Most people who receive acupuncture are either seen in private practice as outpatients, in physical therapy settings, or as part of spa treatments intended on increasing beauty and vitality. As a result this ancient form of medicine has become either too expensive or too exotic for the average person to even consider as a viable option for improving their health. The effectiveness of treatment increases with regular sessions and as a result traditionally cost becomes an issue. To honour our role of a wellness provider, we have adopted the community acupuncture model to service our local population.

The effects of Acupuncture are manifold; cumulatively, it improves circulation and vitality, it is drug-free (except for your body’s homemade endorphins), non-invasive, and has few side effects. Depending on the condition, it may take anywhere from 4 to 12 sessions to make lasting changes in a patient’s physiology. For many people, the cost of treatment interferes with their progress, so treatments become irregular and sparse, or discontinued once major issues are dealt with sufficiently, without addressing the root of the problem. This is unfortunate, because acupuncture works much like regular exercise and proper nutrition: in a cumulative, slow-&-steady, lasting way. Anyone in any state of health can benefit from getting regular acupuncture treatments. But the reality of modern healthcare is that many who need care are not able to access it sufficiently. Our response to this crisis is community acupuncture.

In a community acupuncture setting patients receive treatment on reclining chairs sharing a comfortable, clean, and calm environment with other patients. Because acupuncture meridians run all along the body from the extremities to the core and back again to connect all the various organ systems and substances, the points on the arms and legs can be used to access all corners of the body. Along with the hundred or so points on the head, face, and ears, anyone in shorts or loose-fitting pants and a t-shirt is perfectly dressed to receive a complete acupuncture treatment, regardless of their health concerns!

Community acupuncture clinics typically operate on a sliding-scale payment model. This flexible pay scale allows a larger proportion of patients access to healthcare and continuity to their course of treatment. Community acupuncture, sometimes referred to as working-class acupuncture, values providing healthcare to as many members of the community as possible.

Talking about what ails us is a crucial part of the healing process. By removing the stigma and isolation that sometimes accompanies illness, we can benefit from the support of our community to bring about a shared, common wellness. Recognizing that in this shared space, each individual benefits from the group’s efforts at being well is precisely what brings people together in a community, amplifying the intent and energy of those participating. Numerous studies outlining the general and significant benefits of community involvement on mental and physical health prove that we are our best when we feel like we belong. A community acupuncture clinic acts as a physical space that embodies this humble and basic principal of human health. On behalf of the Salt Spring Island Wellness Community, we welcome all to join us in making our homes and our hearts the healthiest they can be.