FREE Clinic at Bellingham Medical Acupuncture

Shannon Freeman, L.Ac, EAMP, LMP - FREE Acupuncture Clinic

Shannon Freeman, L.Ac, EAMP, LMP – FREE Communitity Acupuncture Clinic

UPDATE: May 28, 2015, is our last free acupuncture community clinic from 2pm – 4pm! Thank you for a fantastic month of May. If you want to see Free Community Clinic continue once a month, please let us know.

FREE Community Acupuncture Clinic for all persons with or without medical conditions, given by Shannon Freeman, LAC, EAMP, LMP.

This community clinic will be held every Tuesday and Thursday, Starting May 12 at 2pm – 4pm at 12 Bellwether Way, Suite 219.  

Clinic forms at bottom of page.

The clinic will be super casual with acupuncture points to RELAX and CENTER.  This is a first come, first served clinic.  Come out and check it out if you’ve never tried acupuncture.

Some things about community clinic

People are treated in the same room.

There is no disrobing, so wear loose comfortable clothes.

The collective energy of being treated in a group enhances your treatment.

Families and friends can come together.

Treatments are typically 15-20 minutes long; or let us know if there is a specific time you need to be up by.

Our Treatments

We use distal points on the arms and legs to treat most everything.  We don’t have to stick needles where the problem is to get results.  Really!

Free Acupuncture mean that people can actually experience the benefits of acupuncture and return anytime for additional free treatments, as long as the clinic is still active.

Shannon Freeman, LAC, EAMP is a nationally licensed acupuncturists, using sterile disposable needles.

Our Mission

A Better Way Massage & Acupuncture MISSION is to help as many people as possible in their quest for optimum health and educate them about the benefits of acupuncture and massage therapy so they may, in turn, educate others.  Our clinic is peaceful and friendly place that welcomes all people.  We strive to empower our patients, employees, and interns with a healthcare model that requires responsibility, participation, and community building.



Shannon Freeman, LAC, EAMP, LMP is a licensed acupuncturists and does not provide primary care or diagnose medical conditions, though she often provides complimentary care for conditions that require a physician’s attention. If you have a serious medical condition, for example, an infection, growth or injury that won’t heal, you need to see a primary care doctor (MD, DO, ND.)

When you go back for treatment get yourself ready by choosing a chair, removing shoes and socks, pushing up your sleeves and pants and settling in before the acupuncturist arrives.

Feel free to bring ear plugs, ear phones, or anything that will help you to be comfortable in our treatment rooms.

Community Mindedness

We all create our quiet peaceful setting by speaking softly, and not too much.

Please turn off your cell phones.

Strong scents, perfumes, aftershave, body care/hair products, and detergents trigger allergic reactions and headaches for other.  Please try to minimize the use of these before you come to the clinic.

Wear shoes in the clinic.


Acupuncture is a PROCESS. It is very rare for any acupuncturist to be able to resolve a problem with one treatment. In China, a typical treatment protocol for a chronic condition could be acupuncture every other day for three months! Most of our patients don’t need that much acupuncture, but virtually every patient requires a course of treatment, rather than a single treatment, in order to get what they want from acupuncture.  As long as our Free Acupuncture Clinic is open, you are welcome to come as many times as you wish.

What TCM can treat

  • Menstrual Irregularities and Pain, Menopause, Fertility
  • Colitis, IBS, Acid Reflux, Heartburn, Constipation, Morning Sickness
  • Injury, Arthritis, Chronic Pain, Back and Neck Tension
  • Depression, Anxiety, Stress Management
  • Smoking Cessation, Withdrawal Support
  • Asthma, Allergies, Common Cold
  • Insomnia, Migraines, TMJ, Hypertension
  • Eczema, Acne, Rashes
  • Side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy
  • Immune Support
  • And much, much more…


And, last, but not least….enjoy the space. We do, and hope that A Better Way Massage & Acupuncture can be an important part of your community. Thank you, Shannon Freeman, LAC, EAMP, LMP

Now the Legal stuff – See below:



Bellwether Medical Acupuncture & Massage is on the MOVE!

Bellwether Medical Acupuncture On the MoveOn Monday, April 27 we will be in a new office suite within 12 Bellwether Way – Suite 201

A Better Way Massage and Acupuncture will continue business as usual in the new space.  We are excited to share this unit UPGRADE with you.

Schedule your next treatment with us at 12 Bellwether Way, Suite 201, Bellingham, WA 98225 – 360-366-4216

3 Healing Stages of Soft Tissue Injury

Injury Example: Hyper Extension or Hyper Flexion Injury (Strain/Sprain/Whiplash)


Stage 1)  24-72 hours after injury:  Acute Inflammatory Phase

Acute Inflammation is characterized by pain, swelling, and redness that happens at the site that is damaged.

Common Treatment: 

  • NSAIDS are commonly used.  The most common NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen – probably because they are available over-the-counter (OTC, no prescription required).

They are medications with analgesic (pain reducing), antipyretic (fever reducing) effects. In higher doses they also have anti-inflammatory effects – they reduce inflammation (swelling).

