How We Treat

We treat in a community setting

Most United States acupuncturists treat patients on tables in individual cubicles. This is not traditional in Asia, where acupuncture usually occurs in a community setting. In our clinic we only use recliners in our quiet, soothing common room. 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 the collective energy of many treatments happening at once actually makes individual treatments more powerful. Originally developed by Working Class Acupuncture in Portland, Oregon, community acupuncture is catching on nationwide as a way to get high quality, affordable healthcare without relying on insurance companies.

What to expect at your treatment

Your acupuncture treatment may include points on your arms and hands, legs and feet, and/or head, neck, and ears. Because acupuncture channels flow across the entire body it is possible to treat back problems, for example, with points on the hands and feet. Please do wear loose clothing that can comfortably roll up to your elbows and knees as you must stay fully clothed throughout the treatment.  Once your needles are in you are in charge of how long you rest.  Most patients are ready to get up after about 30-60 minutes.  For more information on what to expect from your first visit check out our New Patients Page.

We have a sliding scale

You decide what you can afford, no questions asked.  We don’t have income guidelines or ask for any verification. All of our patients pay based on what they feel is affordable for them.  The purpose of the sliding scale is to make sure you can get enough acupuncture to get good results. We want you to feel better and then tell everybody you know that acupuncture works! 

For more information on the sliding scale check out our F.A.Q.

How community acupuncture is different than private practice

Most acupuncturists in the US see only one patient per hour and charge $80 to $200 per treatment. They tend to spend a long time talking with each patient, going over medical records and asking many questions. We don’t. The only way that we at OAP can make acupuncture affordable and still make a living ourselves is to streamline our treatments and see multiple patients in an hour, so we have returned to the traditional approach. On your first visit we will ask you some questions and go over your health questionnaire, but on subsequent visits we will just get a brief chairside update before starting your treatment.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Most people find acupuncture treatments very relaxing and comfortable. Acupuncture needles are very fine, so patients often feel nothing or just a very slight sensation when the needle is inserted. While you are resting with the needles in place you may feel some tingling, heaviness, or other sensations of energy movement. All of these are normal and usually pleasant; if anything becomes uncomfortable please let us know and we’ll gladly adjust it, or simply take the needle out.

We will meet you where you are at

We believe that using acupuncture to calm the nervous system and reduce pain can be a great resource for all individuals regardless of what they look like, their history, or what they may be struggling with.  We strive to keep judgment and shame out of the clinic.  We want to be a welcoming place that you look forward to coming to so that we can accompany you on your road to feeling better. 

We follow the principles of Trauma Informed Care which endeavors to help people feel physically and psychologically safe.  We understand that many people have experienced traumas (including medical traumas) in their lives and are doing our best to avoid triggering these.  This is why we treat people in an open room with limited sensory stimuli, we ask for consent a lot, we give you as much control over your environment as possible, and also try to be very transparent about all of our policies (including payment policies). 

We also follow the Principles of Harm Reduction and will not pass judgment about addiction or any pharmaceutical or recreational drug use.

We will not comment on your weight or monitor your size.  We believe that humans can be healthy at any size, and that weight stigma can cause terrible harm.  Please check out our Anti Weight Stigma Blog for more on this subject.

We will not pass judgment on food and lifestyle choices, and do not have the time to discuss these topics at length.  We are pretty sure you know what choices are serving you and which are not, and you do not need another negative voice in your head.

Feel free to come into the clinic in a way that feels easiest and most comfortable to you.  You do not need to apologize for unshaved legs, unpainted toenails, messy hair, or wearing your pj’s.  Like we said, we are here to meet you where you are at!

We also hope you will meet us where we are at as well as we probably won’t get all of this right all the time….but we sure are trying!