The Get Well Clinic in Camberwell offers “Community Acupuncture” for Camberwell, Dulwich, Herne Hill and Peckham every Tuesday at Zen Yoga in Camberwell Grove from 3:15-6:45pm
Treatment is offered by local practitioners George Monkhouse and Marion Rollings, who come to treatment with a great deal of experience in alternative medicine. Besides acupuncture George is pioneering needle-less body realignment therapy which he uses to help individuals realise ideal form before structure, as well as shamanic energy healing. Marion is also a yoga instructor as well as a massage therapist with extensive Shiatsu experience.
Having myself first encountered community acupuncture in the US via POCA (People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture) where it is a working class wellness movement helping to counter the extremely high cost of allopathic treatment, I decided to go along to The Get Well Clinic, began treatment, and ultimately became a huge fan of George and Marion. I felt a lot better and the cost wasn’t crippling. Community Acupuncture has been much slower to take off in the UK despite fewer NHS practices now approving acupuncture as treatment and despite the multi-bed system dramatically reducing cost through sliding scale pricing. If you’ve ever booked one-to-one acupuncture, which George calls a Western “psychotherapeutic model”, you already know how expensive it can get, especially in London given astronomical room rental costs.
After a slow hot Tuesday summer session, I sat down with George and Marion and we recorded our conversation. We opened with introductions – of the practitioners and of their healing art. What is acupuncture? It’s the practice of inserting needles into points of chi concentration along energy channels known as ‘meridians’ in an effort to rebalance chi. What is chi? It is known as our life force. George and Marion explain more:
Q: I’m well aware of POCA in the States and multibed clinics there. Community acupucture means numerous patients share the same space which lowers cost. This makes it possible for patients to afford more regular or frequent courses of treatment – often vital for those seeking to heal systemic ailments which can also limit earnings. But how did you come to this approach in Southeast London as there is no real galvanising national network here?
Q: What are the advantages of community acupuncture as opposed to a one to one approach? Are there benefits beyond lower cost for the patient?
Q: We’re in Zen Yoga which has made the space possible at a reasonable rate. I’m aware of other treatments and workshops available here, from sound healing to meditation. What else happens in here?
Q: Very often before treatment ensues I’ve noticed you check my pulse. What are you looking for?
Q: George you teach QiGong here, which integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention. During class you’ve pointed out my shallow breathing and I’ve started being more mindful of this and it has resulted in better health. You’re also pioneering shamanic energy healing and now offer Structural Realigment therapy at Zen Yoga which at first I thought was a lot like reiki but isn’t – it seems much, much more fundamental than that. Can you give us more detail?
Q: You’ve both mentioned the healing nature of Zen Yoga on Tuesdays – the sanctuary and community of it. And you’ve talked about the lower cost. Any other reasons why people should consider giving the Get Well Clinic a go?
The Get Well Clinic offers full body treatment from £20-40 (no questions asked but booking required) and just £5 for ear acupuncture on a drop-in basis. It is more than NADA Protocol (auricular detox method: http://www.acudetox.com) as George and Marion sometimes tailor it to suit individual need. Ear (auricular) acupuncture is a technique similar to reflexology. Groups of pluripotent cells contain information for the whole body in a particularised region – in this case, mapped on the ear. These are needled. George also offers his Structural Realigment Therapy on the same sliding scale basis as full body acupuncture, which he recommends for certain patients.
If you’ve come to the Get Well in the past and are familiar with the Qigong 6-7pm classes, these stopped from October 4th and acupuncture is now extended until 6.45pm. But there will be upcoming workshops on qigong, meditation, nutrition and daoism, so to stay aware of the health offerings of the Get Well Clinic, please sign up to the newsletter at camberwellacupuncture.co.uk/qigong/
Get Well Clinic website: camberwellacupuncture.co.uk
Check out the POCA film “Community Acupuncture: The Calmest Revolution Ever Staged” on Vimeo.
ZenYoga, 2D Camberwell Grove (opposite no.43) Camberwell London SE5 8RE