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History of Six Degrees

Pillars of Our Shared Work #6

Author: Lamia Gibson

How did Six Degrees come about? 

It is such a delight to share the roots of Six Degrees with you all.  Below is a brief capture of how we came to be and why we do what we do.  We hope you enjoy knowing more about how Six Degrees formed and continues to evolve.

Lamia and Susanda (co-owners of Six Degrees) first met at a meeting in the basement of Street Health.  After learning the NADA protocol at Lincoln Detox in New York in 2000, Susanda Yee was inspired to create the space you know today.  Along with other practitioners, she hosted a meeting to discuss how they could come together and offer sliding scale services to more people. At that point, folks were talking grants and government funded options and Lamia was convinced they couldn't support what was going on as they had no experience with grants or funding.  So, Lamia continued to offering sliding scale Shiatsu part time while also working other jobs to make ends meet and Susanda offered Acupuncture privately on a sliding scale.

Then Susanda learned of Community Acupuncture.

After spending two weeks learning how to start up a Community Acupuncture style clinic at Working Class Acupuncture, Susanda Yee opened Six Degrees, the first Community Acupuncture clinic in Canada, in July of 2007.  Matt Sedo contributed to the beginnings of Six Degrees and almost a year after Six Degrees opened, Lamia found the clinic through an ad on craigslist!  Susanda, Matt and Lamia worked together for just over a year at which point Matt left to continue his practice privately.

All along Susanda and Lamia held a shared vision of co-creating a clinic that offered many options and services as each of them have healed and benefitted from receiving a multitude of treatments.  They both believed it could be done and with determination, community support and a good dose of ancestral assistance Six Degrees has become something even bigger than their dreams.

Six Degrees, with its roots in traditional ways of practicing Acupuncture in China and the revolutionary work of Mutulu Shakur and others who developed the NADA protocol in the 70's, is built on effective medicine, traditional practice, revolutionary thinking and Community.

We continue that work by generating ways to practice various medicines in community settings, sharing space with similarly valued practitioners and supporting community through learning more about the communities we are connected to.  We continue to engage people in a creative economic system, as a way to contribute to sustainable community practices and transform capitalist economic models.  We hope to inspire people to connect with their individual strengths, to know they can heal, maintain health, contribute to sustainable community practices and make a difference with their choices, everyday.

We do this because we have each known pain, we have known struggle and we both know life is so, so short.  The time is now, we are alive in this moment and making health accessible for more people, all people, is mandatory.  We believe we make Six Degrees with you, that Six Degrees is everyone who has, does or will come through those doors.  It is also the people who can't get in because of the 12 steps at the front door, and as we can, with the resources we have, we hope to one day be able to create more physically accessible community acupuncture for more people.  We are a work in progress and we grow with the communities we are connected too.  We make mistakes and learn from them, we have great successes and thrive with them.  We hope you can do us the honour of sharing your experiences of Six Degrees with the communities you are connected too.  We hope you will come to us with your honesty and courage when we need to be called in and we hope you deepen your own awareness, that you can heal.  We hope we can support each other knowing that transformation is healing and is so, so possible.

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