Wellness Trend: Community Acupuncture

Wellness Trend: Community Acupuncture

Many acupuncture clinics are now offering low-cost community acupuncture so that many more individuals can benefit from this transformative healing technique. Read on to learn where to find community acupuncture in San Diego, acupuncture’s many health benefits, and what you can expect at your first session.

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What is Community Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique in which very thin needles are inserted into strategic points in the body to balance the flow of energy (qi or chi).

Community acupuncture is simply the practice of treating a group of patients together in the same room and by doing so, lowering the cost of the treatment session. The community acupuncture treatment approach is the same as a traditional private session.

Community Acupuncture Health Benefits

Overall health benefits

Community acupuncture can help alleviate pain and treat many conditions, including:

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Depression
  • Digestive issues
  • Gynecological issues / infertility
  • Headaches / migraines
  • Muscular pain

Lower cost

The price of a community acupuncture session is much less than a private session, usually about 50-70% less. The low-cost model of community acupuncture potentially reduces access barriers for those who might not otherwise consider using acupuncture.

Also, many insurance plans and FSA/HSAs will cover community acupuncture treatments. Veterans enrolled in the VA San Diego healthcare system can receive 12 private acupuncture treatments. Contact your health insurance or FSA/HSAs provider to learn if your plan offers this coverage.

Increased number of visits

Thanks to the lower cost of community acupuncture, many individuals are able to afford repeat treatment visits. “Acupuncture works better when treatments are provided frequently enough to make a real change,” says Dr. Elizabeth Swallow, DACM, L.A.C. and owner of 3 Point Therapy. “Traditional Chinese medicine requires frequent treatments in the beginning until the symptoms subside. 4-6 visits are often recommended to start with.”

The power of group healing

Gathering together to heal can also provide a patient with the benefits of social connection and a strong feeling of belonging. “Group healing is very beneficial to the social connective tissue of a community,” says Swallow.

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What to Expect at Your First Community Acupuncture Session

Since you will be treated in a group setting, you will be seated in a room or studio alongside other patients in recliners or tables spaced far apart. There will likely be a white noise machine or soft music playing to create a calm, relaxed environment. You may also be provided with headphones to tune out any other environmental sounds.

If this is your first visit, you will complete an intake form about your health history, current ailments, contact details and any other important information. The acupuncturist will then consult with you to determine the best treatment approach for your needs by asking questions, looking at your tongue and taking your pulse. Keep in mind that because community acupuncture is done in a group setting, your health information may be discussed openly but discreetly.

How the Treatment Works

You will remain clothed for the treatment, although you may be asked to take off your shoes and socks so the acupuncturists can access the points on your feet and ankles. Is it also recommended to wear loose fitting shirts and pants to your appointment so the practitioner can roll up your sleeves and pant legs to access these points as well.

The acupuncturist will then begin inserting very fine, very thin needles into key points along your body to activate the energy flow. You will then lay or recline in a resting position for about 20-40 minutes. If any issues arise, simply raise your hand for assistance.

When your time is up, the practitioner will carefully and gently remove the needles one by one. Since you have been in a reclined and relaxed state for a while, take your time and slowly rise up from your seated position. Make sure to drink plenty of water to help your body continue the healing process after your session.

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Ocean Acupuncture & Massage / Instagram

Community Acupuncture San Diego Clinics

There are several community acupuncture clinics around San Diego. Most take insurance plans and many of the community acupuncture sessions accept walk-ins. Please visit each practice’s website for updated pricing, location, hours and contact information.

Beach Community Acupuncture (Point Loma)

First time visit is $55, all subsequent treatments are $40 ($35 for military).

1024 Rosecrans St, San Diego, CA

Harmony Community Wellness Center (Escondido)

New patient appointments are $50, additional community acupuncture treatments are $40.

280 East 3rd Ave, Escondido, CA

Haven Community Wellness (Chula Vista)

$80 for new patients, $65 for returning patients.

1229 3rd Ave, Ste C, Chula Vista, CA

Hillcrest Community Acupuncture (Hillcrest)

Sliding scale of $30-$50 plus $10 for one-time paperwork fee.

1807 Robinson Avenue, Suite 205, San Diego, CA

The Inn Spot Community Acupuncture (Mission Valley)

$40 per session. Also offering free acupuncture treatments for veterans, active duty military, first responders and healthcare workers.

3505 Camino del Rio S., Suite 100, San Diego, CA 

Living Stream Wellness (Rancho Bernardo)

$120 for initial consultation, $55 for follow-up community acupuncture visits.

11939 Rancho Bernardo Road, Suite 105, San Diego, CA

Ocean Acupuncture + Massage Center (Oceanside, Mission Valley)

$35 per community acupuncture session.

1826 S. Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA
3505 Camino del Rio S., Suite 100, San Diego, CA

Pier to Point Wellness (Point Loma)

$40 per community acupuncture session. Offered on Tuesday mornings.

4166 Voltaire St., San Diego, CA

Source Empowered Wellness (Pacific Beach)

$50 per community acupuncture session.

4666 Cass St. A, San Diego, CA

Give Community Acupuncture a Try

If you have been experiencing pain, chronic illness or other ailments without relief, community acupuncture may be another helpful treatment approach to alleviate your symptoms. Reach out to your primary health care provider for a referral or contact one of the many local clinics listed above to find a community acupuncture session near you.

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