February 15, 2007 issue

Community Acupuncture Comes to the High Country

Story by Celeste von Mangan

A new acupuncture clinic has come to the High Country, modeled after modern clinics in China. Water’s Way Acupuncture offers community acupuncture—treatments on a sliding-scale basis. The clinic is located at 207 Dale Adams Road, Sugar Grove, in the Old Cove Creek School at the Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine.

Community acupuncture is a sustainable community business model that is growing in America, already employed successfully in Oregon, Texas, Massachusetts and Colorado. David Stetter opened Water’s Way Acupuncture after he graduated from Jung Tao, a nationally accredited school for acupuncture studies. Stetter received a graduate degree from the school and national certification from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Because of Stetter’s in-depth understanding of classical Chinese medicine and his deep desire to help people, he was invited to stay at the school to teach energetic theory and acupuncture on a full-time basis.

“I was a schoolteacher in the public sector, in Lenoir, for six years,” said Stetter. “I taught middle school and I tried to help students reach their highest potential and weather the storms of adolescence. During those years as a teacher, I was exposed to the healing arts of Chinese medicine and began to move toward a different way of helping people. The connection that was once the bedrock of the student-teacher relationship is now the cornerstone of my interactions with my patients.”

Viewing each patient as a unique individual, Stetter does not use “cookbook” protocols or ready-made treatments. Instead, he believes that the practitioner is a facilitator in the healing process, helping patients find their way back to health. And at Water’s Way, treatment does not end at the office door.

“There’s a movement started out in Portland, Oregon called working class acupuncture,” said Stetter. “Out of that, a movement started called community acupuncture network. What they’re attempting to do is to try to make acupuncture more accessible and more affordable to a greater percentage of the population. In order to keep these prices so low, you see a higher volume of patients. We see patients every half hour; since the model is to see a higher volume of patients, the fee scale is less and we charge $15 to $35 per treatment.”

The clinic has suggested guidelines based on income, but what the patient pays is up to him or her because everyone’s economic situation is different. No proof of income is required.

“We hear of people getting treatment but not being able to continue their treatment because of the affordability,” said Stetter. “Running a clinic this way allows people to come in, get well and to stay well. Many people know acupuncture is effective for pain issues, but it is also effective for chronic degenerative diseases. We treat fibromyalgia, diabetes, chronic pain, allergies plus mental and emotional issues.”

Stetter said that being an instructor at a nationally recognized acupuncture school gives him the opportunity to show students how a community clinic can be effectively run and how they too can help acupuncture become more widespread and more accessible to the community.

“This is a healing art and it is an ancient art,” said Stetter. “There is a history of over 2,500 years of positive results for a wide variety of issues. I come from a working-class family myself and I know of the struggles we went through. This is my way of reaching out to the community to people who I think can benefit from acupuncture. And about our name, water is good for everything and it doesn’t compete with anything. It goes to the low places, to the valleys, the oceans; it always finds its way. Like water, we are trying to reach out and help people by bringing this beautiful, ancient healing art to our community.”

When he is not practicing, teaching or studying classical Chinese medicine, Stetter spends time with his wife and two small children.

For more information about Water’s Way or to make an appointment, call 828-773-4675 or click to www.waterswayacupuncture.com.



Water’s Way Acupuncture Clinic Hours

Water’s Way Acupuncture clinic allows more people to schedule appointments by offering lunch break, after-work and weekend hours.

Monday: 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday: 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Friday: 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Saturday: 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.


Cutline for Community Acupuncture: -- IN LAST WEEK’S PHOTO FILE

David Stetter established the Water’s Way Acupuncture clinic to reflect a peaceful and healing atmosphere. Photo by Celeste von Mangan