Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Keep Acupuncture Affordable! Support POCA!

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

The future of affordable community acupuncture relies on a steady stream of acupuncturists who can staff our existing clinics and open new ones in underserved areas. Many Rivers will still be here in 20 years only if we can hire new acupuncturists when our current staff eventually needs to retire.

Unfortunately, the cost of acupuncture school has skyrocketed to $100,000 (and this does not include the cost of the undergraduate degree required to enter a Master’s level acupuncture program).

Graduates cannot earn enough as community acupuncturists to pay off their student loans.  Many leave the profession.  Others practice acupuncture only part-time and support themselves with other jobs.

Luckily, we have POCA Tech, an affordable acupuncture school made possible through our co-op, the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA).  POCA Tech costs less than $20,000 for the entire program.

Graduates of POCA Tech are required to work at a community acupuncture clinic or open a new community clinic upon graduation.  Because of the low cost of their acupuncture education, they can afford to do this.

POCA Tech is only 3 years old and still needs a lot of support in order to stay viable.  When you become a member of POCA, your dues help support POCA Tech.  Plus, your dues provide micro-loans to help new community clinics open in underserved areas.

Your membership is the key to keeping community acupuncture clinics open and thriving. Please support POCA and POCA Tech today by becoming a member!

Go to and become a member today!

Bob Robles, L.Ac. Joins Many Rivers!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Bob Robles


We are excited to announce that Bob Robles, L.Ac. will be joining the clinic on February 18, 2017.

Bob Robles brings a wealth of experience to Many Rivers.  A native of Bristol, Connecticut, Bob attended the New England School of Acupuncture in Massachusetts.  After graduating in 2000 with a concentration in Japanese meridian therapy style acupuncture, he returned to Connecticut  where he has run community acupuncture clinics in Newington, Bristol, and Southington.

I am very happy to be joining the team at Many Rivers,” says Bob.  “Running a clinic as a solo practitioner can be very isolating.  As acupuncturists, our skills are always developing and evolving.  I am looking forward to the collegiality, cooperation, and sharing of skills and ideas that occur in a multiple-practitioner clinic.”

“In addition, community acupuncture’s emphasis is on accessibility.  Many Rivers is the largest community acupuncture clinic in Connecticut, so I know that our patients will be able to get treatments whenever they need them, at a price they can afford.”

Bob has trained in numerous acupuncture styles, and uses his knowledge to choose the best treatment course for each individual.  He has studied Balance Method Acupuncture with Dr. Richard Tan; he practices Korean Hand Therapy, Keiraku Chiryo Meridian Therapy, and Yoshio Manaka-style acupuncture;  and has experience with cranio-sacral bodywork.  “Wanting to bring people to better health is in my blood,” says Bob.  His father and brother became General Surgeons and his mother was a Registered Nurse.

“Bob is one of the most gifted acupuncturists I know,” says Carrie Sawtell, L.Ac.  “He and I worked together in a community clinic in Newington when I had just returned to Connecticut from China.  I was able to see first-hand his amazing clinical skills and wealth of expertise.”

Acupuncture involves more than simply putting needles in the correct places.  “When discussing acupuncture, I usually emphasize the scientific understanding of how it works,” continues Carrie.  “It increases circulation, reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system, and stops pain.  But there is another, more nuanced component of acupuncture – in which acupuncture becomes an art.  Bob’s incredible needling technique combined with his years of clinical knowledge make his treatments into works of art.  Patients feel renewed in ways they never thought possible.”

Bob is a Licensed Acupuncturist and is board-certified in Acupuncture by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).


Many Rivers is here because of POCA

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

Written by:  Carrie Sawtell

When I was first dreaming of opening a community acupuncture clinic, I was living in China. Even though I was overseas, POCA (the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture) gave me all of the tools I needed: a complete clinic start-up guide, a business plan, financial spreadsheets, and an online forum on which to ask questions from other community acupuncturists. When I moved back to the States, I took POCA’s weekend course focused on how to open and run a community acupuncture clinic called “Community Acupuncture 101.”

I met Heather Finn online through the POCA website while I was still in China, and we met in person as soon as I moved to Connecticut.  Within a year she had joined the Many Rivers’ team. Mary Cole and I met soon afterwards at a POCA seminar. At that time, she was working with one of my POCA mentors, Andy Wegman, at his Manchester, NH, community acupuncture clinic.  Little did I know that Mary would also be joining us at Many Rivers!

POCA continues to support our clinic every day. We attend POCA seminars with classes that help us market the clinic effectively, work cooperatively with each other and with our patients, and enhance our acupuncture skills.  When we have questions, we have a whole network of other community acupuncturists who gladly answer our questions and offer advice.

Right now, we are looking for another acupuncturist to join our team, so that we can bring back Saturday hours (and possibly expand our hours even more).  Finding a good community acupuncturist is like finding a needle in a haystack. The type of acupuncture we practice (Balance Method Acupuncture) is not taught during the 4-year Master’s degree in most Chinese Medical schools.   So we have to find someone who not only has undergone the additional training necessary to practice this style of acupuncture, but also is committed to the cause of providing affordable and accessible acupuncture to as many people as possible.

The good news is that POCA has started its own community acupuncture school, POCA Tech.  In a few years, we will have graduates ready and able to work in community acupuncture clinics across the country.

The annual dues paid by POCA members directly support all of POCA’s amazing programs: the POCA Tech school, the POCA continuing education seminars for community acupuncturists, the POCA online forums and wikis, and the micro-loan program that assists new clinics who are just starting out but need the funds to get their clinics open.

