Free acupuncture clinic opens at Hillcrest Apartments

VOLUNTEER ACUPUNCTURISTS: Sarah King, left, and Brooke Tyler, right, contribute their time weekly to the new free acupuncture clinic for residents of the Hillcrest community.

by Mahala Grant-Grierson

A grassroots community center at Hillcrest Apartments now offers free acupuncture to the community’s low-income residents every week. “It has always been important for people to take care of one another, to offer what they have or what they can do directly to their friends and neighbors,” says Susanna Lea, executive director of local nonprofit Traditions Acupuncture Foundation. She helped launch the Hillcrest initiative, which got underway in late February.

At first glance, the clinic isn’t your average practice in Chinese medicine. Volunteer acupuncturists, including Brooke Tyler, Sarah King, Chelsea Holladay and Skye Mallory of Clasique Acupuncture and Pilates Studio, staff the clinic on Fridays. D Smith with Everyday Acupuncture has also joined the volunteer team. “We can each get in there and get involved, really put ourselves out there and create connection,” says Lea.

Nicole Hinebaugh, director of programs at the Women’s Wellbeing and Development Foundation, offered the use of the Hillcrest community center, Traditions Acupuncture Foundation funds the program, and Golden Needle donated the supplies, Lea explains.

She’s grateful for the support thus far, but adds that the acupuncture community would greatly benefit by getting involved — there are approximately 1,300 licensed acupuncturists in the city of Asheville, according to the North Carolina Licensing Acupuncture Board.

TAF is supported solely by fundraising, grants and donations, says Lea. It initiates programs throughout the Asheville area to provide no-cost Chinese acupuncture health services. Its goal is to promote and fund access to Chinese medical care for the medically underserved in the greater Asheville community, she says. The need for TAF’s services is evident, but it takes staff, volunteers and other resources to make it happen.

“Being connected is what ultimately creates happiness and well-being,” says Lea.

TAF currently has two free acupuncture projects, including the Hillcrest Apartments free acupuncture clinic and a weekly free community-style acupuncture clinic at the Haywood Street Congregation. For more information or to help, contact Traditions Acupuncture Clinic at


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.