Remember how a few weeks ago I won a gift card for acupuncture at a 5k? Well, after looking a little more into the clinic where I won the gift card, I learned that it was considered “community acupuncture”, and had the opportunity to give it a try last week. I’ll talk a little more about what that means and what I thought of it in today’s post!
We all know that acupcunture can be expensive, and for alot of people that is a barrier to receiving regular treatment. Well, Black Sheep Community Acupuncture strives to remove that barrier by keeping costs low and using a sliding scale model. The website says that prices range from $15-35 per session.
So how is this clinic able to treat patients while charging such low prices? Well, the model used is called “community acupuncture” which means that patients receive treatment in one room at the same time. I was a bit hesitant about this concept, but figured I would give it a try since I had a free session! I also figured that if it was something I liked, it would be reasonable to return for more sessions, knowing that the prices are affordable.
Last Tuesday I knew that I could get out of work at a decent time so I made an appointment online for my first session. When I walked into the clinic there was no one in the waiting room (no receptionist or anything) but there was a sign explaining how to begin filling out paperwork if you are a new client. Moments later the owner walked out to greet me and told me to continue with the paperwork and that she would be back in a few minutes.
When she came back she explained what would happen when I typically came in for a session. There was a wall with everyone’s first name and last initial who had an appointment that afternoon. I would place my payment (cash, check, or gift card) behind my name which was in a plastic case and then place it in a drop box. I could pay any amount between $15 and $35 if and when I returned for another session. You basically get to choose how much you can afford each visit and it doesn’t have to be the same each time. She assured me there was absolutely no judgment behind how much you paid.
She led me into the treatment room, and before entering said that I could choose any chair and to put my shoes and purse in the bucket next to the chair. When I walked in it was a dark and quiet room with about 10 chairs and 3 other people already in the room receiving treatment. I got comfortable in the seat and she checked with me about what I wanted to get out of the session.
I explained that I was a runner and looking to help promote recovery, and pointed out some areas that tend to bother me. She placed needles in different areas of my arms, hands, legs, and feet. (Before the session I had changed into shorts but I also could have rolled up my pants to my knees.)
She said that for the first session she recommended staying for 45-60 minutes. There was a clock right in front of me and I was worried that I would just stare at it the whole time. I was actually able to relax quite a bit and dozed off for maybe 30 minutes or so. Other people came in and out but were very quiet and I hardly noticed.
I ended up staying for an hour, which was fine on that particular day, but in the future I would probably opt for 30-45 minutes. I did feel relaxed from the treatment but didn’t necessarily notice any other benefit. However, I did have a great week of running last week so maybe it did help me recover!
Would I go back? Sure! I think that I would rather receive this type of acupuncture for a fraction of the cost of traditional treatment. I know that one on one treatment sessions are more personal and maybe they are better able to address your needs, but if I am going to pay $100 I think I would rather get a massage😄
Overall I think this particular clinic was great. It was clean, quiet, relaxing, and the owner was really nice and helpful. It seems really easy to make appointments and there are usually plenty of slots available. They do take walk-ins but you may need to be prepared to wait for a few more minutes than usual.
If you are on the fence about paying for acupuncture, this may be the perfect option for you!
Have you ever heard of community acupuncture?
Do you think it’s something you would try?
Thanks, Sara for hosting Tried It Tuesday!