Community Acupuncture

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What is Community Acupuncture?

• Community Acupuncture is a growing movement offering affordable acupuncture in a comfortable and peaceful group setting.

Most US acupuncturists treat patients on tables in individual rooms. This is not traditional in Asia, where acupuncture usually occurs in a community setting. In our clinic we primarily use massage tables, divided by shoji screens for privacy in a quiet, soothing space. Treating patients in a community setting has many benefits: it’s easy for friends and family members to come in for treatment together; many patients find it comforting and a collective energetic field becomes established which actually makes individual treatments more powerful.

The style of acupuncture we practice at KCA allows patients to keep their needles in as long as they want, and the “right” amount of time varies from patient to patient. Most people learn after a few treatments when they feel “done”; this can take from twenty minutes to a couple of hours! Many people fall asleep, and wake feeling refreshed.

We have a sliding scale

Most US acupuncturists see only one patient per hour and charge $65 to $175 per treatment. These treatments have the advantage of having more one on one time per session.  However, we find that with the thorough initial intake interview and the ability to see patients more often we are able to cover a lot of ground in the shorter time we spend with patients.  This allows us to treat multiple individuals in an hour and keep the cost of treatment at the affordable $25-$40 sliding scale rate. This closely resembles how acupuncture is practiced traditionally in China.

Please download the financial policy form on the home page that explains our sliding scale. Because we have a sliding scale, we cannot do insurance billing (that’s the insurance companies’ rule). If you have insurance that covers acupuncture, we’ll be happy to give you a payment receipt, and you can submit it; that’s OK with the insurance companies.

Our Commitment to You

We want to make it possible for you to receive acupuncture regularly enough and long enough to get better and stay better. We want our community to be welcoming to all different kinds of people. We want to give you the tools to take care of your own health.  We will provide a safe environment with skilled practitioners. When appropriate we will offer dietary advice, herbal formulas or exercise routines to aid in your healing process.

What We Need From You

Responsibility

KCA does not provide primary care medicine! Acupuncture is a wonderful complement to Western medicine, but it is not a substitute for it. If you think you have a problem that is not “garden variety” (meaning, you are worried that you might have a serious infection, a malignant growth, or an injury that won’t heal), or if you want someone to go over the details of your medical history from a western medical perspective, you need to see a primary care physician (MD or DO). We can provide some excellent, affordable referrals, even if you have no insurance coverage. But you cannot expect us to diagnose something really serious. We can provide complimentary care for conditions which require a physician’s attention.  For instance, we often treat patients for the side effects of chemotherapy. But we need you to take responsibility for your own health.

Flexibility

The community setting requires some flexibility from you.

We have a few patients who snore. Other patients who dislike snoring bring earplugs to their treatments. We are grateful for this!  Basically, we need you to participate in making yourself comfortable in the community room before we arrive to treat you.

In terms of how long you want to stay, tell the office manager or the acupuncturist, when you check in, if you need to be somewhere at a certain time! We’ll make sure you’re out on time. In general, if you feel done, open your eyes and give us a meaningful look, if your eyes are closed, we think you’re asleep and we won’t wake you up.  If you are laying face-down for your treatment we will check on you at regular intervals to see if you are ready to get off the table.

Community-Mindedness

The soothing atmosphere in our clinic exists because all of our patients create it by relaxing together. We appreciate everyone’s presence! This kind of collective stillness is a rare and precious thing in our rushed and busy society. Maintaining this reservoir of calm requires a lowered speaking voice in the clinic space.

Re-scheduling and making payments happens at the front desk BEFORE each treatment, so you can relax and enjoy your treatment. Please take all personal belongings, (bags, shoes, etc.) with you back into the treatment room. And of course, please turn off your cell phone.

Commitment

Acupuncture is a process. It is very rare for any acupuncturist to be able to resolve a problem with one treatment. In China, a typical treatment protocol for a chronic condition could be acupuncture every other day for three months! Most of our patients don’t need that much acupuncture, but virtually every patient requires a course of treatment, rather than a single treatment, in order to get what they want from acupuncture.

Acupuncture works.  All of our satisfied patients basically made a commitment to a course of treatment. On your first visit, your acupuncturist will suggest a course of treatment, which can be anything from “we’d like to see you once a week for six weeks” to “we’d really like to see you every day for the next four days”. This suggestion is based on our experience with treating different kinds of conditions. If you don’t come in often enough or long enough, acupuncture may not work for you as effectively as it does for others who do.   The most common course we suggest is twice a week to start for chronic conditions or once a week for conditions that are not as severe.    With some conditions such as symptoms associated with Lyme disease we will ask that you come in for three days in a row.

The purpose of our sliding scale is to help you make this commitment. If you have questions about how long it will take to see results, please ask us, or if you think you need to adjust your treatment plan, please let us know. We know many of you have very busy schedules so we will work with you to integrate your treatment plan into your schedule.

We want you to be comfortable and enjoy the peaceful environment we strive to create in our clinic.

Thank you,

Kingston Community Acupuncture Staff

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