Welcome to Our Community!
Please take a minute to read this introduction to our clinic and to our community. We are delighted that you are interested in joining us!
What is different about the Amherst Community Acupuncture Clinic?
We treat in a community setting
Most US acupuncturists treat patients on tables in individual cubicles. This is not traditional in Asia, where acupuncture usually occurs in a community setting. Our treatment space is a large room with four massage tables, spaced from each other and separated by folding screens, to create a large, quiet, soothing space. Treating patients in a community setting has many benefits: it’s easy for friends and family members to come in for treatment together; many patients find it comforting; and a collective energetic field becomes established which actually makes individual treatments more powerful.
We have a sliding scale
Most US acupuncturists also see only one patient per hour and charge $65 to $150 per treatment. They tend to spend a long time talking with each patient, going over medical records, asking many questions. We don’t. The only way that we at ACA can make acupuncture affordable is to see multiple patients in an hour, in a community setting. So we have returned to the traditional approach; we still ask questions, especially your first time here, but we rely on pulse diagnosis and palpation of the body’s meridians to decide how to treat you. This is exactly how acupuncture is practiced traditionally in Asia – many patients per hour and very little talking.
Our fee for acupuncture treatments is $30, with a sliding scale that goes from $20 to $40. You decide how much to pay.
We charge an additional $15 for the first session to cover paperwork and the extra time we spend with you on your first visit.
Our Commitment to You
We want to make it possible for you to receive acupuncture regularly enough and long enough to get better and stay better. We want our community to be welcoming to all different kinds of people. We want to give you the tools to take care of your own health so that you will not need to rely on insurance companies and pharmaceuticals for costly, high-tech interventions. We will provide a safe environment with skilled practitioners.
What We Need From You
ACA does not provide primary care medicine! Acupuncture is a wonderful complement to Western medicine, but it is not always a substitute for it. If you think you have a problem that is not “garden variety” (meaning, you are worried that you might have a serious infection, a malignant growth, or an injury that won’t heal), or if you want someone knowledgeable to go over the details of your medical history with you, you need to see a primary care physician (M.D. or D.O., or N.D.). We can provide some excellent referrals. There are many conditions that require a physician’s attention for which we can provide effective complementary care– for instance, we often treat patients for the side effects of chemotherapy. But we need you to take responsibility for your own health, and see a primary care doctor if you have any serious concerns. ACA does not receive grants, state or federal money, or insurance reimbursement. ACA exists because patients pay for their treatments – it a sustainable community business model.
The soothing atmosphere in our clinic exists because all of our patients create it by relaxing together. We appreciate everyone’s presence! This kind of collective stillness is a rare and precious thing in our rushed and busy society. Maintaining this reservoir of calm requires that no one talk very much in the clinic space. We have time set aside for a consultation in a private room at the beginning of each treatment. We use this time to touch base, to discuss the progress you’ve made, and to answer any questions you may have. Once we move into the clinic space, we encourage talking in lowered voices and as little as possible, to allow for a peaceful and quiet environment for everyone.
Acupuncture is a PROCESS. It is very rare for any acupuncturist to be able to resolve a problem with one treatment. In China, a typical treatment protocol for a chronic condition could be acupuncture every other day for three months! Most of our patients don’t need that much acupuncture, but virtually every patient requires a course of treatment, rather than a single treatment, in order to get what they want from acupuncture.
One big reason that we are able to keep our prices so low is because of the extraordinary amount of marketing our patients do on our behalf – we don’t have to advertise. We cannot express how grateful we are for this. Our patients are such effective marketers because they have first-hand experience of how well acupuncture works. All of our satisfied patients basically made a commitment to a course of treatment.
On your first visit, your acupuncturist will suggest a course of treatment, which can be anything from “we’d like to see you once a week for six weeks” to “we’d really like to see you every day for the next four days.” This suggestion is based on our experience with treating different kinds of conditions. If you don’t come in often enough or long enough, acupuncture may not work for you. The purpose of our sliding scale is to help you make that commitment. If you have questions about how long it will take to see results, please ask us, or if you think you need to adjust your treatment plan, please let us know.
We are committed to giving you the best and most appropriate care we can give, and we need you to commit to the process of treatment in order to get good results.
And, last, but not least.... enjoy the space. We do, and we hope that Amherst Community Acupuncture can be an important part of your healing and your community.
Amherst Community Acupuncture Staff
86 Henry Street