Several years back, I had a few traditional acupuncture treatments for my allergies. I remember laying in a dark, barren room all by myself with needles stuck here and there, bored out of my mind yet unable to sleep, and then leaving the treatment feeling like I had just woke up from a long nap in the sun, so out of it that I could barely drive home. The treatments did seem to help my allergies, but with a price tag of $80, I could not afford to get acupuncture for very long.
This summer a new acupuncture clinic called Springs Community Acupuncture opened up, and I had the immediate feeling that I should give acupuncture another try. For one, the environment seemed much more inviting and appealing than my previous experience. Housed in a cute little adobe house, Springs Community Acupuncture is open and light-filled and exudes a sense of calm and relaxation. But this is no ordinary acupuncture clinic – it’s community acupuncture, a growing movement across the nation to make acupuncture more accessible and affordable to the public. Rather than locking a patient in a room half-dressed and all alone, community acupuncture is set up so that several people sitting in recliners can receive treatment at the same time. The treatments focus on the head, lower arms, lower legs, and feet to treat the whole body with only shoes and socks needing to be removed and pant legs and sleeves rolled up.
I have been receiving weekly treatments from Hannah Beachy since July, and it has been a completely positive experience in many aspects of my life. I can’t claim to be an expert on acupuncture or how it works, but here I will describe my own experience with community acupuncture and why I love it so much.
- My Health
I haven’t been sick at all this entire fall! No colds, no flus, no stomach ailments, nothing. For as long as I can remember, I have usually spend the majority of the fall and winter months with recurring colds, sinus infections, bronchitis, and the like. But this year, I have Hannah to thank for my good health. In addition to my regular treatments, she has prescribed me a blend of Chinese herbs to help boost my immune system. It is a strange and wonderful feeling to watch my co-workers sniffling and coughing without the constant worry that I might catch their germs.
Also within a month of two of starting acupuncture, my doctor took me off a daily preventative inhaler for asthma that I have been taking for almost ten years. This is not to say that acupuncture has miraculously cured me of all my ailments – I still suffer from regular nasal allergies and have been trying to ween myself off a steroid nasal spray – but I feel better than I have for years and keep improving.
My Attitude Adjustment
This is the part that surprised me – I have had an overall better attitude since I started acupuncture. I really didn’t think it was possible because I have been in a work-related rut for the past few years, spending my days at work in a grumpy, unmotivated, and bitter mood. I don’t know if it’s because of my better overall health or due to the treatments themselves, but this year I have been trying new methods in my work, I haven’t been procrastinating as much, and generally do not let minor inconveniences get to me. This year I even have had a sudden and unexpected return of my Christmas spirit, which has been dormant for years. I’m not entirely sure that I can attribute this to acupuncture, but I suspect it might have something to do with it.
Price was one of the biggest reasons why I stopped getting acupuncture. But Springs Community Acupuncture goes by a sliding scale of $20-$40 per treatment (with a $10 intake fee for new patients). Plus there is a punch card system where you can buy five treatments and get one free as well as regular monthly deals, such as 2 for 1 treatments. From what I’ve been saving on doctor’s visits and prescription medications, it almost pays for itself.
Sense of Community
At first, I thought it would be weird and uncomfortable to be receiving acupuncture with other people in the room, but I haven’t found this to be the case. Sure, I notice the comings and goings of other people, but it doesn’t stop me from relaxing. If anything, the calm, relaxed energy of the other people helps create a truly healing environment where it is possible to just sit back and let go.
In addition to the treatments, Hannah works hard to make Springs Community Acupuncture a vibrant center of the community. She often hosts events on her days off, such as a monthly knitting and crocheting group and jewelry trunk shows, with more events to come.
My Relaxation Indulgence
I have come to think of my weekly acupuncture treatment as my own little indulgence. Because the price works for my budget and my health is improving, I don’t feel a bit of guilt about doing this one thing for myself. It might seem odd that I choose to relax with needles sticking out of my feet, legs, arms, and ear, but I rarely even feel the needles. Those that I do feel are usually just a sudden prick and then don’t bother me any more. In fact, acupuncture is so relaxing for me that I almost always nap away the hour. And unlike my traditional acupuncture experience, I am never groggy when I wake up. I usually feel relaxed, refreshed, and ready to face the rest of the day.
For more information, see Springs Community Acupuncture’s website at: http://www.springscommunityacupuncture.com/ or look for a community acupuncture clinic near you.