Many Rivers Community Acupuncture's Blog

We’re Moving!


We’re moving! Our new location is 3 Barnard Lane, Suite 205, Bloomfield CT 06002. We will be closed in January and will re-open in Bloomfield in February. Stay tuned for the exact date – we are remodeling the space and will know in January when the renovations will be completed. Our new location is quiet, fully accessible and has plenty of parking!

Please click the JOIN NOW link on the left-hand side of this page to add yourself to our email newsletter so you will know as soon as we’ve opened the February schedule!


8th Annual Food Drive!


Please bring non-perishable food to between November 12 – 23 to support the Windsor Food and Fuel Bank!


Donation Drive for Interval House

Interval House

We are excited to announce our support of Interval House, the largest domestic violence non-profit in the state of Connecticut. Many Rivers will collect in-kind donations for Interval House’s Wish List from October 8 to 19, 2018.

Often the women and children who come to Interval House have left everything behind. Interval House gives these families refuge in a safe house.  And once they leave the shelter, Interval House provides the daily necessities they need to start over in new housing, such as clothes, toiletries, and cleaning products.

We will collect priority items on the Interval House Wish List during the donation drive:  household cleaning supplies (sponges, soap, bleach, detergent), paper goods (plates, napkins, flatware), and toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, feminine hygiene products).  Interval House requests that all items should be new and full-size (not travel size).

We will also collect gift cards for local grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations which will help the families set up in their new home.

Everyone who participates in the drive will receive a raffle entry. The winner will receive a week of free acupuncture treatments at Many Rivers, the second place is a free year-long membership in our nationwide community acupuncture co-op, POCA, and third prize is one free acupuncture treatment at Many Rivers.

Valentine’s Evening 2018 Special!

Keep Acupuncture Affordable! Support POCA!

The future of affordable community acupuncture relies on a steady stream of acupuncturists who can staff our existing clinics and open new ones in underserved areas. Many Rivers will still be here in 20 years only if we can hire new acupuncturists when our current staff eventually needs to retire.

Unfortunately, the cost of acupuncture school has skyrocketed to $100,000 (and this does not include the cost of the undergraduate degree required to enter a Master’s level acupuncture program).

Graduates cannot earn enough as community acupuncturists to pay off their student loans.  Many leave the profession.  Others practice acupuncture only part-time and support themselves with other jobs.

Luckily, we have POCA Tech, an affordable acupuncture school made possible through our co-op, the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA).  POCA Tech costs less than $20,000 for the entire program.

Graduates of POCA Tech are required to work at a community acupuncture clinic or open a new community clinic upon graduation.  Because of the low cost of their acupuncture education, they can afford to do this.

POCA Tech is only 3 years old and still needs a lot of support in order to stay viable.  When you become a member of POCA, your dues help support POCA Tech.  Plus, your dues provide micro-loans to help new community clinics open in underserved areas.

Your membership is the key to keeping community acupuncture clinics open and thriving. Please support POCA and POCA Tech today by becoming a member!

Go to and become a member today!

Bob Robles, L.Ac. Joins Many Rivers!

Bob Robles


We are excited to announce that Bob Robles, L.Ac. will be joining the clinic on February 18, 2017.

Bob Robles brings a wealth of experience to Many Rivers.  A native of Bristol, Connecticut, Bob attended the New England School of Acupuncture in Massachusetts.  After graduating in 2000 with a concentration in Japanese meridian therapy style acupuncture, he returned to Connecticut  where he has run community acupuncture clinics in Newington, Bristol, and Southington.

I am very happy to be joining the team at Many Rivers,” says Bob.  “Running a clinic as a solo practitioner can be very isolating.  As acupuncturists, our skills are always developing and evolving.  I am looking forward to the collegiality, cooperation, and sharing of skills and ideas that occur in a multiple-practitioner clinic.”

“In addition, community acupuncture’s emphasis is on accessibility.  Many Rivers is the largest community acupuncture clinic in Connecticut, so I know that our patients will be able to get treatments whenever they need them, at a price they can afford.”

Bob has trained in numerous acupuncture styles, and uses his knowledge to choose the best treatment course for each individual.  He has studied Balance Method Acupuncture with Dr. Richard Tan; he practices Korean Hand Therapy, Keiraku Chiryo Meridian Therapy, and Yoshio Manaka-style acupuncture;  and has experience with cranio-sacral bodywork.  “Wanting to bring people to better health is in my blood,” says Bob.  His father and brother became General Surgeons and his mother was a Registered Nurse.

“Bob is one of the most gifted acupuncturists I know,” says Carrie Sawtell, L.Ac.  “He and I worked together in a community clinic in Newington when I had just returned to Connecticut from China.  I was able to see first-hand his amazing clinical skills and wealth of expertise.”

Acupuncture involves more than simply putting needles in the correct places.  “When discussing acupuncture, I usually emphasize the scientific understanding of how it works,” continues Carrie.  “It increases circulation, reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system, and stops pain.  But there is another, more nuanced component of acupuncture – in which acupuncture becomes an art.  Bob’s incredible needling technique combined with his years of clinical knowledge make his treatments into works of art.  Patients feel renewed in ways they never thought possible.”

