We’ve heard the saying that laughter is the best medicine, but sometimes medicine is the best medicine.


Recently, Front Porch Improv on Victory Drive became home to Front Porch Community Acupuncture. It may seem like an odd location for an acupuncture practice, but Doctor Gabriella Rivera explained to me that it’s actually a fortunate fit.



How did Front Porch Acupuncture start?


"I am a doctor of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. I’ve been in practice for seven years now.


"There are different ways to practice acupuncture and offer that to the community. Most people know that as private practice where people see an acupuncturist one-on-one.


"The model that I’m practicing in Savannah is community style acupuncture. That is a little bit different than the one-on-one. Community acupuncture is set in a communal room. I can treat three or four people an hour. The benefit of that is I can keep prices low and make acupuncture affordable for everyone. That’s the main reason for using this business style.


"People are super stressed, and a lot of people have lost their insurance. I wanted to be able to offer a service that’s so relevant right now and make it affordable."


How did your relationship with Front Porch Improv happen?


"Brianne Halverson, one of the directors and improvisers and Front Porch, and I have known each other for 20 years. Our backgrounds together were in education in New York City and art.


"There’s always been this discussion of art and the healing arts for us. Now with COVID and the economy the way it is, it just allowed us to take that conversation a step further and bring our resources together to offer that for the community."


What kind of response have you seen from the community so far?


"Great! The acupuncture has only been open since [August] 10. People are coming in. People are excited about it. They don’t have to pay $80. It’s a sliding scale.


"People can now come and address their health concerns once or twice a week without having to budget it in."


Do you have any plans to expand in the future?


"I’m practicing out of the Front Porch Improv space at the moment. It’s not necessarily going to be Front Porch Community Acupuncture’s permanent home, but for now, we’re bringing these resources together for the community.


"It may not be the most ideal spot for the clinic, but it’s a start."


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