- We now accept Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield please call in advance if possible so we can verify your specific coverage before your next appointment.
- Carla Waldron is back in the clinic covering Tuesdays from 9:30-1:30!
- Please note our updated business model and rate changes if you have not been to the clinic for some time.
- Our online booking system communications are automated, we do not send them manually so if you respond to them we will not receive the message.
Online Booking Note:
Please note that all correspondence regarding appointments including confirmations, reminders and confirmations of changes made to appointments are automated, we do not send these messages out manually and they are 'Do not reply' emails.
About the clinic
Kingston Community Acupuncture Clinic offers reduced rate acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbal consultations. Special rates are offered for those who cannot afford these rates (please call in advance to discuss). Community clinic treatments are offered in a comfortable, peaceful setting where you will rest on a massage table separated for privacy by Shoji screens.
If you are interested in knowing how acupuncture works and what the definition of Qi is, we highly recommend reading further on our FAQ's section.
Stop by for a visit!
We are located at:
280 Wall Street, 3rd floor (entrance is in between the Ulster Savings Bank entrance & the entrance to the Ulster County Board of Elections) Kingston, NY 12401 845.339.5653
1. You should receive a confirmation email shortly after booking your appointment online, if you do not receive this email, login to your JaneApp account and it will tell you what upcoming appointments you have booked.
2. Sometimes appointments book up pretty fast for the current week so if you see only a few or no appointments available that is not a mistake, when trying to book during a shift that is fully booked you should see an option to be placed on a wait list for the appointment time you would prefer. If that time opens up, you will automatically be placed in the time slot if it becomes available and you will receive a confirmation that an appointment has been made.
Minya DeJohnette is a NY State licensed acupuncturist who earned her Master of Health Sciences Degree from the Swedish Institute of Acupuncture (now part of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in NY) in 2007.
Her continuing education training includes: Completing the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center course in Acupuncture for the Cancer Patient. She is also continuing her training in advanced pain management, auto-immune disorders, anxiety, depression, inflammatory and digestive disorders. The lineage she trains under is the Taiwanese Balance and Ba Gua Method as taught by the late Dr. Richard Tan and his students.
She is certified in Kampo Herbal Medicine by the NYC Kampo Institute. Kampo is the herbal medicine practiced by primary care physicians in Japan. It is used as primary and adjunctive therapy within Japan's national health care system.
She is a NY State licensed massage therapist and studied at the Cayce-Reilly School of Massage Therapy.
Carla C. WaldronAcupuncturist
Carla C. Waldron is a physician certified to practice acupuncture. She completed her training at the Helms Medical Institute and has been treating patients since 2003. Carla’s clinical experience has been cultivated in settings ranging from large urban areas to isolated villages in Asia. She owned and operated a medical acupuncture clinic in New York City for many years
Andrea SheltonOffice Manager
Andrea! What would we do without Andrea? Andrea has been with the clinic since 2014 and is an integral part of KCA. Her warm and welcoming smile is only second to Otis’ tail waggles when you arrive at the clinic.
She finds coming to work each day ultra relaxing while also feeling like a benefit to the patients in terms of facilitating a smooth flow to the schedule of the day.
Having Otis by her side is definitely an added perk (even if he gets more yummy snacks from the patients than she does!) and also having Minya's acupuncture expertise helping with her migraines, is invaluable.
Her passions include movies, sightseeing and CrossFit with her husband, laughing with family and friends, and pet sitting as a side job the past 25 years...if you happen to be in need of an excellent and experienced pet sitter, please do inquire.
Otis originally hails from South Carolina and made his way up to Kingston to assist clinic patients with anxiety, stress and the benefits of giving him belly rubs. His excellent job as a greeter means he will most likely meet you at the elevator and immediately escort you to the area where his snacks are kept in hopes that you will dispense them to him. He enjoys naps, chew toys and squeaky, fluffy toys. Given his unusual markings and features we have come to the conclusion that he is most likely a cross between a Red Heeler, Catahoula, hyena and tiger..
