Community Acupuncture

By Hana Lanin

Did you know that community acupuncture is happening all around Portland? You may have heard someone mention a “community” or “group” acupuncture clinic they’d been to, but wondered what exactly they were talking about.

Community acupuncture is a mission. The aim is to make acupuncture accessible to an economic spectrum broader than only those who have health insurance or can afford private treatment rates. It is low cost, low frills acupuncture, facilitated in group settings by licensed acupuncturists. The community acupuncture movement is alive around the country, and it is especially popular here in Portland.

At a community acupuncture clinic, there may be from four to a dozen reclining chairs and massage tables arranged for maximum comfort in an aesthetically pleasing, if sometimes Spartan environment. There is usually a waiting and/or payment area. You may hear soft music wafting through the peacefully lit, quiet room. When you enter, you may notice a few folks who’ve already been given their treatment by the acupuncturist on staff and are resting with the needles.

What ailments can acupuncture help? There are many. Acupuncture is best known for its effectiveness in relieving body pain due to injury or aging, arthritis, headaches, menstrual, digestive, just about any sort of pain in the body may respond well to acupuncture. Other conditions include women’s health, sleep issues, health maintenance from pregnancy to labor, childhood, adolescence to healthy aging, immune support, including treatment of wintertime colds and flus, as well as seasonal allergies and asthma, skin problems, mental and emotional rebalancing, and adjunct support for cancer patients. Nowadays, people are learning to turn to modalities like acupuncture to assist in handling day to day life stress, which we know can be disruptive to our health and well being.

Prices for treatments at community clinics vary. Some operate on a sliding scale basis while others offer a flat fee. The usual range for an acupuncture treatment at a community clinic is $15 to $35. Some clinics have a nominal extra fee at the first visit for an initial patient intake. At community clinics, sometimes group treatments are an option to private treatments, or group treatments are the sole mission of the clinic. Some of the clinics participate in the Community Acupuncture Network others may be located by “googling” “community acupuncture Portland OR”. Still more clinics may have flyers posted on neighborhood bulletin boards.

So, when friends tell you they had a great experience at group acupuncture or when you see a “Community Acupuncture” flyer posted at the corner coffee hub, you will know the drill.

Hana Lanin runs the Knott Street Health Center at 443 NE Knott Street hanala@isp.com

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