What sorts of conditions can acupuncture help?
Honestly, so many things. Here’s a short list:
Low energy, poor memory and concentration
Depression, anxiety, stress management, insomnia
Muscle pain and tension, repetitive or traumatic injury, arthritis, chronic pain
Headaches, migraines, post concussion
Digestive complaints, including GERD, constipation, Colitis and IBS
Pre/Post surgery support and recovery
Menopause symptoms, PMS, Infertility
Low immunity, general weakness
Athletic training and performance
Support during withdrawal from addiction, smoking cessation
Bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, allergies, ear infections, common cold and flu
UTI infections, prostate issues
Bell’s Palsy, Parkinson’s, CFS
Support before, during and after chemotherapy
As an addition to conventional therapies
As a way to become and stay healthy
Does acupuncture hurt?
Usually, not much. Some folks feel a slight pinch when the needles are first inserted, other people don’t feel a thing. If you do feel that pinch, it should go away in about 30 seconds or so. After that, most patients feel deeply relaxed and many fall asleep.
What will I feel during an acupuncture treatment?
It depends, everyone’s experience is different - some folks feel things during a treatment and others don’t. Mostly everyone feels a sense of relaxation and ease, some people feel a vague sense of “opening up” or “energy” moving about, others feel their pain easing. There may be a sense of mental clarity or even, for some, a huge relief of whatever complaint(s) brought them in. Our goal at LAP is all that our patients feel comfortable, deeply cared for, empowered and part of our community while we aim to increase their quality of life through the use of acupuncture.
Do you reuse needles?
No, we only work with one time use acupuncture needles. After removal, they’re immediately placed into a sterile biohazard storage container and later properly disposed of, like medical waste.
How does it work?
That’s the big question. Unfortunately, there’s no one answer and some might say there never will be a final, definitive answer. As Andy Wegman, from Manchester Acupuncture Studio, says, “Whether seen as a result of particular chemical/hormonal processes, movement of bio-electricity, vascular excitement, regulation of the central nervous system, connective tissue communication, 'placebo' effect, positive thinking or the manifestation of qi, acupuncture works.” Andy’s book Why Did You Put That Needle There? is an excellent source regarding how acupuncture may work.
How often do I come in to see results?
Twice a week for a couple of weeks usually jump starts the body into becoming familiar with the effects of acupuncture. This, in turn, builds momentum and allows many folks to see a glimpse of the “light beyond the tunnel “ in terms of tackling their health concern(s). Because we’re all different, we all respond to acupuncture differently but, in general, six to ten treatments tend to give the majority of patients a great deal of relief. If you’re suffering with a lot of pain or are in an intense/severe health crisis, more frequent treatments may be required. Acupuncture works best when received frequently and on the regular. That said, we want folks to access as much acupuncture as they desire, in support of whatever goals they may have, so they can use it in whatever way they see fit.
What can I expect after an acupuncture treatment?
In general, folks leave the clinic feeling more relaxed. Many people may feel decreased pain or a sense of lightness, they might also sleep better that night. How long people feel better for, again, is specific to the individual. It could be minutes, hours or days, maybe as long as several days. And while each person’s experience and concerns are unique, following an individualized treatment plan put together by one of our practitioners can help folks commit to reaching their goals in addition to increasing their own quality of life. We want folks to get the most they can out of acupuncture, we want acupuncture to work for them.
What’s the difference between a visit to typical acupuncture practice and a visit to a community acupuncture practice?
The most familiar acupuncture treatment in the US has the patient in a private room laying on a table for, generally, about 30 minutes. In addition to utilizing back points, the acupuncturist may also use moxa or perform cupping. There may also be a lengthy intake interview/follow up and nutritional/lifestyle advice.
Community acupuncture focuses on frequent, regularly scheduled acupuncture and the power of sharing a treatment space. Anyone who’s been to a Huskers game, hosted a garden work party or shared dishes with loved ones at a potluck knows the strength, familiarity and comfort of being with others who share a common goal and /or similar visions. We love our independence and we love to be together. The benefits of sharing a treatment space include much more affordable treatment fees, the possibility of being treated with friends and family and flexible treatment lengths - as long as we’re on shift and the clinic’s open, you can stay as long as you like. Being treated in a community setting can also break the isolation of illness; the grief, pain and sadness of feeling like you may never be well enough to belong, well enough to share health with others. Ever start laughing after hearing someone laugh or yawning after someone yawns? A group of folks being treated together is really powerful and infectious, in a good way.
