Saving Money on Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a frequently recommended migraine treatment that works wonders for some people. Unfortunately, it is expensive, requires multiple sessions to see if it will help you, and is rarely covered by insurance. If acupuncture has been cost-prohibitive for you, community acupuncture might be perfect for you.
Community acupuncture is a lower-cost option for acupuncture. The main difference between community acupuncture and traditional acupuncture providers is that clients are all in one room instead of separate rooms. Depending on the clinic, patients either sit in chairs or are in their own space that’s from the rest of the room by curtains (much like student massage clinics are).
People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture is an umbrella organization for community acupuncture. Here are some of the requirements for POCA providers:
- All clinics must clearly list fees on the clinic’s website.
- Have a sliding scale between $15-$50, with the low end no higher than $20. If the clinic charges a flat fee, it cannot be higher than $25.
- Clinics may charge a one-time fee of no more than $15 at the first visit to get the client’s paperwork in order.
- Tips must not be solicited.
- Clinics cannot ask for income verification for the sliding scale.
Currently, there are 170 POCA clinics worldwide and most of them are in the US. Not every city (or even every state) has a community clinic, but you might be surprised at the places that do. If there’s no community clinic nearby, try searching for an acupuncture school in your area. Like massage schools, some places provide discounts to clients so students can practice. Just know that the experience of the students you see may vary dramatically.
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