5 Frequently Asked Questions about Community Acupuncture
Some of you might hear community acupuncture and wonder what it is and whether it is for you. This blog will focus on community acupuncture and hope you will experience the beauty of it.
What is community acupuncture?
Group vs One on One
The biggest difference between community acupuncture and private acupuncture is how you accept your treatment. You will accept a treatment with a group of other patients in a common area. Not in a private room with just yourself and your acupuncturist.
Depending on the community clinic, you might see at least two recliners. One acupuncturist will have a talk with each patient, check his/her pulse, and put needles in accordingly in front of other patients at the same common space.
The other big difference is the intake process. In general, the private one on one practice has a long (60 minutes at least) initial session. That’s when the acupuncturist has a long discussion with you about your illness and overall lifestyle.
Because community acupuncture is a group setting, the acupuncturist will not be able to have a prolonged conversation about your entire illness history. Also, since you are in a common area with other patients, most of the time the conversation is low volume to keep the quietness.
Where needles insert
Because you are with a few other patients in the common area, most of the needles will go on your arms, legs, and neck up.
Some community clinics have massage chairs which allows patients to lay flat to have needles in the back or abdomen.
If you are in one on one session, you would most likely to have a choice to wear a robe and the acupuncturist would be able to ask you to partially uncover your hip if needed.
Community acupuncture is a movement to make acupuncture more accessible by lowering the cost.
Most of the community acupuncture clinics would have an initial visit fee. It might range from $10 to $25. The follow up visit might range from $20 to $40. Most of the clinics would have a suggestion amount.
In general, a private one on one acupuncture clinic might take $100 more for initial intake and $75 per follow up visit.
The location of the clinics would make a big difference on the cost. For more details about price, please see this blog.
What do you benefit from community acupuncture?
As community acupuncture is a movement to make acupuncture more accessible by lowering the cost, the first benefit is a lower cost.
Acupuncture might take a few sessions to kick in. Thus, community acupuncture would provide a much more cost effective way to get treatments.
Sense of community
Because a community acupuncture is not a one on one session, you will see other patients come and go while you are getting your treatment. For some people, a sense of community and togetherness is soothing.
Flexibility to accommodate your schedule
When you visit one on one clinic, your acupuncturist will only treat you at that specific time frame. Thus, his/her availability is more limited.
At community acupuncture, an acupuncturist would take care of a couple of patients at a time. Thus, you might find more time slots available for you to see your favorite acupuncturist.
Who is community acupuncture for?
Community acupuncture is basically for everyone. For the namesake, it is “community.” It welcomes everyone who is willing to participate.
At the same time, if you are very private about seeing acupuncturists and do not feel comfortable to share a common space with others while you take an acupuncture nap, an one on one session would provide the privacy and absolute quietness you need.
What you should wear for community acupuncture?
Since you will be at a common space with others, your community acupuncturists are most likely to put needles into your limbs and neck above.
To make sure your acupuncturists could reach more areas, please wear loose fit clothes. It will work the best if you can roll your pants to your knees. If you want to bring shorts to exchange, it works too.
The general what to wear and what not to wear rules applies to both community acupuncture and a private one on one session.
For more details on what to wear, please see the blog.
How to find a community acupuncture clinic near you?
People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA) is an organization dedicated to community acupuncture. Thus, they have a list of acupuncture clinics which follow the POCA guideline.
Google Maps also provides some results when you search “community acupuncture.” Be aware Google will bring non community acupuncture results as well.