Podcast episode 2: Andy Wegman on Community and Collaboration
“There’s always an opportunity to welcome someone else’s perspective and help and expertise.”
How do you build and sustain one of the busiest low-cost acupuncture clinics in North America?
For Andy Wegman and the team at Manchester Acupuncture Studio, it’s not about marketing or advertising. Instead, it’s about inviting patients to be co-creators. When patients collaborate and participate, the result is a stronger, more resilient clinic community.
Andy Wegman has spent most of his 20+ years as an acupuncturist focused on creating and maintaining access to acupuncture treatments for modest wage-earners. He’s the founder and executive director of Manchester Acupuncture Studio in southern New Hampshire, and a longtime leader in the community acupuncture movement in North America. When I opened my own clinic 12 years ago, I often said to myself, “Listen to Andy. Do what he does.” I’m proud to call him a colleague and friend.
Andy and I have both been practicing community acupuncture for a long time. We treat patients in a group setting, offer our services at a low cost, and rely on a high volume model to be sustainable. We’ve both come to see our patients as collaborators more than customers, and in this episode we discuss the many ways in which patients participate in the success of our clinics.
We also talk about one of the most foundational elements of community acupuncture: putting patients in control of their own healthcare. It’s a notion built on trust, that lays the groundwork for a more resilient healthcare system. As Andy says, “There’s always an opportunity to welcome someone else’s perspective and help and expertise…it’s the challenge of creating that space to allow that to happen.”
Andy and I also meander down some winding side roads, such as why the notion of “compliance” is so problematic; suffering as a universal human experience; the internet as the invisible hand of collaboration; how we’re all creators of something; and why the ultimate expression of participation is simply showing up.
I hope this conversation serves as a reminder that you get to participate in building and sustaining the things that you love, and that sometimes, participating means simply showing up and caring for yourself.
You can keep up with Andy and the team at Manchester Acupuncture Studio at masnh.org and on Facebook @manchacu. You can download a free copy of his book Why Did You Put That Needle There? in English or Spanish at the Manchester Acupuncture Studio website, or listen to a free audio version (read by Andy!). You can also purchase a softcover version on Amazon.
Love and gratitude,
Big thanks to Andy Wegman for the conversation, and to AudioCoffee for the music in this episode.
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