What is community acupuncture?
Acupuncture is relatively new in the Western world. Although it has been around for thousands of years in China it has only been practiced in the West in recent times. In Australia it is considered a complementary medicine and is not on the public health system. This leaves acupuncture remaining within the realms of those who can afford it. This is unfortunate as it has clinically shown to be a highly effective treatment modality. A community acupuncture clinic aims to close this gap and bring acupuncture to those who otherwise could not afford it. Treatments are subsidised resulting in them being a-lot more affordable for everybody.
How does a community acupuncture clinic work?
A community acupuncture clinic provides subsidised acupuncture treatments for those who usually can not access it due to cost. This can work in a couple of ways. The clinic may run multiple beds at the same time so that they are not limited to seeing just one person an hour. This means that overheads may still be met because potentially they could bring in the same amount of money. There could also be sliding scale of costs. If you are able to afford more, then you will pay more. This in turn helps those who can't afford the higher fees as your higher fees will subsidise theirs.
What can I expect?
Generally speaking community acupuncture clinics are also multi-bed clinics. This means that there are multiple beds in one room. They may be divided by screens but this is not always the case. You are not one on one with your acupuncturist, and there is less privacy. Many people enjoy this. They enjoy the communal environment of sitting there together relaxing and listening to calming music together whilst letting the needles do their work.
Be aware that as there is less private space it is especially important to wear loose comfortable clothing. Rather than disrobing you may remain fully clothed and your acupuncturist will instead adjust your clothing according to where the needles need to go.
Why would I want to go there?
The obvious advantage of a community acupuncture clinic is cost. Even if you were paying the un-subsidised price you may still find that it is less expensive than your traditional one on one clinic. Another good reason is that you can look at it as supporting your community. By going to one of these you help the doors remain open so that acupuncture can be provided to the wider community. You may also like the energy in these places. They are generally more relaxed and less formal, and you will be with others so any apprehension you may feel will fade a-lot more easily.