Speaking of infections, should I be concerned if people around me are coughing and sneezing?
Lucky for us, not every cough or sneeze is contagious. While cold and flu seasons occur in cycles every year, healthy people with strong immunity will need repeated, person to person, exposure for colds and flu to take hold and thrive within them. The Center for Disease Control recommends folks with an infectious respiratory disease be separated from others by at least 3 feet which is roughly the amount of room our practitioners require to comfortably navigate between patients. Frequent, regularly scheduled acupuncture not only builds immunity, but it also helps us recover from colds or flu. In addition, acupuncture treatments can also help prevent the very beginnings of a cold or flu from taking hold.
Do you accept insurance?
No. We try to keep our fees close to those of an insurance co-pay. We suggest you create a receipt for each treatment you receive at LAP and keep this with your records as you may have some way of deducting it later on. It saves us a bunch of administration time when patients create a receipt for each of their visits. Again, we want to spend the bulk of our time giving acupuncture treatments, not sitting in an office. Some folks use their flexible health spending account or HSA, if they have one, to pay for their visits. In addition, some people can get their healthcare deducted off their taxes under certain circumstances.
How do I know what to pay on your sliding scale?
The community acupuncture model allows folks to pay whatever they want to pay, between $15-35 per visit. You can pay the same amount every visit or change it up - everyone receives the same service and there’s no income verification required. There is an additional $15 for your first visit, this covers paperwork and the extra appointment slot we use to discuss your health concerns and come up with a treatment plan where you can see results sooner than later. We want you to be able to access as much acupuncture as you want and need to feel better, so take advantage of the sliding scale - it’s there for all of us.
What kind of payment do you accept?
LAP accepts both cash and check, we don’t accept credit cards. Credit cards and their fees along with the necessary back end administrative work they require takes time and energy away from our ability to provide as many acupuncture treatments as we want to. Simplicity along with managing our resources is high on our priority list.
Tell me about POCA, what is it?
POCA (Peoples Organization of Community Acupuncture) is a multi-stakeholder co-op designed to build long term stable economic relationships based on the fair treatment of everyone within the community acupuncture model. It is the official umbrella collection of members ranging from community clinic owners and employees, clinic volunteers and paid clinic staff to patients and acupuncture students under which community acupuncture clinics operating within POCA guidelines exist. As of this writing, 128 clinics are listed on POCA’s Locate A Clinic page primarily all across the US with some in Canada and 1 apiece in both Spain and Israel. And, the list continues to grow. Formally incorporated in the state of Oregon in 2011, POCA’s mission is to work collectively to increase the accessibility to and availability of community acupuncture. POCA's very own POCAtech, a community acupuncture trade school, trains students how to provide effective, accessible and affordable acupuncture whether as an employee in or an owner of a community acupuncture clinic. POCA, the community acupuncture movement and POCAtech are all heavily influenced by the concept of social business defined by the Nobel laureate, Muhammad Yunus. We at POCA share these common visions:
To make community acupuncture as widely available as possible.
To establish affordable acupuncture training and continuing education programs.
To provide best practices for the operation of sustainable community acupuncture clinics.
To create job stability for community acupuncture clinic employees, staff and clinic owners.
To build healthy relationships and foster collaboration among our practitioners, staff, patients and communities.
To provide micro-lending programs, scholarship funds, insurance/benefits programs, and further financial support to POCA members.
To ease entry into the practice of acupuncture and work with legislators to ensure safety and reasonable regulation.
To develop research that is useful to POCA clinics, practitioners and patients.
To build alliances with organizations that build community and foster sustainable economies.
To sustain POCA as a robust, flourishing cooperative.
Without POCA, community acupuncture clinics like Lincoln Acupuncture Project would not exist. Lincoln and the state of Nebraska simply would not have the access to high quality, low cost acupuncture that it now enjoys. Less folks would know about, experience and benefit from acupuncture and no one would have had the chance to become members of LAP’s community acupuncture family. In short, our communities and its members here would be less taken care of. LAP remains deeply grateful for POCA’s seemingly endless support, expertise, guidance, and dedication in addition to its micro-lending financial support in creating your very own hometown CA clinic. For more information, check us out at: www.pocacoop.com