People’s Republic of Health A New Style of Affordable Community Acupuncture

Saturday Nov. 2nd, 2013

To many Montanans, or Americans for that fact, acupuncture is about as foreign as Nutria Stew or scorpions on a stick, two popular foods in Chinese culture. The thought of multiple needles being placed in your body, or maybe just the bill afterwards is enough to steer many in another direction for treatment of what ails them. As acupuncture gains popularity all over the country, it seems fitting that Bozeman with its diverse and physically active population, as well as a long time commitment to community, joins in the community acupuncture wellness craze. Community acupuncture makes it possible for patients to use Chinese Medicine, specifically acupuncture and herbal medicine, and pay on a sliding scale based on monthly income. It lowers the cost barrier so that people who would hesitate to pay $80-$120 to try acupuncture can do so without injuring their wallets.

Bozeman has been without community acupuncture for several years until November 1st when People’s Republic of Health opened its doors at 211 S Wallace and Olive Street. Zoe Strauss, founder of People’s Republic of Health, is an acupuncturist who has been involved in the community acupuncture movement in more urban areas for years, specifically in San Francisco and New York City. A photography job for Simms brought her to Bozeman year after year for many years, and her dream to make Bozeman her home has now been realized as she launches a vibrant clinic in the heart of Bozeman.

The logo for the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture boasts a reclining chair. At People’s Republic of Health you will find both recliners and treatment tables, and privacy is available for patients who require it. If you have had acupuncture before, your experience at a community acupuncture clinic may be a little different. The majority of clients will be treated in a large open room; asked to remove socks, roll pant legs to above the knee and shirt sleeves to above the elbow, and relax in a reclining chair. The space is beautiful and relaxing, quiet and tranquil and people relax deeply, many fall instantly asleep. Conversations are whispered and kept to a minimum and footsteps are light.

Founder, Zoe Strauss, says, “Time and again I see patients who have had experience with private practice acupuncture switch over to the community style. There’s something very therapeutic about entering a space where others are, or have relaxed deeply. The collective setting seems to enhance patients’ treatments and experience.”
After finishing her Master’s degree in the USA, Zoe did a residency in China at Shanghai’s premier teaching hospital. In China she trained with some of the most respected doctors in the world and discovered that the difference in how they approached treatment was profound. She describes the community model almost as a return to Eastern and traditional methods of care. Acupuncturists and people who have been using this medicine know that it’s often the frequency of treatments and regular maintenance that make all the difference in patients’ outcomes.

People’s Republic of Health’s primary goal is to make Chinese Medicine accessible to everybody, and make affordable care feel like luxury. The ease of treatment including a private consultation room, reclining treatments, sliding scale payments, and online scheduling ( will undoubtedly contribute to the popularity of this clinic.

There are two global perspectives of acupuncture, simplified for you here. The Eastern Medical perspective views pain and dysfunction in the body being caused by blockage in the flow of energy (Qi or Blood). Acupuncture needles are used to stimulate the flow of Qi and Blood and restore the natural balance of the body thus relieving physical and emotional discomfort. The Western Biomedical perspective shows acupuncture to stimulate the release of prostaglandins, neurotransmitters, nor epinephrine, acetylcholine and other natural opiates. These releases trigger the discharge of hormones, relieve pain, improve mood and enhance immune function. Circulation is increased which in turn aids in healing damages tissue. Acupuncture effects the blood concentrations of triglycerides, cholesterol and lipids, which aids by regulating the body toward homeostasis. Whichever way you look at it; it is not voodoo, nor placebo, acupuncture really works.

Visit the People’s Republic of Health website or contact Zoe to learn more about Acupuncture and for additional information on People’s Republic of Health:        

Angie Ripple is the publisher of Bozeman Magazine, and has seen immediate results from acupuncture, most noticeably better sleep.

From the 11/13 issue of Bozeman Magazine