Bob is a Licensed Acupuncturist and is board-certified in Acupuncture by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).


Many Rivers is here because of POCA

Written by:  Carrie Sawtell

When I was first dreaming of opening a community acupuncture clinic, I was living in China. Even though I was overseas, POCA (the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture) gave me all of the tools I needed: a complete clinic start-up guide, a business plan, financial spreadsheets, and an online forum on which to ask questions from other community acupuncturists. When I moved back to the States, I took POCA’s weekend course focused on how to open and run a community acupuncture clinic called “Community Acupuncture 101.”

I met Heather Finn online through the POCA website while I was still in China, and we met in person as soon as I moved to Connecticut.  Within a year she had joined the Many Rivers’ team. Mary Cole and I met soon afterwards at a POCA seminar. At that time, she was working with one of my POCA mentors, Andy Wegman, at his Manchester, NH, community acupuncture clinic.  Little did I know that Mary would also be joining us at Many Rivers!

POCA continues to support our clinic every day. We attend POCA seminars with classes that help us market the clinic effectively, work cooperatively with each other and with our patients, and enhance our acupuncture skills.  When we have questions, we have a whole network of other community acupuncturists who gladly answer our questions and offer advice.

Right now, we are looking for another acupuncturist to join our team, so that we can bring back Saturday hours (and possibly expand our hours even more).  Finding a good community acupuncturist is like finding a needle in a haystack. The type of acupuncture we practice (Balance Method Acupuncture) is not taught during the 4-year Master’s degree in most Chinese Medical schools.   So we have to find someone who not only has undergone the additional training necessary to practice this style of acupuncture, but also is committed to the cause of providing affordable and accessible acupuncture to as many people as possible.

The good news is that POCA has started its own community acupuncture school, POCA Tech.  In a few years, we will have graduates ready and able to work in community acupuncture clinics across the country.

The annual dues paid by POCA members directly support all of POCA’s amazing programs: the POCA Tech school, the POCA continuing education seminars for community acupuncturists, the POCA online forums and wikis, and the micro-loan program that assists new clinics who are just starting out but need the funds to get their clinics open.

Our dream is for a community acupuncture clinic in every town, big and small.  So that anyone who is in pain, or depressed, or just needs a quiet hour surrounded by caring people, can have a clinic near them.

POCA can help make that dream a reality.  Click here to become a member today!


$10 Acupuncture for Teachers in February 2016

Teacher Special in February

We are offering $10 acupuncture treatments for teachers during February 2016.  New and returning patients who are teachers are welcome to take advantage of this special.

“Teachers can benefit greatly from acupuncture,” says Many Rivers owner and acupuncturist Carrie Sawtell, L.Ac.  “My mother was an elementary school teacher for over 30 years and I have seen first-hand how hard of a job it can be both physically and mentally.”

Acupuncture can help teachers in a number of ways.  It can boost the immune system to help ward off the colds and flus that children bring to school.  Many of our regular patients are amazed that their co-workers keep getting sick while they remain healthy.

Acupuncture also eases aches and pains.  Teachers stand on their feet all day.  They can have problems with headaches, or pain in their neck and shoulders, or back and feet, all of which respond well to consistent acupuncture treatments.

Acupuncture also is a quick and effective stress reliever.  Researchers are studying how acupuncture releases oxytocin, which is an important hormone in the parasympathetic nervous system.   This is our “rest and relaxation” nervous system, as opposed to the “fight or flight” response of the sympathetic nervous system.  The feeling of relaxation occurs almost instantly once the tiny acupuncture needles are inserted.

Teachers from all grade levels and working in any local school district or college are eligible for the discounted rate throughout the month of February.  Book your appointment today!

Free Acupuncture Day: Friday, October 2, 2015

free acupuncture day

Friday, October 2

4:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Free acupuncture for all new patients!  Call (860) 683-0011 to schedule.

We will be collecting food to support the Windsor Food Bank at our Free Acupuncture Day.  Food items such as pasta and sauce, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly,  cereal, and canned goods are greatly appreciated.


Acupuncture for Seasonal Allergies

Acupuncture for seasonal allergies

It’s time for a seasonal allergy tune-up!  Did you know that acupuncture can help relieve itchy eyes, sinus congestion, runny nose, clogged ears, and sinus headaches?  Check out this article by NPR about acupuncture for allergies.

If you’re new to acupuncture, we recommend coming twice per week for the first two weeks of treatment, then continuing once per week through allergy season.  (A pre-season boost one month before your allergy symptoms start is also a great idea – so plan ahead for springtime next year.)

Many Rivers Community Acupuncture, LLC

New address effective February 1, 2019
P.O. Box 533
3 Barnard Lane, Suite 205
Bloomfield, CT 06002
(860) 683-0011


We will re-open February 2019

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