City's first walk-in

acupuncture clinic


The Chestnut Hill Local

January 6, 2005




A recent talk show on the subject of health made the point that there is growing recognition of the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment for the pain of arthritis. Cited were the results of a government funded study at the New England School of Medicine in which the volunteers were divided into three groups: 1. self-­help (vitamins, diet, etc.); 2. acupuncture; 3. placebo, over an eight-week period..

Elise Rivers and her brainchild, a walk-in acupuncture clinic, the only one in Philadelphia, recently opened at 514 E Sedgwick St in Mt. Airy on the third floor: The first floor contains the offices of Dr. Joseph Price, seen here. (Photo by Pat Stokes)


explains, "that this method of healing takes time, time to bring the body back into balance. It is definitely not an `emergency' cure." Acupuncture neatly fills the gap that drugs do not fill, and at times has been successfully used in place of drugs. In addition, it successfully addresses the problem that is created with serious side effects to certain drugs that are then usually addressed by yet another drug. Not surprisingly, often the patient is reluctant to continue on this route.


  "The majority of malpractice claims center around drug use," Dr. Price reminds us. Thus state of affairs is very much in the news now, when certain

Acupuncture was the true winner with 14 peo­ple, or 40 percent of the group reporting a significant decrease in pain 


  To what is this attributed? Con­sensus as to how acupuncture brings relief is that special needles inserted into specific locations in the body activate endorphins (brain-centered painkillers) and that T-cells (which regulate the immune system) are increased, as another boost for pain resistance. About 20 million Americans have arthritis, usually in the joints, brought about when cartilage wears thin causing bone to rub on bone. Acupuncture can ease that pain.


  The real subject of this column is Elise Rosenblatt and her brain-child, a walk-in acupuncture, clinic, the only one in Philadelphia as a check – from Chinatown to Doylestown clearly showed.

Her clinic, named Moon River Acupuncture (explanation short­ly), is located at 514 E. Sedgwick St. in Mt. Airy on the third floor of one of the area's grand old houses.

Elise studied this therapy at the New England School of Acupunc­ture in Watertown, near Boston, the oldest college of acupuncture in the U.S., established more than three decades ago. The scope of her knowledge includes clinical medicine and both Chinese and Japanese styles of acupuncture. She also studied Five Elements style as a Shiatsu practitioner.


  Master's degree in hand, she planned to open her own office, but first with Claudia Sperber she established a walk-in clinic in Northampton, Mass. Somewhat later, she headed for Philadelphia to be near her family and her fiancé. Amazingly, as a kind of go­-ahead omen, when she arrived here she very quickly found her "dream house" in Mt. Airy, and on Sept. 14 of 2004, she opened her private practice, Moon River Acupuncture. Her fiancé’s last name is Rivers, and the influence of the moon on humans - physi­cally, psychically and emotionally - is well known.


Hence the name.


 As another unexpected bonus,. in her choice of locale she learned after moving in that her next-door neighbor is a doctor but more than that, a doctor who is interested in alternative medicine.


  The doctor is Joseph W. Price M.D., who has been in practice 34 years, using both Western and holistic disciplines. About 15 years ago, he founded Partners in Wellness, a networking group, to include the arts and traditions, of other integrative practitioners. He thus makes use of holistic prac­tices without rejecting Western medicine, and says that "like yin and yang, the two modalities mix very well together." Dr. Price endorses acupuncture and acts as clinic coordinator. (In a later col­umn we'll report further on Part­ners in Medicine.)


  In addition to running the walk­-in clinic, Elise maintains a private practice. This offers an opportuni­ty to spend time with a prospec­tive acupuncture patient to properly diagnose the problem, usually in a one-and-a-half hour session at $100. Treatment sessions of six or more at the clinic follow at a sliding scale of $30-$45 each. "It's important to understand," she


types of drugs ­are being examined by reliable­ health organizations for their unwanted side effects. "The human organism does not like the intrusion of foreign chemicals,” said, Dr. Price. "It will accept them in the short term, creating a sense that the drug is working; but when the body recognizes their toxicity, it will react with unpleas­ant symptoms." These two dedi­cated people agree that "it is an art to keep your body working well."­


  Walk-in Clinic hours: Monday and Wednesday evenings, 6 to 8. Thursday and Friday morning, 10 to 12. For more information, phone 215-266-5757. See you on the Avenue.