About Lincoln Acupuncture Project

Lincoln Acupuncture Project (LAP) is proud to be Lincoln, Nebraska’s first community acupuncture clinic. LAP opened in March 2018 and is committed to offering safe, effective and affordable acupuncture to the city of Lincoln and surrounding areas. By providing high quality, low cost acupuncture to as many people as possible, LAP seeks to offer a viable, vibrant healthcare option. Through the practice of acupuncture, LAP aims to improve not only each patient’s quality of life, but by extension those of their loved ones, family, neighbors and neighborhoods. Together, we prove caring for ourselves, each other, and our communities, builds a better, stronger Lincoln and a healthier Nebraska.


Clinic Policies

1. Non-discrimination: Lincoln Acupuncture Project does not discriminate on the basis of race or national origin, age, religion, ability, education, height, weight, body type, marital status, sexual orientation, sex, or gender identity. All are welcome!

2. Cancellation Policy: All missed appointments and those cancelled with less than 12 hours notice are subject to a $15 no-show/late-cancellation fee. The online scheduler will not allow you to cancel appointments less than 12 hours prior to the appointment time. You will need to email or call us promptly to cancel or reschedule the appointment.


3. Help us be Scent Free! We aim to be a fragrance free clinic. Please help us to accommodate our patients who are chemically sensitive to fragrances and other scented products. Thank you for not wearing perfume, aftershave, scented hand lotion, hair products with fragrance, essential oils, and/or similar products during your visit.

4. Drop-ins: We will accommodate drop-in appointments as space permits. Please check with the practitioner on duty to see if they can fit you in. You can also schedule same-day appointments online; getting your name on the schedule can be helpful since it allows us to review your treatment history in advance.

5. Kids at LAP: We do treat children at LAP provided that they are able to sit quietly during their treatment. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Some caregivers bring books or DVDs to occupy kids during treatment. 15 minutes with the needles is usually plenty of time for a younger child. We find that kids who want to receive treatment usually do fine; if your child is frightened or just isn’t interested in treatment it is probably better to wait until they are older.

6. Animals at LAP: We do NOT treat pets at LAP. If you would like a referral for animal acupuncture please let us know.

7. Closing time: The clinic will close one hour after the last appointment time. Please keep this in mind if you like to sleep for a long time during treatment!


What Lincoln Acupuncture Project Doesn’t Do

If you require any of the following, our clinic may not be the right fit for you:

1. We Do Not Offer Front and/or Back Treatments:  We do all our treatments using distal points: elbows and knees down, ears, and scalp. We find this is a very effective way of treating many conditions. Rolling up sleeves/pants to elbows and knees is more fitting and comfortable for community acupuncture environment.

2. We Don’t Use Massage Tables:  We perform all acupuncture treatments in comfortable recliners. We Do Not Provide Acupuncture Treatments on the Floor. With the use of the right pillows and blankets, we find that we can get most people comfortable in our chairs. Doing treatments on the floor is not an option as it presents a dangerous situation for the practitioner and other patients in the clinic.

3. We Do Not Provide Private Consultations:  For follow up treatments, we talk for a short amount of time, in hushed voices, in our open group treatment room. In addition to providing ample space between recliners, we employ the use of white noise machines and relaxing background music which helps to provide patient confidentiality.

4. We Don’t Provide Lifestyle Or Psychological Counseling:  Our focus is to provide all our patients with high quality, low cost acupuncture that is efficient, effective and safe. Our interviews are short and used to gather the information we need to do this. We aren’t able or equipped to provide extensive lifestyle or psychological counseling.

5. We Don’t Sell Our Chinese Herbal Formulas or Supplements Without An Acupuncture Appointment:  If you want a refill of an old formula, or want to discuss an herbal prescription, please schedule an acupuncture appointment so that we can assess your needs and have time to provide you with adequate service. If you require a more extensive herbal formula, we can refer you to some of our friends who specialize in herbal medicine.

6. We Are Not Equipped to Change Money:  We do not keep money sitting around the clinic and are therefore unable to provide change. Please have the exact amount you wish to pay in our sliding scale ready when you come in for treatment. If you don’t have correct change, you can forward any extra money towards your next visit.

