Free Military / Veteran Ear Clinic every Saturday

by Sean Honea L.Ac

Sean and Erica Honea basic training graduation

Free Military / Veteran Ear Acupuncture Clinic

Every Saturday from 9AM-1PM

Appointments Preferred

Southside Community Acupuncture is proud to offer free ear acupuncture to all U.S. Military personnel and Veterans Saturday starting Sep 30, 2017.

Sean will be the acupuncturist on duty. He served eight years in the U.S. Army and is happy to serve his fellow service members. We will be offering the NADA Detox Protocol.

NADA stands for the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) is a non-profit organization that was established to support the ear acupuncture protocol that now bears its name. NADA, first developed for Vietnam Veterans in the 1970's, has been adapted for use in a variety of community health settings. In addition to aiding addiction recovery, the NADA protocol is used to support generalized stress, anxiety, weight loss, and smoking cessation.

The NADA protocol is a simple, standardized five-point auricular (outer ear) acupuncture modality, involving small, sterilized, disposable stainless steel acupuncture needles in 5 specific sites on each ear. NADA treatments are conducted in a group setting. After the needles are inserted, patients sit quietly for 30-60 minutes before needles are removed.

Ear Clinic Flyer


Making It Work: Reflections on Opening a Community Acupuncture Clinic

by Sean Honea L.Ac

reposted from Acupuncture Society of Virginia (ASVA), September 2017 Newsletter (page 10)


In June 2016, my wife and I opened Southside Community Acupuncture, LLC in Richmond, Va. Now a year later, the clinic is moving towards profitability, hallelujah, and although things have slowed down in late summer as people take those last vacations before the school year begins, we still attract new patients almost every week.

Much has changed since we opened our doors. Our fees have changed from a set rate to a sliding scale, the furniture has moved multiple times, and we have modified and upgraded our operating systems. Yet, we remain committed to providing affordable acupuncture to people who may have believed treatment was beyond their means.

During graduate school at Acupuncture and Integrative College in Berkeley, California, we were often told that going through the 3-4 year program was like running a marathon. Indeed, it takes so much of yourself just to complete your studies. Yet, you must save enough energy to pass the board exams after graduation, and then start the daunting task of opening a business, and finally, save enough energy to maintain your own health while you begin treating patients.

My wife and I signed up for an extra challenge by having a baby during our last term of school. So it became imperative that we ask for help and lean on family and friends to recover from graduate school while taking care of a newborn. We continue to be grateful for their support.

Starting your own business takes a lot of faith. I pray a lot, meditate, do affirmations, sing positive songs to my toddler, even if the sum of all those only adds up to 10 minutes a day. It makes a difference, but it's a process. Sometimes I get discouraged when the schedule isn't as full as we would like, but I try to take the long view and focus on how our patient numbers are steady or growing each week. And it is very encouraging that not only are patients referring their family and friends, but doctors, nurses, therapists and some energy workers have recommended us to their patients.

The words from my late Qigong Teacher Suzanne Friedman offer encouragement: “it takes at least 5 years to build a sustainable practice.” My wife and I have our first year down, with many lessons learned and many more to come. As we acupuncturists know, it's a privilege to do this work and take this journey.

Pain Awareness Month

by Sean Honea L.Ac



sore knee

The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) has declared September Pain Awareness Month: "a time when various organizations work to raise public awareness of issues in the area of pain and pain management." In that Spirit, we would also like to raise awareness of Acupuncture as a great complementary therapy for the management of pain.

For many people, acupuncture works well for the management of both chronic and acute pain. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, "a number of studies suggest that acupuncture may help ease types of pain that are often chronic such as low-back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis/knee pain." NCCIH continues that acupuncture also "may help reduce the frequency of tension headaches and prevent migraine headaches. Therefore, acupuncture appears to be a reasonable option for people with chronic pain to consider."

