About James Shelton

James is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the state of Rhode Island. He is a member of POCA, the Peoples Organization for Community Acupuncture and a proud graduate of POCA Tech, Portland, Oregon. 

James is a Diplomate of Acupuncture with the NCCAOM, formerly the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.


James was born in the traditional land of the Narragansett Nation, Providence, Rhode Island. He is one of 5 children of a former Catholic priest, community organizer and a former Catholic nun, professor of nursing, woman’s studies and community health. He grew up in a household promoting peace and social, racial and economic justice with his sister and three brothers. 

While studying Anthropology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, in 1994, James began practicing Tai Chi Chuan, Qi Gung and Yoga with Inpu Ka Mut. Inpu taught the Yang style, in the tradition brought to the United States by GrandMaster Da Liu. This relationship was continued through the years with visits to Los Angeles and post-Covid on-line classes of the Khasa Aha group. 

Tai Chi and Shaolin Kung Fu classes were continued at the Way of the Dragon school in East Providence. 

In 2006, James was helping his partner, Jessica Gill start her business, Ancora, an art gallery and a purveyor of vintage, consigned and original designs, when she had a reoccurrence of cancer. One place where Jessica was able to find some relief and peace was Providence Community Acupuncture, PCA. 

Tragically, Jessica passed away in 2008. James continued with community acupuncture at PCA, joined POCA and in 2014, moved to Portland, Oregon to be part of the first cohort at POCA Tech, a school for Liberation Acupuncture. 

While at POCA Tech, James co-created a series of images portraying the philosophical and practical forerunners called the Ancestors of Liberation Acupuncture. https://www.pocacoop.com/publications/use/liberation-acupuncture-ancestor-postcards 

After graduating from POCA Tech, James returned to Providence to work at PCA and continued collaboration with community acupuncturist/ author Lisa Rohleder, co-illustrating 3 of Lisa’s books. 

In 2019 James started Ancora Acupuncture, beginning with an art installation at AS220.https://as220.org/art-of-liberation-acupuncture-a-conversation-with-james-shelton/ 


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