In China, it’s quite common to visit a community acupuncture clinic and be treated alongside other patients within the same space. It makes acupuncture available to a wider range of individuals and is an affordable healthcare option for communities, as costs are significantly reduced without compromising quality. You’ll see entire generations of families being treated, not only for specific health issues but as a preventive measure to enhance wellbeing.
You can get acupuncture on the NHS but this tends to be reserved for only certain areas of medicine; to complement physiotherapy or to support women giving birth. It’s limited both in scope and in availability. Given that private acupuncture charges can be upwards of £50 for an individual treatment putting it out of reach for most people, community acupuncture is a much more socially inclusive model.
In the UK this practice is now gaining popularity and community acupuncture clinics are emerging all over the country. They offer an opportunity to for people to try acupuncture who previously would have been put off by the cost.
So what happens at a clinic?
Unlike a private session, the clinic has several treatment couches separated by screens or curtains to accommodate multiple patients. The screens still offer some privacy. The acupuncturist will form a diagnosis based on asking questions, observing the tongue and reading your pulse. Then, very fine, single use needles will be placed at certain points around the body to aid healing (usually below the knee and elbows). It’s best to wear loose fitting clothing so you don’t need to take anything off. The needles stay in for approximately 40 mins while the practitioner treats other patients before returning to you at the end of the treatment.
Auricular (ear) acupuncture is delivered seated and requires no diagnosis. Often chairs are placed in a semi circle for clients to sit on while tiny needles are put in points around the ear. They’re left in for only half an hour which makes it a great treatment for busy people. It’s also specifically recommended for a group setting.
At our pop up community clinic at Lime Wharf creative hub we’re able to offer body acupuncture and auricular (ear) acupuncture.
Body acupuncture treats a host of conditions including muscular skeletal, emotional and symptom based health problems. Auricular acupuncture is also a very effective treatment, and we focus on a simple point protocol for general stress, anxiety, weight loss, smoking cessation, drug and alcohol detoxification known as the NADA* protocol.
Sometimes you may feel there’s nothing specific you are suffering from, but that you’re generally run down, stressed, perhaps prone to catching colds or viruses, tired, or lacking energy and motivation. You probably wouldn’t go to your doctor but you just don’t feel great. Many of us feel like that at certain times when life gets challenging, and acupuncture is truly wonderful at helping your body back to optimal health.
For me, the best thing about the community model is it’s accessibility. In our clinic, no appointment is necessary and costs are heavily discounted. It’s only £10 for auricular acupuncture and £20 for body acupuncture. Having a low cost, multi bed clinic means you don’t have to wait till you’re really sick before getting help. Even better, it’s in the heart of a local creative hub that really supports the community model.
We’re back on Saturday 3 May, and every First Saturday of the month from 2-6 pm in the studio at Lime Wharf, 25 Vyner Street, E2 9DJ. Come and visit.