cruces. Thousands of treatments have been given in these clinics since 2011. Donations will be accepted, every penny of which will go towards supporting these clinics, and establishing new clinics specifically for survivors of violence.

Reducing disparities one treatment at a time

Starting June 1, our prices will be $16-$41, sliding scale, with a first time paperwork/admin fee of $10, which is still by far the most affordable acupuncture in the El Paso/Las Cruces area. A percentage of every treatment will go to support network Crossroads clinics in the borderlands that operate in some of the most impoverished corners of our region. Together, with your help, by getting acupuncture, we are reducing health disparities in our region, one treatment at a time.

Learn more about our support for borderland free clinics and how you can contribute in other ways to this project: Also, you can read more about a similar project by our colleagues in Victoria British Columbia.

Help others have access to acupuncture:

Spreading the word:

Most of our clients have been referred by word of mouth, by you!

Here’s 3 ways you can help spread the word about our clinic:

1–Tell a friend about our clinic, or bring them with you to get acupuncture. Online appointments can be made in just a few clicks:

2–Invite your friends to “like” Crossroads on facebook:

3–If you feel comfortable sharing how acupuncture has helped uou, email us your story.   With your permission we’d like to share this on our website.

Be a volunteer

We are currently seeking volunteers to help with outreach and reception at our Greenworks clinic. Bilingual English/Spanish clients of Crossroads are encouraged to inquire, but it’s not a prerequisite to be able to speak spanish. Volunteers get free acupuncture! Contact us for more information: 575 312 6569,

Parkinson’s, peer recovery and acupuncture: local news coverage

21 May

By Ryan Bemis

Last week I had the opportunity to meet with the Parkinson’s Support Group of Southern New Mexico at the Rehabilitation Hospital.  The group, with mention of our presentation on acupuncture, is featured in this week’s Las Cruces Bulletin, where you can read more about the group and the the one who started the group, Bill Wallace, recently awarded as Citizen of the Year.  Check it out:

The reality of Parkinson’s disease:  Support is available for those with the illness

They meet monthly at the Rehab Hospital of Southern New Mexico, and last Tuesday May 15, it was a full crowd.  They ran out of seats for all of us.  As I found out, they’ve got quite a few members even though they just started a couple of years ago.  This is a very personal topic for me.  Sitting in this packed room, I couldn’t help but think of how much help a peer group could have offered to my grandfather, Beryl Bemis.  He was a proud, independent, working class man and didn’t like anyone seeing him weak.   And when Parkinson’s left him powerless and dependent on others, it was particularly difficult for him to ask for assistance.  I helped care for him in his last years of life as he suffered, often very isolated.  He died 17 years  ago from the day of this group meeting last Tuesday: May 15, 1995.

The group exists to educate Parkinson’s clients, people like my grandfather, about the alternatives they have to isolation and suffering.  And one of the healthcare options, they told me Tuesday, that they’ve found to be extremely helpful in coping with Parkinson’s is acupuncture.  I was invited because several of the group members are currently traveling 4 hours one way all the way to Albuquerque to get treated at a high volume acupuncture clinic.  They wanted to learn more about our acupuncture services here in Las Cruces.

At this particular clinic an acupuncturist and professor from China, Dr. Jason Hao, sees up to 7 clients an hour and comes around to stimulate the needles on the heads of his clients every so often.  This style of “scalp acupuncture” is a common way to treat Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders, both in China and in the US.  Dr. Hao is recognized internationally as an expert on the subject of scalp acupuncture.  He has taught at UCLA and Stanford, as well as the Walter Reed Medical Center for veterans of the military in Washington, DC.  He has also become quite popular in this southern part of the state.  A recent editorial in the Las Cruces Sun News written by a patient of his, a lawyer, described how scalp acupuncture had helped him cope with a movement disorder.  Three other letters to the editor have surfaced in the Sun News since 2010 on Dr. Hao’s success in treating movement disorders, one written by a medical journalist, Margaret Markham.

As I told the Las Cruces group last week, I’m not Chinese, not the smallest part Asian, nor pose to have the expertise or charisma of Dr. Hao.  However, we do provide scalp acupuncture at Crossroads Community Acupuncture.  And our community based clinic setting follows the model of traditional acupuncture care in Asia, and similar to the model of care that was used by the founder of the US acupuncture profession, a Chinese immigrant, Miriam Lee.  Similar to Dr. Hao’s clinic and Miriam Lee’s clinics for California factory workers in the 1970’s, much like other mainstream acupuncture clinics in China, we treat many clients within an hour.  Currently at Crossroads we have clients who come regularly for scalp treatments, some daily, for different types of tremors and for neurological deficits and motor dysfunction due to brain injury.  Positive research outcomes on acupuncture in China, as pointed out by Dr. Subhuti Dharmananda, correlate with frequent and regular acupuncture treatments.  This is one reason why we offer a sliding scale.  Our affordable prices are designed so you can come as often as you need for acupuncture according to a budget that works for you.  If you are only able to attend acupuncture every once in a while in Albuquerque, we can provide additional, regular scalp acupuncture treatments in between your visits up north.