Our dream is for a community acupuncture clinic in every town, big and small.  So that anyone who is in pain, or depressed, or just needs a quiet hour surrounded by caring people, can have a clinic near them.

POCA can help make that dream a reality.  Click here to become a member today!


Expanded Evening Hours

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Expanded Evening Hours at Many Rivers starting July 2015

We are excited to announce that Mary Cole will be adding evening hours starting on July 14, 2015.  Mary will offer appointments from 3 – 6 pm on Tuesdays. In addition, Carrie Sawtell will continue to offer Tuesday evening appointments from 2:30 – 7 pm.

Many of our patients have been asking for more evening appointment times, in order to fit in a treatment after work or before their evening yoga class.  Our new clinic with its larger treatment space will make it possible to have two acupunks working at the same time.  Mary and Carrie are looking forward to working together to make your Tuesday evenings a relaxing and healing experience.

Many Rivers Voted Best Acupuncturist in Best of Hartford Poll

Friday, May 29th, 2015

We are extremely honored to be voted Best Acupuncturist! Thank you for your votes!

Best of Hartford 2015

$10 Acupuncture for Nurses in February 2015

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

We love nurses at Many Rivers! They work so hard to take care of so many people. This February, new and returning patients who are nurses can receive $10 acupuncture treatments at Many Rivers.

Nurses work long hours on their feet. They can have problems with headaches, or pain in their neck and shoulders, or back and feet, all of which responds well to consistent acupuncture treatments. We are running this special to help the nurses in our community get access to affordable and effective pain relief.  We love being able to help them relax after a busy day helping other people.

Nurses can call (860) 683-0011 to schedule their $10 treatments in February, or use our convenient online schedule.


Original photo credit:  “© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Kurhan


Mary Cole, L.Ac. Joins Many Rivers in August

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Mary Cole Joins Many Rivers

Mary Cole, L.Ac.

We are excited to announce that Mary Cole, L.Ac. will be joining the clinic on August 8, 2014.

Mary is a Connecticut native with extensive community acupuncture experience.   She has worked for the past 4 ½ years at one of the largest community acupuncture clinics, Manchester Acupuncture Studio in Manchester, NH.  She is excited to be returning to Connecticut to be closer to her family.

Mary graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Biology, and received her Masters of Oriental Medicine (MAOM) from the New England School of Acupuncture in Newton, MA.  After graduation, she started a private practice in acupuncture, but quickly realized that the private practice model didn’t suit her.  “It was frustrating to treat people once or twice and have them not be able to come back because they couldn’t afford it,” said Mary.  “I also understood the irony of offering people a therapy that I myself or most of my family wouldn’t have been able to afford.  Luckily I was able to start working at a community acupuncture clinic.”

Mary enjoys being able to provide affordable and effective acupuncture to people from all walks of life.  “What I love most about community acupuncture is that it makes acupuncture accessible to a lot of people.  We work to create an environment where folks feel comfortable coming to see us, because our only job is to help them get through whatever is going on.  I think it is a really special thing to share in the lives of so many people whether it be for a few weeks or a few years,” she said.

Mary will be seeing patients on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm.

Many Rivers Celebrates its 10,000th Acupuncture Treatment

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Many Rivers Community Acupuncture is pleased to announce that we have provided over 10,000 affordable acupuncture treatments since our opening in May 2011.

We believe that access to affordable health care is a fundamental right.  With the costs of health insurance and medical care skyrocketing, the community acupuncture model is working to help people get the care they need without breaking the bank.  Simple, low-cost acupuncture treatments often provide better results than expensive medicines and invasive surgeries.  Instead of masking symptoms with pharmaceuticals, acupuncture stimulates the body’s own self-healing mechanisms to help the body heal itself.

Patients have been coming to Many Rivers for everything from headaches and back pain to insomnia and IBS.  And at 10,000 treatments and counting, we hope to continue to be an integral part of the local community’s health care team.  Thanks to everyone for your support over the past two years!

Expanded Hours Starting February 28, 2013

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

We are expanding our morning and evening hours beginning February 28!

The goal of community acupuncture is to make health care affordable and accessible.  We are very excited to offer more appointment times so that people can fit a relaxing acupuncture treatment into their busy schedules.

Appointments will be available from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  Evening appointments will be available from 2:30 pm to 7:00 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

We encourage patients to rest as long as they want during a treatment, but sometimes a quick treatment is all someone needs to get rid of a stubborn headache or a stiff neck.  Our new hours make it easier to come in for acupuncture on a lunch break at 1:00 pm and be back at work by 2:00 pm.  Or come in after work for a 7:00 pm appointment and get home in time to relax with your family.

We hope you enjoy our new schedule!

Heather Finn, L.Ac. Joins Many Rivers in June

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Many Rivers is proud to announce that Heather Finn, L.Ac. will be joining the clinic on June 11, 2012.  Heather will offer acupuncture treatments on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3 pm until 7 pm.

Heather brings over ten years’ experience effectively treating patients for pain, stress, and other common conditions to Many Rivers.  She is a Licensed Acupuncturist and is board-certified in Acupuncture by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).

Heather has extensive experience working in integrative medicine environments.  She is a member of the Integrative Medicine departments at Hartford Hospital, Windham Hospital and ECHN’s Women’s Center for Wellness.  Heather has also been a part of the Community Acupuncture movement for many years.  She currently runs a Community Acupuncture clinic at Windham Hospital in Willimantic on Fridays.

Heather also treats individuals who are low-income and HIV+  in a community setting for the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective.  In addition, she has extensive experience treating people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer patients, and cancer survivors for the stress caused by those diseases and the side effects caused by their treatments.