COMMUNITY -VS- INDIVIDUAL ACUPUNCTURE
Frequently Asked Questions
(For more information about acupuncture in general, please see the “Acupuncture FAQ’s” section of this website)
- What is Community Acupuncture?
- Why do you offer both Community Acupuncture (CA) and Individual Acupuncture (IA)?
- What are differences and similarities between Community Acupuncture (CA) and Individual Acupuncture (IA)?
- How do I choose which is best for me?
- Am I missing out on anything by choosing one style or one practitioner of acupuncture over another?
- Can I get both?
- What should I expect when I come to a Community Acupuncture Session?
- What should I expect when I come to an Individual Acupuncture Session?
- What should I bring with me?
What is Community Acupuncture?
Community Acupuncture is simply a name for receiving acupuncture treatment in a group setting. Typically there is 1 acupuncturist treating 4-5 patients at any given time per hour in a single room. Read on for more information!
Why do You Offer Both Community Acupuncture (CA) and Individual Acupuncture (IA)?
We offer both ways of getting acupuncture because we want patients to have access to the many benefits unique to both styles. All acupuncture is a holistic, health promoting preventative therapy, which can treat dozens of common acute and chronic ailments. However, Community and Individual acupuncture have distinct strengths and features that can make one or the other, or a combination of both, most preferable and effective for certain conditions and circumstances. As practitioners, it’s also really fun for us to have the chance use our skill sets and knowledge in both settings.
What are Differences and Similarities Between Community Acupuncture (CA) and Individual Acupuncture (IA)?
There are many easily recognizable differences and similarities between CA and IA, which are laid out in the handy reference tables below.
There is also one difference that is hard to sum up in a few words, and which is worth a quick discussion. It’s about the way that your body and mind become motivated and find the energy to initiate and sustain a healing process. You can think of it like the difference you might experience if you took an exercise class with one teacher and several students, or had a private exercise class with a personal trainer. When you’re in Community Acupuncture, your healing is supported and reinforced by the focus and energy of the whole group doing the same thing at the same time. When you’re in an Individual Acupuncture session, your healing is supported by the singular focus and energy of just you and your acupuncturist for the entire length of your treatment. We strongly believe that there are great benefits to both approaches!
Regardless of which style you are receiving at any given time, please be assured that positive change in your health is universally applicable.
Individual Acupuncture –vs- Community Acupuncture: Table 1
|FEATURES||COMMUNITY ACUPUNCTURE||INDIVIDUAL ACUPUNCTURE|
|Total Length of Treatment Time||20-90 minutes||60-75 minutes|
|One-on-one time with your acupuncturist||10-15 minutes||60-75 minutes|
|Time resting entirely alone in a treatment room||None||0-40 minutes (usually 15-30)|
|Time resting in the company of other patients also receiving acupuncture treatment||20-90 minutes||None|
|Clothing removed||None||None to All (typically undergarments remain on)|
|Location of Acupuncture Points Used||Below elbows & knees, Head and neck||Whole body including abdomen and back|
|Ability to Treat Diverse Conditions||Full Spectrum||Full Spectrum|
|Cost of Treatment||$20-$40 Sliding Scale||$135 First Visit, $80 all Subsequent Visits |
(as of 8/1/17, $145 First Visit, $85 for Subsequent Visits)
|Capacity to treat friends and family at the same time||Yes||No|
|Consistent relationship with one practitoner ||Yes, if you schedule yourself that way||Yes, always|
|Routine opportunity to benefit from the skill sets and insights of more than one acupuncturist ||Yes||No|
Individual Acupuncture –vs- Community Acupuncture: Table 2
|TECHNIQUES USED||COMMUNITY ACUPUNCTURE||INDIVIDUAL ACUPUNCTURE|
|Abdominal Palpation||No||Yes, As Needed|
|Magnets or Seeds||Yes||Yes|
|Gua Sha and/or Cupping||No||Yes|
|Akabane Test & Treatment||No||Yes|
How do I Choose Which is Best for Me?