PLEASE NOTE: With full respect to those of you who are AFRAID of or ALLERGIC to dogs we can tether him while you are here. You can call us in advance and we will make a note in your file to do this anytime you come in.
We offer two different types of Gift Cards:
eGift Cards: Delivered via email, they can be purchased by clicking on the following link: eGift Cards
Plastic Gift Cards: These can be purchased in-store or we can send them to the recipient of your choice.
If you'd prefer a nice infographic (courtesy of Jason Chong) addressing many frequently asked questions we've included one below. Scroll further for a more detailed set of questions and answers.
Even though the World Health Organization recognizes a specific set of disorders that acupuncture can treat, truly answering this question in a western medical context is a challenge. This is due to the fact that acupuncture theory does not treat based on western medical diagnosis. It is based on many different factors that include the person's description of the symptoms surrounding the diagnoses, tongue and pulse diagnoses, and their individual constitution. An example would be if five different people diagnosed with migraine headaches came for acupuncture. Western medicine will most likely prescribe similar medication for each individual. From the perspective of acupuncture theory, the diagnosis and treatment will be based on an entirely different set of factors. For example; treatment will rarely be successful if an acupuncturist does not take into account the exact location of the migraine. Migraines felt on the side of the head are treated differently than migraines felt in the front, back or whole head. The actual diagnosis will be based on the channel name(s) that runs through the region where the pain is felt. If the person has another set of symptoms such as insomnia, high stress, or say digestive issues, this can change or add to the diagnosis and treatment as well. If someone comes in for sinus issues, treatment will be based on a number of factors similar to the migraine approach. This goes for any other issue a person may be coming in for, including tendino-muscular pain, reproductive issues, emotional issues etc...
Ultimately, success in treatment of an issue is determined by how well an acupuncturist can diagnose the imbalance causing the issues a patient presents with, whether the patient is willing to make appropriate lifestyle changes such as diet or stress management if necessary, and how frequently the person is able to come for treatments during their initial visits.
The only issues that Acupuncture can't directly treat are bone on bone joint deterioration (we obviously can't replace lost cartilage) and certain chronic progressive autoimmune disorders. We can treat the symptoms but not reverse the disease.
This is a common and logical concern, and one that we address often in our clinic. The most important thing that you need to know about acupuncture needles is that they are nowhere near the gauge or thickness of the hypodermic needles that you are used to at the doctor’s office. They are close to hairline thin and most of the time you do not feel them going in at all. Depending on your treatment you will feel some sensations, such as heaviness or an achiness around the needle insertion site. You may feel sensations of warmth traveling up and down your limbs as circulation is improved and you may feel sensations of cooling in areas that are inflamed.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Loose jeans, sweatpants or leggings are fine, skinny leg pants - not so much.
- If you don't have time to download and fill out the intake paperwork on the homepage of this website, please come in 15 minutes before your initial appointment time to fill it out.
- Please make sure you have had at least a light snack within 3 hours of your appointment, it is not recommended to receive acupuncture on an empty stomach. It is also not recommended to receive treatment after a big meal.
- Please do not wear heavy perfumes or oils on the day of your appointment as the acupuncturist or other patients may be allergic to them.
- Although not always possible, you might want to make sure you have some time to relax after your treatment.
Many people understand why we have this policy but for some people it seems unfair. Here is why we need to stand by this policy:
- In order for patients to enjoy the benefits of affordable acupuncture, we need to schedule people on a tight back to back schedule for the business model to stay affordable.
- It is for that reason that if you are late, you are actually taking time away from the patients after you. You are reducing the time that they actually get for treatment because we had to spend extra time with you.
- Patients after you may have to pick up children from school, have to get back to work or have a timed meter to get back to. If you come in late, you reduce the time they get to be on the table.
- Always plan to leave extra time for parking and traffic when you come for your appointments.
- If this policy we need to use to make this clinic run smoothly seems unfair to you then it may be best to seek treatment with a private acupuncturist who may have more flexibility within their schedule to accommodate lateness.
Yes, we treat children but require that you sign a consent form for them. Children often take to and respond to acupuncture very well. We recommend that you bring your child or children with you to observe your treatments at least once before their first treatment so that they see that the needles are not painful. Once they see you relax, they tend to be comfortable with the idea of receiving treatment.
The million dollar question!
The short answer:
In the simplest terms, the goal of acupuncture is to restore the body's innate ability to heal itself by facilitating homeostatic balance.
The long answer:
A good friend and colleague of mine who owns a community clinic in Harlem has a brilliant breakdown worth reading of both western and eastern points of view on the theories as to how and why acupuncture works.
Dry needling is a name for a technique used by physical therapists that uses acupuncture needles to release "trigger points" in order to alleviate physical pain. This technique is called "Ashi" Acupuncture in Chinese Medicine. Where we needle areas that typically tighten and reduce circulation to a muscle causing localized and/or radiating pain. It is essentially the same technique, however in Chinese medicine since you are treating localized pain by releasing tension in a muscle, you are also increasing localized circulation/Qi, it is necessary to equalize the circulation throughout the rest of the body otherwise you can create nausea, headaches, dizziness or fatigue. This is why you may have acupuncture points in your arms, head and legs when treating for pain that occurs in one area such as the shoulder.
Yes. Acupuncture needles are sterilized, individually packaged and disposed of after each treatment.
Both the clinic treatments and private treatments usually last about an hour, the benefit of the clinic setting is that patients have a chance to rest on the table for a longer time than in a private treatment.
For first time patients it is a good idea to leave at least an hour and a half for your treatment as we need to do an initial intake interview before the treatment.
Yes, however if a woman is in her first trimester we only treat her throughout the first trimester if she is an existing patient, otherwise she will have to wait until the second trimester.
This is determined on a case by case basis. For acute conditions you will usually need to come in for a short duration of treatments. For chronic, long-term issues it can take longer for the issue to improve greatly or resolve. During your first treatment we will discuss a recommended treatment plan with you.
When you are in the very beginning stages of a cold or are getting over a cold or flu and have mild symptoms you may come in. However, if you are very sick, we ask that you stay home and rest until you have recovered. If you have symptoms of the stomach flu we will not treat you at all. Staying home and resting is the best medicine for you during severe stages of the cold and flu. Yes, as acupuncturists we are equipped to treat people who have severe cold and flu symptoms but in a community clinic you will be exposing others to the pathogens you are carrying during these stages. We also often have patients in the clinic who are under going chemo and radiation or are otherwise immunocompromised, please understand that we have to keep their best interests in mind. We also want to keep ourselves well in order to keep the clinic running.
The short answer:
We are feeling the integrity of the circulation of Qi and blood through the channels and organ systems of the body, this takes more time than the pulse taking of a western MD.
The long answer:
The radial pulse diagnosis that we use in Chinese medicine is a very complex system that has been developed for over two-thousand years. At different times in history pulses were also taken and compared with pulses at different locations of the body. The carotid artery(neck), descending aortic pulse (abdomen), the femoral artery (inner thigh),posterior tibial artery (inner ankle) and a branch of the temporal artery that can be felt at the temple were some of the more commonly used pulses for diagnosis.
Over time the changes in culture and rules regarding modesty narrowed the use of the pulse to the wrist. Practitioners of Chinese medicine had to become adept at feeling the status of the flow of Qi and blood in the body only at the radial pulse.
When we look at your tongue we are looking at the size, width, coating, coating color and moisture on the tongue. We also look at the veins underneath your tongue. This tells us about your body’s ability to digest food, its hormonal balance, the circulation of blood (under the tongue), and whether you have too much heat, cold or dampness in your body.
Qi is generally described as "life force" Or "Vitality" but is often mistranslated as "energy". It has a much broader application in the Chinese language. As most characters in the Chinese languages do not have one single definition because they change their meaning relative to other characters. There are multiple definitions of Qi in the Chinese language dictionary. In fact one of my teachers who is fluent in Mandarin spent ten plus minutes translating different definitions of Qi! So you see how difficult it may be to translate it into one word. Below I give an idea of how Qi is better translated in terms of its relationship to Chinese Medicine. It is also used in many different definitions of objects that have nothing directly to do with the human body.
A couple of basic examples of the myriad definitions of Qi:
Air, gas, vapor
Breath, spirit, morale
Angry or indignant
Smells or odors
For a more scientific explanation you can read an article by Yin Luo, who holds a PHD in physics and wrote an excellent in depth article explaining Qi and how it can be explained from a western scientific viewpoint: What Is Qi? Can We See Qi?
To get an even better idea I will give you the understanding of how Qi is used in relationship to the human body. Qi manifests on different levels of our anatomy and is defined by its structure and function.
The following are some descriptions of how Qi is understood and used in Chinese Medicine.
Wei Qi(defensive Qi)
The lightest form of Qi; its function is to provide the first line of defense in the body. In structure it is our skin, lungs, and nose. The integrity of our Wei Qi determines how well we fight off external pathogens such as colds and allergies. Sometimes when a person has a chronic internal pathogen that the body is unable to fight off, Wei Qi may try to solve this by moving internally where it is not meant to function and cause an autoimmune reaction because it inadvertently attacks the body as well.
On another level, the integrity of our Wei Qi can be dependent on how well we handle the external challenges of daily life, a person yelling at you or a sudden noise can be another form of external attack.
This is our secondary level of defense, in structure it is represents our blood, red blood cells, lymphatic system, hormones and most of our organs. In function it represents our second line of defense such as mucus, saliva, sweat, tears, stomach acids, and intestinal integrity.
Ying Qi is involved with our emotions and psyche and is responsible for storing them. In fact our spirit and mind (Shen) is said to reside in our heart and our blood. The implication here is that our mental-emotional state directly influences our health.
Jing Qi (ancestral Qi)
This is the life force we inherit from our ancestors. In structure it would be our DNA, bone marrow, brain and the body's sexual secretions. In function it is the precursor to blood, similar to how marrow is responsible for the production of red blood cells in western physiology. It provides us with the drive and ambition to survive, it provides our youth, and is likened to a battery pack that has a finite shelf-life. How efficiently these batteries work is determined not only by the strength of the Jing Qi passed on by our ancestors but also how well we take care of ourselves. Stress, trauma, pain, and poor diet can all contribute to the premature loss of Jing.
Most acupuncturists in the US must have an associates-level degree before entering a Master's degree program in acupuncture school. Depending on whether Chinese herbology is included in their training, acupuncturists will complete their program in 3-4 years. Along with Chinese medical theory and practice, acupuncturists are trained in western pathology, biochemistry, neuro-pathology, anatomy & physiology, patho-physiology, nutrition and the basics of clinical counseling. They are also required to hold current CPR and First-Aid Certificates.
Moxibustion is a technique that uses the herb Mugwort. It involves the burning of the herb in a cigar-like form above certain acupuncture points of the body, on an inserted needle or sitting on top of a conduit such as dried garlic, ginger, aconite or salt, each having their own property or a protective cone placed on the body with an adhesive.
Moxa is said to increase the circulation of Qi and blood in the body and to scatter cold which when trapped in the body can cause pain. We use indirect smokeless Moxa in the clinic.
The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (which makes it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure). It is also used traditionally in China for bronchitis, asthma and chronic respiratory issues. Treatment may include acupuncture as well.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This treatment is not intended to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Gua Sha is a myofascial massage technique that uses a ceramic spoon or smoothed edge tool to scrape (within your comfort level) over tight muscles to return proper blood flow to the area, break up knots and improve the process of fluid elimination from the area.
Gua Sha is also used in the first stage of colds and flus to help bring down fever or improve elimination of toxins.
For more information about Gua Sha, click below.