Spouses Eve Harburg and Ben Taber created The Even Out Project in January 2020, their excitement to open its doors transitioning to doubt and fear as they watched the pandemic unfold. They are so grateful to those who have helped keep the dream alive since Even Out’s grand opening in June 2020.
Eve and Ben fell in love with community acupuncture while Eve was working at a community acupuncture clinic in Eugene, OR, and while Ben enjoyed regular treatments there.
The community acupuncture movement originated in Eve’s native city of Portland, OR, in 2002, tracing its American roots back to an acupuncture collective founded by black and brown revolutionaries in the Bronx in 1970, and based on high-volume treatment models often practiced in Asia. While “standard” acupuncture treatments (in the United States) take place on a treatment table in a private setting, community acupuncture treatments take place in recliner chairs in a shared or community setting. This makes acupuncture more accessible by making it affordable for two populations traditionally marginalized in medical settings and society at large, without excluding access for anyone else.
Many are quick to realize that community acupuncture is more financially affordable than private acupuncture, allowing those experiencing financial insecurity to afford acupuncture as well. But there is less awareness, including among acupuncturists, about the second population for whom the community acupuncture model makes acupuncture affordable–in this case, emotionally. For those experiencing the effects of traumatization, being pinned down by needles can be all the more stressful, but community acupuncture has a built-in trauma-informed care approach. For example, not only is there safety in numbers, but there is power and, therefore, safety in having choices such as how much to pay for treatment, which recliner chair to sit in during treatment, and how long to stay for treatment. This resonates with Eve, who is herself a trauma survivor and is passionate about helping others with trauma-derived health struggles recognize where these issues come from and learn how to deal with them in the present.
Whatever your story is, you are welcome here!