  • Acupuncture is incredibly helpful in Acute stages of injury.  Specialized acupuncture points for pain, reducing inflammatory response, reducing swelling and pain are commonly used.
  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage, Effleurage, and Gentle Range of Motion Movements by a Massage Therapist can be highly beneficial.  Scar tissue also starts to form at this stage of healing, and Massage Therapy is beneficial in helping the body align scar tissue fibers in a more organized manner.
  • The RICE Method is commonly recommended treatment:

Rest: A splint or taping will keep the joint in a safe position, helping you avoid more strain to the sore area.
Ice: Applying cold in the form of ice towels, or cold packs can help slow the inflammatory process and ease pain. Apply the cold for no longer than 10 minutes at a time.
Compression: An elastic tensor bandage or an air-type brace can compress the sore area, keeping the swelling to a minimum.
Elevation: Keep the affected joint elevated above the level of your heart for 20 minutes to half an hour at a time. This will help drain the extra fluid back into the lymph system.

Stage 2)  72 hrs to 12-14 weeks after Injury:  Repair Phase

Common Treatment: 

Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Manipulative Therapy, Chiropractic Adjustments, Physical Therapy – No more NSAIDS.

Due to the findings of an Australian Study that shows that the use of NSAIDS past the acute inflammatory phase interferes with the healing process.  During the phase, you must put the tissue through motion, stretching, and that includes the ligaments, stretch is primordial in maintaining  range of motion.

Stage 3)  12-14 weeks to up to 24 months: Tissue is being remodeled.

Acupuncture, Chiropractic Spinal Adjustments, Massage Therapy, and Physical Therapy are all safe and helpful during stage 2 and stage 3 when applied with reasonable degree of care, caution and expertise.

Healing with Hope

TCM Program Offers Relief For Military Veterans Seeking Alternative Care

By Kimberly Layne, LAc, AOBTA-CP, ACN

Ella is a Gulf War veteran and a survivor of military sexual trauma. Like hundreds of veterans, Ella was on 11 different medications for depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic pain – and yet she was still not sleeping, afraid to be in crowds, unmotivated to clean up enough to look for a job and had days when she couldn’t get out of bed because her back pain was so severe.

She came to the Samaritan Center for Counseling and Pastoral Care in Austin, Texas after her mother saw a story on the evening news about the Center’s Hope for Heroes program and its reduced-fee integrative wellness services for veterans. During her first visit, through tears, she said the center was her “last hope.”

Ella began a course of twice weekly acupuncture treatments, weekly counseling and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) sessions and weekly massage therapy. She received a thorough diet and nutrition evaluation and a plan to balance her blood sugar and reduce inflammation.

This intensive program lasted for six weeks. Mid-way through the treatments she stopped taking the Hydrocodone, Ambien and Linzess and began to reduce her psychotropic medications. She continued to improve with the introduction of herbal formulas. By the end of the series of treatments, her pain was gone. She was sleeping through the night and waking feeling rested and motivated and was actively seeking employment.

When she said goodbye because she was moving to another city, the tears in her eyes were of gratitude.

healing vetrans - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark “I have my life back,” she said.

The Evolution of Hope for Heroes

The Samaritan Center founded Hope for Heroes (H4H) in 2007 to meet the growing demand for quality confidential mental health services for veterans and their families. At the time of its inception, H4H was strictly a counseling program.

Three years later, AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine graduate and former Navy Corpsman Sean Hanna wanted to find a way to make alternative healing therapies available to service members, vets and their families. A combat veteran himself, he was all too familiar with the unique needs and challenges veterans face in adjusting to civilian life and navigating the Veteran Affairs healthcare system. He knew his fellow vets needed options for healing; his mission was to make those options as accessible and affordable as possible.

In 2010, Hanna met with Samaritan Center Executive Director Nancy Blaich about making Hope for Heroes an integrative medicine program complete with acupuncture, herbal and nutrition therapies, massage and Tai Chi. The two worked to secure a grant from Texas Resources for Iraq and Afghanistan Deployment (TRIAD), and Hope for Heroes became the comprehensive program it is today.

Hope for Heroes fills an important gap in services for service members, veterans and their families,” explains Hanna. “By offering integrative medicine services, as well as fully incorporating families into treatment, we holistically work with our clients and provide treatment and support unlike anywhere else to which they have access.”

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: More Than a Label

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates 20 percent of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, or OIF/OEF), 10 percent of Gulf War veterans and a staggering 30 percent of Vietnam veterans struggle with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Hope For Heroes - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark A veteran receives information about services provided by Hope For Heroes. Other forms of physical trauma, as well as the military sexual trauma Ella experienced, can exacerbate PTSD symptoms. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs 2012 Suicide Data Report, as many as 22 veterans per day commit suicide. The VA created initiatives to expand mental health services in response to these troubling statistics, but demand continues to out pace supply. Organizations outside of the VA must step up to the plate.

In 2011, 383 military patients had visited the Samaritan Center; by 2013, that number jumped nearly 50 percent to 565. From 2011 to 2013, the number of clients who sought acupuncture and other integrative medicine services – almost all veterans or service members – increased by 76 percent. To say that “acupuncture excels at treating post-traumatic stress disorder,” however, is to ignore the complex and highly individual experience of both acupuncture and PTSD. Throw Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and physical trauma into the mix and things get even more complicated. Not everyone’s experience of “stress” is the same. This includes post-traumatic stress, which is why TCM really excels at treating individuals presenting with the many possible symptoms of PTSD.  Read More…Acupuncture Today
August, 2014, Vol. 15, Issue 08