7. Private Acupuncture – A Different Choice:  In private settings, the practitioner will typically spend a good deal of time on an intake and assessment, and there will be more “talking time.” You will be treated in a private room, usually on a massage table. You may be treated on the front and back of your body, and there may be additional therapies, like cupping, massage, and moxibustion incorporated into your treatment. Some patients may prefer the privacy and longer personal attention this model offers. Please be aware that while we will provide you a personalized treatment, we are practiced in doing it very quickly. We will not be able to give you more “talking time” than the other patients in the clinic. Everyone is equally important at LAP and community acupuncture works best when we’re all on the same team. If you prefer a private treatment, there are other acupuncturists in the area. We’re happy to recommend a few of our private acupuncture colleagues.


A Short History of Community Acupuncture

The community acupuncture business model is the brainchild of Lisa Rohleder, L.Ac. and Skip Van Meter, L. Ac. of  Working Class Acupuncture in Portland, Oregon.  After providing tons of acupuncture within a Public Health setting, the clinic Lisa and Skip worked at lost their government funding and they, in turn, lost their jobs. It was then they both realized the US model of private room acupuncture, costing anywhere from $50 - $250 a visit, was too expensive for them, their friends, family and neighbors to access so they created a high volume/low cost alternative.

Community Acupuncture is defined as the practice of offering acupuncture in a setting where multiple patients receive treatments at the same time. It’s based on many styles of treatment practiced in Asia for centuries which were, and still are, simple and frequent. Community acupuncture clinics depend directly on the support of folks who receive acupuncture in them, rather than on grants or other government funding. Our clinics aim to be as accessible as possible by providing consistent hours, frequent treatments and affordable services while attempting to lower as many barriers to treatment as we can for as many people as possible. We are both self-sustaining and deeply committed to social justice in health care. Community acupuncture clinics are also committed to understanding and implementing principles of Trauma Informed Care as we recognize its significance and necessity in providing truly caring healthcare. For more info on community acupuncture and our clinics, look into POCA/ Peoples Organization of Community Acupuncture.

Throughout US history, disenfranchised groups have gathered together as a community to find ways to take care of themselves and each other. Although we at LAP are a high volume, low cost for profit business model, in terms of the community acupuncture movement and its focus on social justice and community healthcare, no discussion about why, what and how we do would be complete without the deep and rich history of fellow health activists.  The Puerto Rican activist group the Young Lords, the Republic of New Afrika and the Black Panther Party along with what happened at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx and its detox center all play key roles in what eventually became community acupuncture in the US. Lincoln Acupuncture Project also recognizes the work of Miriam Lee, Master Tung Ching Chang, Ing "Doc Hay",  Dr. Michael Smith, Mutulu Shakur, Gustavo Gutierrez and Ignacio Martin-Baro as indispensable to any historical account of community acupuncture. To learn more, check out these terrific articles and resources - 

The Calmest Revolution Ever Staged (short film)

Why the Young Lords Took Over Lincoln Hospital

 Beyond Berets: The Black Panthers as Health Activists

Lincoln Detox Center: The People's Drug Program

Miriam Lee (Wikipedia)

Ing "Doc Hay"

Dr. Michael Smith/Lincoln Recovery/Acupuncture For Addictions (Radio Interview)

Mutulu Shakur/Lincoln Detox Program

The Life of Ignacio Martin-Baro


About Cait Cain, L.Ac.

I was really fortunate to learn about community acupuncture during my studies at Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley, California. After graduating, I began working at Oakland Acupuncture Project where I really got to see the power of not only acupuncture but community. At (S)OAP, I was 1 of 10 acupuncturists, in 3 clinic locations, who as a team gave well over 35,000 affordable treatments a year. These treatments helped not only individuals, but their families, communities and neighborhoods. I witnessed little miracles each day and the occasional big one. It was wonderful, satisfying, amazing work and a great way to put my acupuncture degree to use. After nearly 6 years at OAP, I’d given about 20,000 acupuncture treatments and I felt inspired, partially by my partner’s desire to return to her hometown of Lincoln, to bring community acupuncture to a place it wasn’t available. I love living in Lincoln, I love being a part of the community acupuncture movement, and I love giving as many affordable acupuncture treatments to as many folks as I possibly can. It’s an honor and a privilege to do this work. Thank you all for welcoming Lincoln Acupuncture Project with open arms!