PORTLAND, OR—Alternative-medicine practitioner Annabeth Severin, a Portland-area acupuncturist and holistic healer, announced Tuesday that she is refusing to accept anything but conventional monetary compensation from her patients. "I'm sorry, but there just isn't any sound economic theory to support the idea that bartering or visualization of payment has the same effect as traditional cash or check up front," Severin said. Her customers are protesting her billing methods, saying that removing money from their accounts would be financially invasive and spiritually upsetting to their karmic and bank balances.