An Article written by STAT in May 2017 reports that the FDA gives acupuncture a positive recommendation as well:

"The Food and Drug Administration released proposed its blueprint on educating health care providers about treating pain. The guidelines now recommend that doctors get information about chiropractic care and acupuncture as therapies that might help patients avoid prescription opioids"

How exactly does Acupuncture help with pain? Recently, National Public Radio interviewed Wesley Gilliam, clinical director of the Mayo Clinic's Pain Rehabilitation Center in Rochester, Minnesota for the NPR article, Holistic Therapy Programs May Help Pain Sufferers Ditch Opioids. Although Gilliam did not specifically mentioned acupuncture, he offered key insights as to why various relaxation techniques are able to offer relief to chronic pain suffers.

"When you're in chronic pain and it's poorly managed, the nervous system can get out of whack. Your body behaves as if it's under stress all the time, even when it's not. Your muscles may be tense and your heart and breathing rates elevated, among other things. With meditation and relaxation exercises, we're trying to teach people to learn to relax their bodies and hopefully kick in a relaxation response. If I have low-back pain, for example, during periods of stress, muscular tension is going to exacerbate the pain in my back. We focus on helping people to disengage from their symptoms. By learning to relax in response to stress, muscular tension can be diminished and the experience of pain eased. This doesn't require a medication or a procedure, just insight and implementation of a relaxation skill."
However, the Harvard Medical School's publication "Health Beat," offers support for Acupuncture as an effective therapy for offering pain relief and relaxation by stating that Acupuncture "may relieve pain by releasing endorphins, the body's natural pain-killing chemicals, and by affecting the part of the brain that governs serotonin, a brain chemical involved with mood." These two mechanism together is what produces the Needle-Nap High(similar to the runner's high), that many patients experience during and immediately after treatment.

Southside Community Acupuncture is committed to providing affordable and accessible acupuncture through our group treatment model. Our goal is to offer people as much acupuncture as they need at a price they can afford in order to facilitate better health and wellness.

New Hours Wednesday and Thursday

by Sean Honea L.Ac

Fall Tree

*updated 9/10/2017

With Fall approaching faster than you can Say Pumpkin Spice Cheese cake, we are changing our hours slightly. Starting in September 2017:

Wed: 3-7 PM

Thur: 1-5 PM*

There are no changes to our other days.  

Thank you and have a great week!

Share Your Story


Have you had a great experience recently at Southside Community Acupuncture? Have you been wondering how to tell others about it? Well there is a way you can. We welcome you to tell us all about it:

  • What brought you in?
  • How often did you come?
  • How did we help?
  • How has your life improved?
  • What did you like about our practice or your treatment?
  • Would you recommend a friend?
  • What would you tell others about us?
  • Add any notes or comments you would like to share.

Please use this form attached below in PDF.

We also have copies available in the clinic.

Share Your Story Form

Free Phone Consultation

by Sean Honea L.Ac


SCA now offers Free Phone Consultation for new patients.

Curious about how acupuncture works and if our treatments can help your particular condition?

Schedule a phone consultation to:
* answer your questions
* learn more about acupuncture
* discuss a treatment plan

Consultations last 10 minutes.


book now

July Update: Tues and Fridays with Erica

by Sean Honea L.Ac

Erica intake

Happy July everyone!

Erica has expanded her offerings to Fridays from 12-4pm, while Sean steps back a bit to focus on the general management of SCA and the joys of Fatherhood. Erica is still working her regular Tuesday shift at 10 am to 2 pm.

Book Now

Also as a reminder that Saturdays shifts are now from 9 am to 1 pm, and the New Patient Discount has been moved from Tues to Thursdays.

extra wide zero gravity chair

A new extra wide zero gravity chair is on its way! The one in the long room by the window has always been popular, so we are getting a second one. It will likely replace one of the smaller chairs in the square room. The extra wide chair is weighted for 330 lbs, so it can accommodate most patients.  

yoler zero gravity

For those that need more support we still have our black Yoler chair in the long room closest to the waiting area (it's the noisy one pictured above). The Yoler is not as wide, but it is weighted for 440 lbs and has extra wide armrests.   This particular Yoler model is pretty hard to come these days, so enjoy it while you can.  



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