The concept of community acupuncture and offering quality healthcare on a sliding-fee scale is a comfortable and natural fit for Powell River Healthworks.
Edward Sanderson and his wife Miruh have been welcoming patients to their clinic on Manson Avenue for 10 years, first in a more traditional model of private appointments, but now their treatment room may have several patients at a time.
“Many patients say not being by themselves makes them relax,” says Edward. “It’s similar to what happens when people do yoga together, or meditate or pray together. The collective stillness is palpable. Sometimes they tell me they wondered if they would feel self-conscious, but they say the presence of other people doesn’t disturb or disrupt their own healing but, rather, seems to enhance it.”
Many people make this a weekly ritual as part of their health program. Lorraine Davies is a regular visitor to the clinic. Over the years she has experienced private treatment and now the concept of being in a small group, as well as the thoughtful consideration of Edward and Miruh.
“I like that the clinic is an older house and that there is a ramp for wheelchairs,” she says. “Everyone has an opportunity to get safely into the building, and when you enter it is cozy and comforting. You can feel that it is a place of calm.”
Lorraine says she’s always received warmly and promptly.
“I’m never rushed,” she says. “Edward talks with me about how I am and what I would like to accomplish. Then it’s into the treatment room.”
Lorraine says she has time to get comfortable before her treatment.
“It’s very quiet,” she explains. “There’s lovely music. There’s beautiful artwork. The colours are warm and rich. It feels cozy and protecting, somehow. Often people go to sleep, which is a testament to the fact that they feel calm and safe.”
In the community-acupuncture setting, patients do not undress to receive treatment.
“The needles are very fine, and the work is done gently,” says Edward. “The acupuncture points used are from the elbows to the fingers, and from the knees to the toes, and sometimes on the head.”
Edward explains this method differs from treatments in which the needles are placed in the area of pain.
“Back pain, for example,” he says, “is treated by working on the hands and the feet. This method uses far fewer needles and acupuncture points. Most of my patients appreciate that. In my experience, using fewer needles makes for a more focused and effective treatment.”
Part of the motivation for changing to a community-acupuncture model is the opportunity for patients to get better sooner.
“This way they can come more often,” says Edward. “A twice-weekly visit is affordable because patients choose what they can pay between $20 and $40.”
Those on premium assistance with MSP can get up to 10 free treatments a year.
“Working in a group setting like this makes scheduling easy and more convenient for our patients,” says Miruh. “Appointments are booked 15 minutes apart, so if patients are early or late, there is no stress. The way we are set up we can always accommodate people in an emergency, or those who drop in unexpectedly.”
In addition, affordability is enhanced by Acupuncture for Charity Saturdays. On the first Saturday of each month, from October to May, Powell River Healthworks opens the clinic on a drop-in basis. Visitors are offered a free treatment in exchange for making a donation to a local charity.
There are many conditions that Edward has found can be successfully treated with acupuncture: back pain, headaches, frozen shoulder, sciatica, repetitive-strain injuries, fibromyalgia, menstrual and menopausal imbalances, pregnancy and fertility issues, anxiety, depression, digestive and neurological disorders and more.
“What I love about my work,” Edward says, “is that not only do I help people with their physical symptoms, but I assist them in transforming their life experience.”
Edward tells of several elderly people whose lives have been compromised by having breathing problems or severe, chronic pain.
“After a few treatments their lives became more active and enjoyable again,” he says.
Acupuncture can often help with emotional pain as well. “I have helped people who suffer from anxiety,” he explains. “They can find their lives very limited. After being treated, one patient reported feeling completely turned around and lifted up, ready to take up a new life.”
This is of no surprise to Lorraine. “I see people come and go with all kinds of things they have needed help with,” she says. “Some physical complaints, but sometimes they come with emotional pain. I have seen the treatments work for me and for others. I think Edward and Miruh are wonderful people and are calming, respectful and kind. Edward is very knowledgeable and skilled at what he does.”
Powell River Healthworks is located at 4898 Manson Avenue. More information can be found on their website at prhealthworks.ca. Edward and Miruh can be contacted at email@example.com. Appointments can be made by calling 604.485.0108.