Acupuncture, like many things, has multiple schools of thought, and multiple ways of being used. Not only are there hundreds, if not thousands of acu-points, but there are many different ways one can practice from a business perspective. Our clinic is a *POCA community acupuncture clinic and as part of that cooperative we have learned the most efficient and effective way to make acupuncture affordable and accessible. By setting up the clinic in this way we are able to offer our sliding scale rate and continue to serve the community.
Our clinic is full of recliner chairs. It is common in our culture to believe that “treatments” should occur on a table with paper on it, perhaps a sheet. Your “healer” might jabber on about terms and diagnoses that you may not understand - if you don’t understand it, that must mean your practitioner is really smart, right? And you may be expected to follow whatever your “healer” says for they are in charge and must know your body better than you. After all, they have a fancy piece of paper hanging on the wall that says so. This is a common attitude in many fields, western and alternative alike.
We work hard to break down that barrier and create an environment that is inviting for everyone. Your time in our soft, comfy, warm chairs is adding to your treatment. Relaxation, a nap, or listening to your favorite podcast while snuggled up under a fuzzy blanket, is half of what we offer. The other half is the acupuncture treatment. If you want to hear us jabber, come to one of our talks. We love to talk about acupuncture! But when you come in to the clinic, we prefer to focus on your treatment. And we prefer to empower you, the patient, and honor the knowledge and experience you have with your body. This is why at BAC, you determine your payment, your treatment time, and it is why we listen when you tell us, “This may sound crazy but I think…”, because we know that it isn’t crazy.
We randomly get a request for more tables in the clinic. This is a hard one because we really want and need our patients to get the best treatment they can and to be comfortable while doing so. There are some patients who cannot sit in the chairs for various reasons. The table is there for them. If we were to bring in more tables, or replace all of our chairs with tables, we would not be able to see as many people as we do. Tables take up more space. This would drive our prices up. Our price point is set based on the volume of people the clinic can see in a day. We wouldn’t have the clinic set up the way we do if all conditions and 90% of patients could not be treated effectively in chairs. As a side note, our chairs are also mostly donated or purchased inexpensively. And that savings is passed on to our patients.
Luckily, Chinese Medicine is an incredibly flexible medicine. It allows acupuncturists to be creative and to adapt to patients’ needs and situations. This is beneficial for so many reasons. Often patients will come in who cannot be needled in an area of pain due to severe trauma to the area, fear of needles in a specific area, or in extreme cases, a missing limb that still causes pain. Not to worry, acupuncture can still be used. Needles do not need to be placed in the area of dis-ease to be effective. This goes for pain, digestive complaints, and mental and emotional conditions (we don’t really do “Hellraiser” treatments). Acupuncture has roughly 5,000 years of experience showing this to be true. We understand that it is hard to see how putting a needle in your foot can help your back and we have a couple resources for you to check out if you want to know more:
Our blog post: Why BAC Goes The Distance
“Why Did You Put That Needle There?”, by Andy Wegman is always on our coffee table, or you can download it for free from Manchester Acupuncture Studio.
The best way to see how effective our chairs can be is to come in and get a treatment and see for yourself!
*POCA – People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture