What is Community Acupuncture?
Community acupuncture (CA) is a style of acupuncture treatment that involves several patients being treated at once by multiple practitioners in a large, open treatment space. Because of the open nature, there is naturally no sound privacy available, and so intakes are kept brief and quiet. This is one of the reasons that community acupuncture is not suitable for more complex conditions, there is simply not the time in this setting.
In our CA setup, we will be using Suite 307, which many of you may know as Eric’s treatment room. It is a large space that is divided into two portions by curtains. We have 8 comfortable “zero gravity” chairs, each equipped by super cozy heating pads. Every effort is made to clean and sanitize the chairs between patients. All chairs face to the West towards the big windows, so there will always be something interesting to see during your treatment.
Community Acupuncture Schedule
We’re starting out offering this service monthly. If it is well received and we can muster adequate staffing, we will increase frequency. If you would like us to offer this service more frequently, why not answer our Community Acupuncture survey and let us know? We appreciate your feedback!
If you’d like to see the schedule of upcoming sessions, see our schedule.
Pricing & Payment for Community Acupuncture
We are currently charging $30 for CA, and no insurance billing is available. Insurance billing requires a lot of time and labor which drives up our costs. By offering this as a cash-only treatment we can keep the cost to you low. We hope that this offering will be helpful for people who do not have health insurance, or have insurance that doesn’t cover their whole treatment plan. We will be evaluating things as we go and adjusting as necessary.
How long does a community acupuncture appointment last?
From start to finish, the appointment is about 45 minutes. This includes a brief intake, the acupuncture treatment itself, and then a period of rest where the acupuncture needles are helping your body to help itself! Being on time is very helpful to ensure that everything flows well – thank you!
What should you expect at a session?
Prior to your appointment, you will receive an invitation to fill out intake forms online. These are relatively brief, but very important, so please take care of them as quickly as possible. If you cannot fill them out online, please arrive 10-15m early so you are ready to go when your treatment time arrives. You will also receive some information via email about Community Acupuncture – in fact you may be reading this page because of that email! You will receive reminders about your appointment 24 and 2 hours before your treatment time.
When you arrive at the clinic, check in at the front desk in Suite 308. You will either be taken directly to Suite 307 and seated, or wait briefly in the waiting area until someone comes to get you. Once in the treatment suite, you’ll be helped to get as comfortable as possible in your acupuncture chair. These chairs recline almost to a lying down position, but can also slide up into a normal seated position, depending on what is most comfortable for you. You’ll also be able to adjust the heating pad warmth to your level of comfort – the ultimate in luxury! 🙂
Your practitioner will greet you, ask about your primary complaints, possibly feel the pulse or check out your tongue, and then perform a treatment. They will make sure you’re comfortable and then leave you to rest for 25-30 minutes. They may come by once or twice to adjust needles or to otherwise interact, but unlike with 1-on-1 treatment, they won’t be able to spend a lot of time chatting, since they will be taking care of other patients at the same time.
At the end of treatment, the needles will be removed and then you can get up and head to the front desk to reschedule and pay, if you didn’t pre-pay. You will feel relaxed after treatment, may experience immediate pain relief, and during the 24 hours afterwards will likely experience a lessening of symptoms. Some conditions require multiple treatments for significant relief, and of course there are conditions that do not respond to treatment – just like with any medical modality.
Can I chat with the other patients & providers during treatment?
We ask that you keep talking to a minimum, even with your provider, during treatment. This helps to create a more pleasant and relaxing atmosphere for everyone. While this style of treatment is community based, it is not meant to be an opportunity for socializing. Please also limit your talking, and talk using a quiet voice, when you arrive and leave, and in the main hallway of the building at all times. We appreciate your help in ensuring a serene atmosphere!
What should you wear to Community Acupuncture treatment?
Coming appropriately dressed is very important for CA since there is no privacy for changing your clothes as there is during 1-on-1 treatment. Please wear loose fitting clothes such that your legs could be exposed at least up to the knee, and your arms at least up to the elbow, preferably the shoulder. The vast majority of acupuncture points used in this style of treatment are done on the forearms, lower legs and head. We’ll do our very best to keep you warm during treatment!
PLEASE DO NOT WEAR STRONG FRAGRANCES to community acupuncture. This includes strong shampoo, lotion or soap, afershave, as well as essential oils, perfume and cologne. Many people are very sensitive to strong odors, and because this is a group setting, we all want to work to try to make a pleasant experience for everyone!
What conditions can be treated with Community Acupuncture?
CA can treat anything that acupuncture can treat, so you may want to visit our main Acupuncture page to learn more. That said, the CA setting is particularly well suited for:
- Musculoskeletal pain including neck pain, back pain, leg pain, shoulder pain, hand/thumb pain and headaches
- Symptoms of stress, overwork & burnout
- PMS including menstrual cramps and emotional volatility
- Constipation, bloating and some types of abdominal pain
- General wellness, immune system support
When is Community Acupuncture not an appropriate treatment style?
- If your condition is very complex, requiring in-depth conversation and diagnosis
- If your situation requires a lot of sensitive conversation that would be inappropriate for a group setting
- Many internal medicine conditions including auto-immune conditions are better handled in the 1-on-1 setting
- If you are immunocompromised or are easily overwhelmed by other people’s energy and experience
- If you need or want an herbal formula
- Some conditions or situations may require needling on the trunk of the body, or the use of cupping, moxibustion and other techniques we cannot offer in the CA setting. If your practitioner feels that this applies to you, they will let you know and you can discuss more details from there. If you’d like to talk about this before coming in, just reach out any time.
Why offer Community Acupuncture?
Because CA treatment is relatively inexpensive, we hope it will allow for people who are under-insured or uninsured to access this powerful medicine! Because of the low barrier of entry, we also hope that people who have never had acupuncture before will give it a try to see if it might become a regular feature of their healthcare moving forward!
How are we helping to reduce virus transmission in this group setting?
We have always taken prevention of disease transmission a priority in our operations – really stepping it up during the pandemic. We are taking the following measures to help limit the likelihood that these sessions will become community disease transmission events.
- Practitioners will be masked. If you would like to mask, we encourage it, and will have a supply of surgical masks available to you at no extra charge.
- We will be running multiple high capacity HEPA filters at all times during the session, these have been shown to be highly effective at limiting circulating virus in the air!
- Whenever possible we will have windows open to allow for increased ventilation.
- Chairs & heating pads are covered by a sheet changed between each patient
- Areas of the chair that aren’t covered by the sheet (handles) will be otherwise sanitized between each patient
- We ask that patients and providers do not come to treatment if they have been exposed to a virus recently, if a household member is ill, or if they are experiencing viral illness symptoms – this is the kindest thing we can do for one another! You will not be charged a late cancellation fee if you cancel at the last minute due to illness!
What if you don’t show up for your appointment or cancel very late?
If you cancel less than 24 hours before your treatment, or just don’t show up, we will bill your card on file for the full treatment amount – $30. We give everyone a freebie – things happen! And we always give a lot of grace for emergencies and illness, so just reach out if that’s your situation. If you repeatedly fail to show up for appointments, or cancel at the very last minute, you may be asked to only schedule same-day appointments. Our treatment time is limited, and we want to make sure we are serving as many people as we can – this policy is an effort to help us do that.