Acupuncture for All – A Social Enterprise Model

Anahita received a good education and became an accomplished artisan and educator, and imagined she would have a good future in Iran. But war put paid to her plans and she found herself with no choice but to flee for her life. In the cramped conditions during her escape, Anahita sustained a lower back injury, which worsened during her time in detention in Australia.

We met Anahita in the new Acupuncture Pain Clinic at our World Wellness Group collaborative project in Brisbane. The 37-year old Iranian woman presented with debilitating lower back pain. The sharp pains in her back were constant and severe; she suffered from sciatica and headaches which prevented her sleeping, and her movements were so hindered that she could barely go about her daily life. By the time she found her way to the Clinic, Anahita’s pain was chronic, she rated her pain at an incredible 9 out of 10.

After just three Acupuncture treatments over three weeks, the intensity of her pain has decreased by an amazing 50%. It is anticipated that Anahita’s condition will continue to improve, and her progress will be reviewed after six treatments. The Happy Herb Shop in Joondalup (WA) recently donated $2,000 to One Health Organisation to help get this new service off the ground.  This donation not only established the Pain Clinic, but will also make it possible to provide 180 acupuncture treatments to people like Anahita. To keep costs down, so that as many people as possible can benefit from affordable acupuncture treatments, the Acupuncture Pain Clinic treats their clients in a communal room.  This has the added advantage of providing additional support to those receiving treatment, with one client commenting, ““I like having other people around me”; “it’s a little bit more social … you can talk to other patients.”

Although this project focuses on providing a wide range of affordable healthcare for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in particular, the clinics are open to anyone, at a very reasonable cost. One local client explained that after losing his job he could no longer afford to get acupuncture treatment until he discovered our World Wellness Group Acupuncture Pain Clinic, which he described as “exceptional”.

One Health Organisation’s (OHO) collaborative project with the World Wellness Group (WWG) makes it possible for this social enterprise to offer a great range of care to as many people as possible, and thus have a great impact on the local community.