Your qi, your back and your wallet out of whack? In China, acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to alleviate everything from circulatory to digestive troubles, gynecological to neurological issues, pain both chronic and specific, and a double rainbow of other ailments. In the West, those barely-there needles are just as efficacious, but they require repeat and costly pokes most often on a cold, clinical table. While completing her master's degree in Oriental medicine, Valerie Brown worked in China's Sichuan province, where patients are treated in a relaxed group setting. Luckily for Eastsiders living in pain but on a ramen budget, she brought the concept to Eagle Rock Community Acupuncture. A patient's first visit to Brown's clinic features a warm and extensive discussion of what ails them; sessions take place in a spacious room replete with soothing music, mood lighting and a collection of overstuffed recliners. The comfy Zen not only seems to make the treatments more effective, the group setting allows the clinic to operate on a very non-Western sliding payment scale. 2042 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock. (323) 255-2700,

—Skylaire Alfvegren

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.