Telluride Acupuncturist Josh Geetter and other local healthcare practitioners re-launch integrative community health clinic

For more than a decade in the early 2000s, a group of acupuncture and other health practitioners offered a weekly community clinic in Telluride.

The clinic was a no-frills affair held in a communal setting, and the point was to offer low-cost care to all who needed it. A rotating cast of practitioners participated over the years, treating patients with acupuncture, massage, Oriental medicine and more.

The clinic stopped operating in 2011, leaving what some saw as a gap in accessible health care. But now, a handful of practitioners are reviving the clinic, bringing weekly low-cost treatment back to the box canyon.

Acupuncturists Joshua Geetter, Benjamin Hawes and soon-to-be-licensed Ramie Holmquist, along with Joanna Lyons of the San Miguel Wellness Center, are launching a new version of the integrative clinic in conjunction with the Telluride Elks Lodge.

The clinic will run on Tuesdays in the ground floor room at the Elks Lodge. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine will be the standard offering, along with nutritional and cleansing consultations and medical massage, and the practitioners will treat multiple patients simultaneously in the ground floor room of the lodge. The clinic’s first day is Tuesday.

“Our intention is to have this be broad-based and fully integrated,” Geetter said. “Ramie, Ben and myself are collaborating as a guild of Oriental medicine to grow the pie instead of competing over the pie, and to make a more united presentation of Oriental medicine to the town.”

Geetter, a well-known acupuncturist who has been practicing in Telluride for several years, spearheaded the effort to revive the clinic. As one of the acupuncturists who was involved in the old clinic, which he calls the “Ah Haa Clinic” because it took place at Telluride’s art school, Geetter said he was sad to see it shut down.

“When it expired, I was really upset,” Geetter said. “I have a really strong commitment to public health, so I’ve wanted to reinvent that clinic or to revive it.”

(Geetter has run a similar weekly clinic in Hotchkiss since 2007.)

With the arrival of Holmquist and Hawes in town, Geetter said, he saw the opportunity make it happen, and the acupuncturists started putting together a plan. The three spoke on Jan. 1 (the Gregorian new year) to map out their plan, and met again to confirm the plan on Jan. 31 (the Chinese new year) — which Geetter takes as a good sign.

Hawes is a licensed acupuncturist who has been practicing in the Cortez area since 2003. The Dolores resident said he’s been wanting to do acupuncture in more of a community setting for some time, and he’s also been wanting to practice more in Telluride. The community clinic is a way to do both.

Hawes said the community clinic, where several people get care at the same time, offers a good experience at a low cost.

“What most people who come end up finding is that it’s actually really nice to be around some other people who are getting healing done,” Hawes said. “It’s kind of this nice hushed, warm environment. There’s this amazing energy in the room.”

And, he added, the community setting doesn’t diminish the quality of care.

“You’re not getting acupuncture light, it’s the real thing,” he said.

Acupuncture is the foundation of the clinic’s treatment, but the practitioners hope to offer a holistic experience with many treatment options.

In that vein, Lyons, who focuses on cleansing, digestive health, colon hydrotherapy, nutrition and lowering toxicity, will be doing consultations.

“We are really excited about this,” she said. “I’m hoping that other practitioners will join in as well and it will be an all-around community health center.”

Geetter said other licensed and insured practitioners are encouraged to participate — they can call him for an interview.

The practitioners will treat a huge array of ailments, from pain and sports injuries to insomnia, women’s health, digestive problems, degenerative diseases and even the infamous “Telluride crud.”

“Basically, people can come in with everything from A to Z,” Geetter said.

Treatments are $50 for those who can afford it, but the clinic offers a sliding scale.

“Because this is community medicine, no one will be turned away for lack of funds,” Geetter said.

People who are interested in treatment can visit, where they will find online signup forms and other information.