Similar to our presentation for the Breast Cancer Support group in April at Mountain View Hospital, we discussed last Tuesday the history of acupuncture as an adjunct to peer recovery in the US and worldwide dating to the 1970’s, from addictions 12 step groups to mental health peer recovery, as well as survivors of war, natural disaster, domestic violence and breast cancer.  In these contexts, including inner city America, the Gaza Strip, and refugee camps in Kenya, acupuncture has been a formidable partner for self-help based communities confronting stigmatizing illnesses and oppressive situations, and reducing health disparities.  The most common form of acupuncture used within the context of peer recovery is the five point ear acupuncture NADA protocol (NADA–National Acupuncture Detoxification Association), which we also use at Crossroads for people with neurological disorders.  This protocol was originally developed for opioid detoxification, but has been found helpful for treating a wide variety of conditions, including digestive distress, trauma and pain.  A group based out of Albuquerque called Acupuncturists Without Borders recently reported that the NADA protocol helped reduce blood pressure in clients treated at Nepal community clinics.  Another group, the Parkinson’s Recovery Project, based out of California, has outlined in a self help guidebook how the NADA protocol can help Parkinson’s patients who are trying to taper off and withdraw from medications.

At Crossroads in addition to scalp and ear acupuncture, we use other acupuncture points on the hands and legs to treat neurological disorders.  The evidence base to substantiate the use of these methods is growing.   There is a summary of research and clinical trials on acupuncture for Parkinson’s that is available for free download on the internet:  This article, published in 2009 in the North American Journal of Medicine and Science, outlines the demonstrated benefit of acupuncture for increasing Dopamine levels, protecting against neurological degeneration, and alleviating Parkinson symptoms such as tremors and anxiety.

Neither scalp acupuncture nor the NADA protocol are “the cure” for everything under the sun, but it can be a very affordable and empowering health option for people coping with chronic illness.  Acupuncture can be a great tool for meeting you where you’re at, enhancing the recovery process, and goes hand in hand with other components of your health and wellness care.

Still nothing–not medication, not acupuncture–replaces the role of peer recovery.  The Parkinson’s Support Group of Southern New Mexico is not only limited to those diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but rather anyone with a movement disorder or tremor-related condition, diagnosed or undiagnosed.   Here’s their website where you can learn more:

Thank you, Bill Wallace and all of the members of the Parkinson’s Support Group!

For more information about Crossroads Community Acupuncture clinic and about acupuncture in general, click here.  Online appointments: or call 575 312 6569.

Affordable local produce and acupuncture at the LC Farmer’s Market

17 May

Come get acupuncture at the Las Cruces downtown farmer’s market, on Wednesday and Saturday!  There’s a booth next to our door at Greenworks where they sell $2 bundles of fresh picked locally grown swiss chards and $1 homemade lemonade.   Affordable local organic produce plus affordable acupuncture=a great combo!

Please take note of the following changes for Wednesday and Saturday farmer’s market acupuncture times for this May (we’ll be closing before 3pm):

Sat May 19 8AM-11AM (last appointment at 11)
Wed May 23 9AM-12PM (last appointment at 12)
Sat May 26 9AM-12PM (…)
Wed May 30 9AM-12PM (…)

For the last 2 weeks of May our acupuncture will be offered for $5-$20 no fee for initial paperwork.

online appointments:

MV Food Coop members get acu discount

4 May

Crossroads Community Acupuncture is proud to participate in the “We Cooperative Program” of the Mountainview food cooperative of Las Cruces, which has served the Mesilla Valley for over 3 decades.   Crossroads offers a discount of no ($0) paperwork fee for first time clients who are members of the Mountainview food cooperative.

This means that if you are a member of Mountainview coop, you save $10 on your first acupuncture treatment, and instead only have to pay what you can on our sliding scale for this first treatment $16-$41.  Just bring in your coop member number to receive the discount.  To schedule an appointment, you can call 575-312-6569, or make an online appointment with a few clicks through

The “We Co+operate Program” is an initiative to strengthen the small and locally owned business community throughout Las Cruces area.  Mountainview co+op members can receive a discount on fees or services to nearly 100 local businesses. In turn, this program provides local businesses like Crossroads with advertising and exposure to Mountainview’s 3800+ members, as well as other patrons.

Mountainview has been a supporter of Crossroads since we started, you can read about our clinic in the current September 2012 Mountainvew coop newsletter, available for free at their store 1300 El Paseo.  In addition, Crossroads will be offering occasional free acupuncture sessions at the coop community room this fall. Stay tuned to our blog or “like” our facebook page to receive updates on these free sessions.

For more information on Mountainview Coop, click here:

What in the world is acupuncture? Does it hurt?

What conditions does acupuncture treat? 

What’s up with “community acupuncture” and this whole sliding scale thing? 


For more information about acupuncture or the Crossroads clinic, click here: