Acupuncture session

The Power of Group Healing: Acupuncture at the Center for Social Healing


Traditional Roots Healthcare is a Minnesota-based acupuncture clinic dedicated to heal, strengthen and empower through traditional medicine. In addition to our primary clinic, Traditional Roots Healthcare offers offsite collaborative clinic partnerships to help increase access to our services and provide a culturally relevant, accessible, community approach to healing. Our partnership with the Wilder Foundation’s Center for Social Healing has provided us with a unique opportunity to provide acupuncture to four diverse groups of Southeast Asian communities.

The Center for Social Healing is an intentional, therapeutic community designed to respond to barriers and unmet cultural and services needs of members of Southeast Asian communities. Through our work with the Center, we have provided acupuncture treatments to four groups (Vietnamese, Karen, Hmong, and Cambodian), as well as incorporating Qigong and more mindfulness and deep breathing techniques into our group work.

Trauma-Minded Acupuncture

Our acupuncture services are based on the understanding that trauma manifests uniquely for each individual. Everyone holds stress differently, and when you've been through traumatic situations, even those in years past, the body and mind have compartmentalized those traumas. Over time trauma can manifest as symptoms of disease and lower the quality of life for those experiencing it.

Acupuncture is effective at not only taking people out of "fight or flight" (sympathetic brain pathways) to "rest and relax" (para-sympathetic brain pathways), but has also been shown to release endorphins to help alleviate pain.

Strong Bonds Help Healing

Because many members of the Center for Social Healing have experienced trauma, acupuncture can be a helpful part of the Center’s multi-faceted approach to healing. Typically, we start each session with checking in on how everyone is feeling that day and what ailments or areas of focus they would like to incorporate into an acupuncture treatment.

We customize our treatment approaches based upon the needs of the group. We provide community and group treatments with the group sitting in a circle in comfortable chairs, as well as more in-depth body back and body treatments on our treatment beds. Common conditions treated often include both mental health and stress concerns with poor sleep, orthopedic and joint issues, chronic fatigue and general body pain.

As we develop continued relationships with each group, our ability to work more in-depth with treatment plans and conditions treated also increases. The power of group healing also reinforces communal bonds and provides another opportunity for each member to support each other on their healing journey. As we have personally witnessed, there are strong social bonds within each group and members often encourage each other in receiving care.

We are thrilled to play a small part in the Center for Healing’s program, and look forward to developing additional healthy living and herbal medicine topics as we continue our work with the Wilder Foundation.

Valerie Overby, L.Ac., and Annie Lund, L.Ac., co-founded Traditional Roots Healthcare, a Minnesota based, 501c3, non-profit dedicated to heal, strengthen and empower through traditional medicine.