Interview About Community Acupuncture

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One of the founding members of the community acupuncture movement, Lisa Rohleder, was recently interviewed by The whole interview is great, so I highly suggest you read the entire article. Below is an excerpt, where Lisa answers the question, “[I]s community acupuncture… as clinically effective as private practice?

“I have been an acupuncturist for 16 years, and as far as I can tell, all forms of acupuncture work equally well—community acupuncture, private acupuncture, and all the various traditions and styles of practice. In fact, as we’ve seen with many recent studies, acupuncture is so powerful that even sham acupuncture works! What makes community acupuncture most effective is its accessibility.

Acupuncture works beautifully for lots of conditions, but it rarely works fast. That is the trade off you get for something that is so gentle and non-toxic. There are plenty of instances of dramatic outcomes from acupuncture, but you should not go into it expecting that. A more realistic expectation is that it will work gradually over time. With that in mind, you really want to think about not just how to get an acupuncture treatment but how to get a complete course of treatment.

A lot of people can scrape together $75 for one treatment, but not $750 for a course of 10 treatments. Under the conventional private-practice model, even if people can come up with enough money to get acupuncture for a while, the minute they are barely better enough to stop, they do. Maintenance treatments, the ones that take place after the original condition has subsided, are what prevent the same problems from coming back. Acupuncture is preventative, but only when administered regularly.”

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