Photo by Caron Creighton

April 2, 2021 Updated: April 2, 2021 at 1:53 p.m.

Video: Caron Creighton

Inspired by her migrant mother’s struggles with the health system, UCSF medical student Bernadette Lim founded the Freedom Community Clinic in 2019, a health and healing service that offers traditional holistic healing methods such as acupuncture, massage and Reiki to black, brown and indigenous communities in the Bay Area . According to Lim, at least 2,300 people were cared for through their pop-up clinics.

“We are really the first time that people try these healing methods. And that’s a big responsibility. We love it because people are realizing that this can be really beneficial for them, ”Lim said.

The clinic also offers blood pressure monitoring, STI training, and Narcan training. They serve a wide cross-section of communities in the Bay Area, provide healing services to undocumented or mixed status youth and unhodged communities, and offer pop-up clinics during protests.

The team also operates several other targeted healing clinics under the Freedom Community Clinic umbrella, including non-pediatric clinics. They work in camps, distribute first aid kits and provide wound care, in addition to other traditional healing modalities such as massage and acupuncture.

“I was born and raised in West Oakland,” said Sabrina Valadez-Rios, who runs these clinics. “Unfortunately there is a lot of homelessness going on there. The camps are getting bigger and bigger. “

They focus on training people living in camps in basic wound care and are currently fundraising for a mobile health clinic in collaboration with the People’s Program.

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The Freedom Community Clinic brings traditional holistic healing modalities like acupuncture, massage and Reiki to the black, brown and indigenous communities in the Bay Area. Krista Washington discusses the organization’s services with a client.

Caron Creighton

Eli Jimenez helps a community member sign up for a free health treatment.  The Freedom Community Clinic brings traditional holistic healing modalities like acupuncture, massage and Reiki to the black, brown and indigenous communities in the Bay Area.

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Eli Jimenez helps a community member sign up for a free health treatment. The Freedom Community Clinic brings traditional holistic healing modalities like acupuncture, massage and Reiki to the black, brown and indigenous communities in the Bay Area.

Caron Creighton

The Freedom Community Clinic brings traditional holistic healing modalities like acupuncture, massage and Reiki to the black, brown and indigenous communities in the Bay Area.  Bernadette Lim provides Sabrina Valadez-Rios with Reiki energy.3of3

The Freedom Community Clinic brings traditional holistic healing modalities like acupuncture, massage and Reiki to the black, brown and indigenous communities in the Bay Area. Bernadette Lim provides Sabrina Valadez-Rios with Reiki energy.

Caron Creighton

Caron Creighton is a digital video producer for The San Francisco Chronicle. Before joining The Chronicle, she was an intern at the Associated Press in Jerusalem and produced a project for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting on the struggles of Eritrean migrants in Israel. Caron has received regional Mark of Excellence awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting and is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. Caron is a graduate of the University of California’s Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism in 2019.

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