Begin by browsing through this page of FAQs. Consider your situation and concerns, as well as your personality and temperment, and see if either style seems like a good match. There is no quick answer to this question. Difficult, complicated, serious and/or chronic health issues may not benefit any more from individual sessions than from community sessions, and simple, recent, and/or acute problems may actually be best resolved using some of the techniques available in an individual treatment.
You are absolutely welcome to call or email the office and speak with an acupuncturist about your health concerns to help determine whether CA or IA would be best for you.
Am I Missing Out on Anything by Choosing One Style or One Practitioner of Acupuncture Over Another?
Yes, but No. The truth is, there are literally hundreds of styles of acupuncture, and no matter what style of acupuncture you receive or with whom, there will be excellent and effective points and techniques used, and good points and techniques that are not chosen.
Some patients find it worthwhile to try several styles of acupuncture with different practitioners to find out which ones work best for them, and we firmly support and encourage anyone who is interested to explore the possibilities.
No matter what style of acupuncture you are receiving, and no matter what set of points or techniques your acupuncturist selects, your most important job to help him or her plan an effective treatment for you, and make recommendations about which style might benefit you best, is to give the most detailed feedback you can about how treatments are changing patterns of illness or injury for you.
Can I Get Both?
Yes. Community Acupuncture treatment and one-on-one sessions are very complementary. Occasionally your practitioner may even recommend that you use both if he or she observes that either type of style could enhance your healing process
What Should I Expect When I Come to an Individual Acupuncture Session?
When you arrive, simply come in and have a seat in the waiting area and your practitioner will be with you shortly (note: we do not have a receptionist, so please help yourself to water or tea while you are waiting.) Your first visit can last for up to two hours. The first hour is dedicated to giving you the opportunity to speak at length about your reasons for seeking acupuncture and the benefits you wish to attain with treatment, and ask any questions you may have about acupuncture. Your health history will be reviewed, and a physical exam, including tongue and pulse examination, will be conducted.
The second hour is your acupuncture treatment time. Selecting acupuncture points on your body designed to best address your specific concerns, your acupuncturist will place the acupuncture needles in those points, and most likely allow you to rest quietly with the needles in for a period of time. One or more sets of needles and/or other techniques, such as moxabustion, cupping, or gua sha) may or may not be used depending on your comfort level, and how appropriate they would be to address your concerns. Although you will have the option to rest alone for certain periods during the treatment, your acupuncturist will continuously check in with you and monitor your progress from start to finish. Subsequent treatment sessions last for approximately one hour.
What Should I Expect When I Come to a Community Acupuncture Session?
Community acupuncture means that instead of treating people in separate, individual rooms, we treat everybody in a shared space, in recliners. When you arrive at the office, simply follow the signs and go upstairs, enter the treatment room quietly, and find a seat. (Most conversations happen at the whisper level, because usually there is at least one person who is asleep in the treatment room at any given time.) If it is your first visit you will be asked to fill out a Health History & Consent form. You are also welcome to come and just watch on your first visit.
Once you are settled in your recliner of choice, your acupuncturist will come and speak with you about what you would like to focus on in your treatment, and most likely check your pulses and tongue.He or she will then place the needles for your treatment, and go on to treat the next person while you are resting. You are welcome to stay for as long as you like- your job is to relax and let the needles work. Your acupuncturist will check in with you periodically as he or she circulates around the room, and you may signal him or her with a meaningful look or a wave when you are ready to have the needles removed. Most people stay between 30 minutes and an hour.
What Can I Bring With Me?
For your first visit, be prepared to provide information about events in your health history and a list of the medications and supplements you are currently taking. We have ambient music in the treatment room, but you are welcome to bring iPods or other personal listening devices if you prefer your own music or guided meditation as long as your music cannot be heard by others. In Community Acupuncture, people do snore sometimes, so if snoring bothers you, consider bringing an iPod or earplugs. You are also welcome to bring your own neck pillows or blankets if you prefer them to ours. You are welcome to bring water or other liquids in closed containers, but no food is permitted in the treatment rooms.
Please keep all cell phones off or on silent.