Learn About CAMA's History

Elise Rivers started CAMA Wellness Center over 15 years ago. Learn how Elise’s and her staff’s passion for whole-hearted wellness has helped thousands of people become more healthy and vibrant. 

Long ago, we were called Moon River Acupuncture. See pictures about our unique history…

Read about how our mission has poured out our front door and impacted our community.

Green construction, supplies and energy-efficiency are just some of the ways our building is an integral part of our mission.

Our History

Original Moon River poster
Original Moon River poster c. 2005

 In January 2005, Moon River Acupuncture, owned by Elise Rivers, opened its doors!

Located on the 3rd floor of a doctor’s office on E. Sedgwick Street, part of the Partners in Wellness group, we were Philly’s first Walk-in, Community Acupuncture Clinic.

Here are some of our first advertisements:

By 2007, we were open four days a week, and had introduced the sliding scale:

In our early years, we treated hundreds of patients for a flat fee of $25. Eventually, our business outgrew this space, and we went searching for a street-level, store front location – another first for community acupuncture in Philadelphia! 

CAMA finds a new home!

 
 
 

 

 In 2010, the practice moved to 6782 Germantown Avenue and was renamed Community Acupuncture of Mt. Airy (CAMA).  

The new location was an old bank that had been vacant for 7 years and desperately needed rehabilitation!  

On March 29, 2010 we opened Community Acupuncture of Mt. Airy at our new location!

Our Values

Affordability 

Our focus has always been to provide high quality, professional acupuncture.  We offer affordable treatment plans that enable you to receive precisely the support you need at a substantial discount off of one-time treatments.  Read more about our various treatment plans here.  

Beauty

We believe that healing occurs on many levels, and this includes providing a clean, peaceful and beautiful space that supports and fosters your body’s innate healing abilities.  Our space has been created very deliberately and our attention is always placed on these aspects. 

Effectiveness

Acupuncture has been used to treat chronic and various acute conditions for thousands of years; we have reason to have great confidence in its effectiveness, provided the patient commits to their treatment plan. 

Resources

If we don’t think we can help you, we will tell you so, and refer you to one of the many providers, including holistic doctors, who we think could help, using our network developed over 15 years.  

Community

We have the word “community” in our name, not simply because treatments are done with more than one patient in a room (a maximum of 4), but because we are about fostering and being a part of the community we live in.  To that end, we have contributed in multiple ways to the betterment of our community after moving to Germantown Avenue and rehabbing a vacant commercial building.  One of our first decisions was to plant a tree in the empty tree pit outside our building.  Today that tree provided a great deal of beauty and shade.  Next we convinced a number of other businesses nearby to invest in façade improvements, which greatly enhanced the look and feel of this commercial section of Mt. Airy.  

You can watch this video to see before and after photos of the block.  

Here is a list of our contributions to making Mt. Airy a great place to live, work and play:

Donated public seating at Wm. Allen Plaza across from the WaWa 7301 Germantown Ave
Organized matching grant to raise money for the revitalization of Lovett Library Park
First prize winner of the Philadelphia Gardens Contest for the beautification of the 6700 block of Germantown Avenue
Sponsorship of free community events such as Mt Airy's Outdoor Community Drum Circle, currently in its 9th season.
Creation of on-going low cost community events providing lifestyle and food education for longer, happier lives.
Creator and founder of the annual Mt Airy Holistic Health Fair to provide information about local alternative health care options and to network these providers.

Give While Receiving

Last but not least, we have an informal program we call Give While Receiving at CAMA to foster  the greater good. To that end, every year CAMA donates thousands of dollars toward 3 local, national and international causes, as chosen by our patients.  In this way, patient fees result in giving to causes they would like to benefit each time they come in for treatment.  See our display in the waiting room for this year’s charities.

Out 2019 Recipients:

Local

PAR-Recycle Works

People Advancing Reintegraton in Germantown provides transitional employment to people returning to the community from prison through an environmentally responsible electronics recycling service. Working with municipalities, businesses, faith-based organizations and other major institutions, they disassemble computers and other electronics and recycle them into valuable components that are sold to generate revenue to pay their employees. By providing employees with much needed skills and opportunities, they reduce re-cidivism, environmental damage and waste, and contribute to stronger, stable families.

National

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

This group of Western trained medical doctors have extensively reviewed the current, scientific evidence and concluded that a whole foods plant-based diet is in fact medicine that can prevent, and often reverse the major diseases of our time: heart disease, diabetes and cancer. They are committed to educating doctors (who do not learn this critical information in medical school) and other health care providers about these facts so they know to first prescribe dietary changes, instead of drugs, when appropriate.

International

Embracing the World®

Mata Amritanandamayi otherwise known throughout the world as “Amma” has a simple yet profound conviction – that each of us has a responsibility to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate. Her organization is a global network of local and regional charitable organizations and projects. Currently active in more than 40 countries, their mission is to help alleviate the burden of the world’s poor by helping to meet each of their five basic needs – food, shelter, education, healthcare and livelihood – wherever and whenever possible.

As a 9 year board member of the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District (MBID), many volunteer hours spent restoring beauty to the Mt. Airy commercial corridor, including  heading the committee that placed 100 flower baskets on Germantown Ave,  installing 30 sidewalk planters, as well as initiating the first pocket park at Germantown and Carpenter Lane. Cumulatively, these efforts resulted in winning the award for Best of the MBID in 2015.  See the video here.

Developed and sponsored a show about the history of East Mt. Airy in 2018, educating residents about the architectural heritage around them.  Proceeds from sold out shows donated to Historic Germantown, East Mt. Airy Neighbors and Mt. Airy Learning Tree.   This show is 1.5 hours long and can be accessed here.

Sustainability

Originally uninsulated
Insulated with custom windows and 3 stage 5 star climate control

The building that houses CAMA was completely remodeled in 2009-10.  We knew it was important to create a space for healing that was as non-toxic as possible.  Therefore we used only environmentally friendly water based paints and stains, and purchased non-off gassing carpet.  We use only non-toxic cleaning products as evaluated by the Environmental Working Group, sanitize our hands and wipe down surfaces with a non-toxic but highly effective germicidal, and recycle as much of our packaging and materials as we can.  

 

We also use only high quality essential oils in our diffuser, to ensure that patients receive the health benefits from the inhalation of those oils. Finally, CAMA’s heating and cooling system is a state of the art energy efficient system; air filters are changed regularly to ensure clean and fresh air in the space.

BEFORE
AFTER

CAMA Media

We’ve been featured in numerous press and media shows. Learn more about us and our values below. 

healing

Learn About CAMA

2018 Mt. Airy Holistic Health Fair

Maria Fanelli interviews Elise Rivers of CAMA Wellness

Elise Rivers "Startup Story Slam"- June 2016

Elise Rivers Wins Best of Bid 2015

The Not So Hidden Agenda