Jennifer Leonard L.Ac. discusses the concept of community-style acupuncture.
by Jennifer Leonard L.Ac., Olde Town Acupuncture and Wellness Center, Arvada, CO
Community-style acupuncture clinics are on the rise everywhere through out the country. This sustainable business model has been able to bring acupuncture from the outskirts of complementary medicine to the inner circle of care for every person, regardless of income, location and age.
For decades, acupuncture in America has been an elusive treatment to anyone who could not afford a private hour session. These sessions typically can run anywhere between $60 and $100 an hour and are certainly considered a luxury for many people. The client has the one on one attention of the practitioner and a room to themselves. This model of one patient to one room is required in some circumstances for privacy reasons when clothes need to be removed or when having the undivided attention of the practitioner is called for. But, in many cases, it has allowed only those in the upper middle to upper class income bracket to take advantage of this wonderfully helpful medicine. In many cases, the same treatment can be provided in a group setting that is more affordable.
In China, where acupuncture originated, all treatments are done in a “community” or shared setting. This model is simply one where a large room may have several tables and chairs for people to be treated on. Here in the United States, many community style acupuncture practices use soft lighting, relaxing music and blankets to make the experience as relaxing as possible. The practitioner and patient can spend time one on one talking about the concerns to be addressed with the treatment. However, during the time that the patient is resting, the practitioner has the flexibility to see other patients.
One of the biggest benefits of this style of acupuncture is that of the collective relaxation experience. Similar to group meditation, many find it easier to let go and fall into the deeply restful state that comes with acupuncture when they are surrounded by other people who are doing the same. For the patient, this not only increases the positive association of taking time out of a busy schedule to address health concerns, but also increases the efficacy of the treatment by allowing the relaxed body to mend illness.
Community acupuncture clinics have proven to be a sustainable business model as well as a much more accessible form of complimentary health care. To learn more or to locate a clinic near you, check out www.communityacupuncturenetwork.org.
Note: There are many community clinics that offer both private and community acupuncture as well as other services such as massage, reflexology, etc. These are not listed on the website provided above.
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