What is Community Acupuncture?
Community Acupuncture is a growing movement offering affordable acupuncture in a comfortable and peaceful group 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.
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 an hour. Many people fall asleep, and wake feeling refreshed.
Below is an excellent video made by Northeast Community Acupuncture in Minneapolis for people who have never had acupuncture before. It also explains the community clinic format and experience. Keep in mind that our clinic uses full massage tables separated by screens instead of recliner chairs so your experience will be semi-private as opposed to having everyone visible to each other during treatment.
We have a sliding scale
If you have the means to afford private acupuncture treatments (which run $85-$125) we highly encourage you seek treatment with an acupuncturist who offers them. There are many incredible practitioners in our area. You will be both supporting local business and helping us keep spaces open for those who are truly unable to afford those rates.
The sliding scale is offered with a base rate that is consistent with most insurance copays. Many people ask why anyone would pay any higher than the base rate of the scale but paying on the middle to upper end of the scale helps keep us from having to raise the base rate of treatments so that those who are struggling financially can continue to pay on the lower end of the scale. Some people will change their payment from week to week depending on how they are doing financially during that time while others pay the same rate for every treatment. You are not obligated by any means to pay higher than the base rate and your treatment is not affected by what you choose to pay.
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
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.
The community setting requires some flexibility from you. We are aware that traffic can be congested at times in Kingston and how tough it is to find parking in uptown at times. We will make the best effort to accommodate you if you are late but please understand that in order to keep an affordable clinic like this in business we need to be able to see people on a tight schedule. This is how we make it work. We want to make sure we can spend as much time as we can focused on your treatment however, if you are more than ten minutes late we may have to reschedule you if our day is booked solid. We truly wish that we didn’t have to do this but it is the only way we can insure that patients whose appointments follow yours and who have arrived on time do not lose valuable time towards their treatment and that the entire schedule is not thrown off.
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.
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 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.
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 symptoms associated as 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.
Kingston Community Acupuncture Staff