In China, acupuncture developed as a communal practice. Friends and family would lie down in the same room, basking in silence together. At Santa Rosa Community Acupuncture, eighth-generation acupuncturist Viola Huang-Beck believes that "this kind of collective stillness is a rare and precious thing" in modern society. She and two fellow healers have brought communal medicine to Santa Rosa, setting up a spacious treatment room ringed by recliners. Traditional pulse diagnosis takes the place of lengthy patient intakes, and a "collective stillness" pervades instead of the auctioneering that attends most Western acupuncture. Part of a communal approach, the clinic's sliding payment scale makes it easier for patients to come in as often as necessary.
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