From 2007-2015 Six Degrees has given about 10,000 community acupuncture treatments! Here’s our story:
In 2000 Susanda Yee went to New York to learn how to do detox acupuncture for people dealing with addiction. She witnessed people receiving treatment together, sitting in chairs and receiving the benefits of acupuncture all at once.
With everyone in the same room, the acupuncturists could attend to each client, the healing energy was stronger and acupuncture could be more financially accessible for people. She came away from this inspired.
In 2007 Susanda discovered Working Class Acupuncture, the clinic in Portland Oregon where community acupuncture began. So off she went to learn how it worked and returned to create a clinic. Acupuncturist Matt Sedo joined Susanda as business partner and Six Degrees opened in July 2007, at 192 Spadina. Lamia Gibson started at Six Degrees in 2008 as a shiatsu therapist renting the treatment room and in 2009, became the 3rd community acupuncturist.
The three of them worked hard to spread the Qi and let people know they could receive treatment more often and get better quicker using CA. In 2010 Matt moved into private practice, while Susanda and Lamia continued to grow the community of acupuncturists and clients, with the helpful support of friends and volunteers!
Eventually Six Degrees outgrew the space at 192 Spadina and moved to a bigger, more customized space at 204 Spadina. In 2011 Six Degrees has become a multi-faceted centre with community acupuncture, yoga, martial arts, meditation and holistic health care services all offered within degrees of the CA sliding scale model.
Six Degrees exists and grows because it is needed. Without this economic model, accessing natural health services can be expensive.
Natural health practitioners are in a tough spot, while a lot of practitioners want to charge reasonable rates, working within this health care system makes it hard to do:
- the education is expensive because most schools are privately owned and operated
- the care is not covered by OHIP and
- practitioners have high overhead costs.
Also at play here is a general lack of awareness about the effectiveness of natural medicine, so clinics take longer to become established and viable:
- more time is spent explaining what is being done
- and how natural medicine works, so that clients understand how their treatments work.
These constraints typically mean higher prices than most people cannot afford to pay… The solution? By sharing space with other clients or other practitioners the costs and rates lower while access increases, allowing more people to be treated.
Natural health care need not be expensive, but it must be creative!
Six Degrees is dedicated to providing welcoming, friendly, casual, affordable services, with the hope that one day the values of such practices will become culturally recognized and be made accessible to all. The community of people using services at Six Degrees help launch the centre, now complete with affordable yoga, acupuncture, naturopathy, shiatsu, tuina, massage, counselling, rolfing, somatic, meditation and more. We are leaders in the growing wave of economic creativity that allows practitioners to offer Traditional Medicine and Healing services at affordable rates. We also work with peoples truth and innate wisdom. We see you as being the expert of your experience and we work together to achieve results.
If you are interested in investing or contributing a gift to support Six Degrees, a donation will help the centre continue to deliver safe and affordable care. If you don’t have cash but you do have time, volunteers are welcome – for every four hours of time worked you get one acupuncture treatment. Please contact us for more information.