By Sara Calabro
If chefs can do it, why not acupuncturists? Boulder, Colorado-based acupuncturist Noah Goldstein, who is about to launch a food-cart-inspired acupuncture bus, believes they can.
Goldstein’s Bus, currently being renovated and scheduled to open in early April, will be a self-contained, mobile acupuncture practice. The Bus will be parked at various locations around the Boulder area, helping to spread awareness and improve accessibility of acupuncture. Treatments will be offered on a sliding scale.
AcuTake recently spoke with Goldstein about his idea for The Acupuncture Bus and what he hopes it can accomplish.
Where did the idea for The Acupuncture Bus come from?
I believe acupuncture is powerful medicine and underutilized in America. I was looking for a way to bring acupuncture to the people, to make it accessible to everyone. It seemed like going mobile was the best way to make that happen. I figured, if blood donations and mammograms can be offered on a bus, why not acupuncture?
I love seeing people thriving in life, so I’m working to support people by meeting them where they are. My hope is that bringing acupuncture to streets will help promote awareness and pique curiosity about acupuncture. And perhaps if it’s a bit more convenient, people will be more likely to give it a try.
What does The Acupuncture Bus accomplish that traditional, brick-and-mortar acupuncture practices can’t?
The Acupuncture Bus brings healing to you. It makes acupuncture easier and more convenient. Life is challenging enough. Acupuncture is supposed to be nourishing and helpful, so I wanted to help keep it from becoming another errand. We can also bring acupuncture to special activities such as sporting events and health fairs, and to businesses.
I don’t see us competing with brick-and-mortar practices. We’ll be providing acupuncture for a different group of people, one that isn’t already getting acupuncture. The way I see it, the more people who are getting acupuncture, the better it is for everyone.
How will it work? Will people come to you or will you drive the bus to wherever someone needs treatment?
One of the beauties of being mobile is the flexibility that comes along with it. I have plans and hopes for how I expect things to unfold, but I’m open to other possibilities.
The current business plan is two-pronged. I plan to have a few contracts with local businesses and also be parked in some locations that are open to the general public. I’m hoping to treat communities that are currently underserved by acupuncturists.
A lot of people have asked about whether the Bus will make house calls. While I’m aware of the need for that, it’s not the type of practice that’s calling to me. Because of all of the transportation involved in house calls, you end having to charge more for treatments. Part of my business model is for acupuncture to be offered through an affordable sliding scale.
Do you have plans to expand this idea to other cities?
For now, I’m taking things one step at a time. There’s a huge learning curve when it comes to starting up a new business. I became an acupuncturist because I love working with people and helping them find their way back to health and vibrant living. I enjoy the entrepreneurial aspects of things but I have to spend some time thinking about what type of balance I want in my life.
Also, as much as it would be great to see Acupuncture Buses in cities across America, I think they could be an even bigger asset to rural communities. That’s another direction I’m thinking about and hoping to move in.
For updates on Noah’s progress and to learn about the Bus’s official launch, follow The Acupuncture Bus on Facebook.
Photos courtesy of Noah Goldstein
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