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Best Affordable Acupuncture 

American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine

450 Connecticut (at 19th Street), 282-9603, www.actcm.edu

San Francisco's best-kept health care secret for anyone on a budget and in need of relief, ACTCM's clinic offers a full array of acupuncture and massage, six days a week, performed by interns at various learning stages. The interns are fully supervised by highly skilled instructors schooled in both China and the United States; once you enter their world, your chart stays on file, so no matter who you get, he'll know what you've already had done. It's easy to get an appointment, and each time you come in, the student takes extensive notes on where you are that day, keeping a close eye on your healing, and then confers with one of the instructors on how best to treat your pain. The clinic has a sliding-scale fee system based on your ability to pay, so folks who might not normally be able to afford these services can get the help they need. The school also has an on-site laboratory, where staffers make low-cost herbs, teas, and such. Free ear acupuncture is offered on Monday. We've always come out feeling a whole lot bettah. Call for a schedule -- it changes frequently.

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