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Best Free Acupuncture 

American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine

These free clinics are based on China's tradition of "community medicine," in which doctors serve large numbers of people at a time. The treatment consists of a constellation of needles stuck in each ear for an overall body tuneup, and a few more poked anywhere from the scalp to the pinkie toe to address the patient's specific symptoms. The treatment room is dim and quiet, a good place to chill out for 20 minutes. Students from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, under the supervision of an instructor, check the tongues and pulses of the patients, who come to the clinic for a variety of ailments ranging from muscle soreness to skin problems. (Many drop in regularly for help kicking their smoking habits.) The clinics are also great spots for people-watching: Patients face each other in a circle around the room. Once a woman from Latin America came in with two toddlers, seeking help for an ache in her heel. It was a warm day, and an occasional breeze floated in the faint sounds of traffic from outside. As the students slipped needles into the woman's ears, the kids danced and did somersaults in the middle of the room. Everyone looked around at each other and smiled.


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