By Sara Calabro
Airstreams are going mainstream.
Foodies are flocking to them for award-winning meals. Minimalists are ditching their houses to live in them. Hip retirees are packing them up and heading cross-country. And in Durham, North Carolina, acupuncturist Christina Fish has made an Airstream the home of her acupuncture practice, Silver Current Acupuncture.
Earlier this summer, Fish’s clinic was featured in an AcuTake article about acupuncture spaces. Readers, overwhelmingly, responded with comments—all favorable—about Fish’s acupuncture Airstream.
We recently caught up with Fish to learn a little more about her stylish practice space.
Why did you decide to set up your practice in an Airstream?
Back in 2008, my husband and I rented an Airstream for a weekend and had such a wonderful time that we decided we wanted to buy one of our own. Fortuitously, my mom had a friend who was looking to unload one. We called him, and several hours later we were the proud owners of a 1970, completely gutted, 27-foot Airstream.
Shortly after that, the idea for a mobile acupuncture business dawned on me. As soon as the idea popped into my head, everything felt right about it. Not only would I be recycling an iconic piece of American culture, but I also would get to do it in a way that made it easier for people to access this wonderful treatment—and do it in an amazingly unique, cool setting.
It has worked well for me in attracting clients and I believe also for getting other people interested in acupuncture. I am a moving billboard for acupuncture!
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How is the experience of being treated in the Airstream different for patients?
It is so different. Working out of this Airstream is magical. People walk in and are completely awed. It takes them of out their element, in a very positive way. One of the biggest concerns I hear from people regarding acupuncture is their fear of needles. Allowing them to be in such a unique space puts their nerves at ease, and they quickly figure out how relaxing and peaceful—and not painful—an acupuncture treatment can be.
My client base is small—I see about 15-20 people per week. I only have one room, which limits me to one patient at a time. This model allows me to keep my schedule light and stress free, and more importantly, it allows me to give my patients more individual attention.
Do you travel to patients or is the Airstream parked in one location?
I travel to locations for groups of four-to-six. I also park in a particular spot if I am not traveling on any given week. I usually park in the same location. I have a spot over in downtown Durham, by the Farmer’s Market pavilion, the YMCA, and several yoga studios. This works well because of the foot traffic and also because the people who visit that area tend to be interested in healthy lifestyles.
Why Durham, North Carolina?
I have lived in Durham for the last 14 years, and my husband is a Durham native. I love the people this city attracts. The energy is electric and exudes vitality. I couldn’t think of a more perfect place to open a mobile acupuncture clinic.
Photos courtesy of Christina Fish
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