So here's a twist on the Tupperware parties and sex-toy parties of yore: My friend Beth Griffing is a licensed acupuncturist who recently began offering at-home "Acuparties"—round up a group of 7-10 friends, and for $10 a person she'll come to your house, give an introduction to acupuncture, and do some basic treatment. I hosted an acufunction on Sunday; she told us what to look for in choosing a practitioner, explained how various styles of acupuncture developed over time, answered our questions, and spent a few minutes speaking with each of us about our general health. Then she poked needles in us! Which is kind of a funny thing to have happen in your living room on a Sunday afternoon. It was like a very bourgie opium den.
Sunday was my first time getting acupuncture and I have no particular feelings about its effectiveness—friends say it helps with migraines and allergies, science says "placebo effect." (I think I come down on the side of, what's wrong with a little ritualized placebo effect?) But I enjoyed learning about acupuncture's history, as well as watching Beth treat my friends, listening to the questions she asked each of us and learning why she made the decisions she made. (I told her it was like watching a body detective. I also told her she could try catcupuncture on my cat. She declined.) Admitting full bias—Beth is a good buddy of mine—it was about as solid an introduction to acupuncture as I can imagine, and it was fun to hang around my living room with friends who had needles sticking out of their heads. Beth also, as her website notes, "enjoys working with clients who are completely new to acupuncture and may look at this medicine with a skeptical eye, because she leans toward the analytic and skeptical herself," which means you can ask her your incredulous questions without feeling like you are trampling all over someone's worldview.
Details on organizing your own party are right over here.