Community Acupuncture Defined (From Fractal: About Community Acupuncture by Lisa Rohleder, L.Ac)
"What is Community Acupuncture really? We define it as the practice of offering acupuncture:
1. in a setting where multiple patients receive treatments at the same time;
2. by financially sustainable and accountable means;
3. within a context of accessibility created by consistent hours, frequent treatments, affordable services, and lowering all the barriers to treatment that we possibly can, for as many people as possible, while continuing to be financially self-sustaining; and
4. with a commitment to social justice in health care."
So what does this all mean? Community acupuncture is a way to give effective acupuncture to lots of people at a very low cost. This involves treating everyone in a large communal room, while they rest comfortably in recliner chairs. Each person can be treated quickly and effectively while keeping the cost to a minimum. Acupuncture works best when patients can get multiple treatments. Unfortunately most people can't afford to do this in the 1-patient per hour style of acupuncture where treatment prices range anywhere from $50-$100. That's why we love community acupuncture! We will give you a treatment plan of how many visits we recommend and you get to decide what you can afford to pay within our sliding scale ($20-$40 return visits, $30-$50 first visit) each time you come. No income verification. No questions asked! We find the group dynamic actually adds to the treatment process by creating a quiet restful atmosphere. First-timers will find comfort in seeing other people completely relaxed and at ease with acupuncture. And people love being able to come in with their friends or family members!
Treating in a community setting is not a new concept. Acupuncture has been around for approximately 2,500 years. In Asia, acupuncture has always been performed in a group setting. Even in poor rural villages, people had access to inexpensive treatments. When acupuncture came to the West, the model changed and acupuncture was performed in individual settings at a high cost. In Portland, Oregon some wonderful folks decided to change this model. They opened Working Class Acupuncture and later started the People's Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA). POCA clinics works together to share information, practices and resources. Our goal is to work together to make acupuncture affordable and accessible to the masses.
We are a proud member of POCA (People's Organization of Community Acupuncture, pocacoop.com). If you have friends or family members in other cities/states that might benefit from community acupuncture, click here to check POCA's website for other clinics.
Flow Community Acupuncture does not discriminate on the basis of race, nationality, age, weight, religion, politics, education, ability, HIV status, sex, gender or sexual orientation. All are welcome at our clinic!
To learn more about the Community Acupuncture movement check out this documentary... (*CAN/Community Acupuncture Network is now POCA/People's Organization of Community Acupuncture)