The image of China’s Barefoot Doctors struck a resonant chord with those in the West who were looking for simple and effective means of helping people with medicine that was not tied to an established medical hierarchy.
In the late 60’s and early 70’s acupuncture had not made its way from the Chinese communities into the dominant culture. And the early adopters of Chinese medicine were just beginning to find their way to the East where they’d learn the language and medicine.
It was in this time that the Black Panthers and Young Lords in their work in building community resources came across acupuncture. And began to explore its use as a people’s medicine. And that connected with the groundbreaking addiction treatment work at Lincoln Hospital in The Bronx. This aspect of the history of acupuncture in the West has received little attention, but it caught the attention of Rachel Pagones, and she’s written a book about it.
Listen into this “community voices” conversation between Rachel and guest interviewer Beth Sommers on acupuncture as revolution and this grassroots effort of community organization, self-care and acupuncture.