The concept of "community acupuncture" was introduced to me by a colleague of mine, Dr Chris Pickerel ND. This style of treatment is gaining popularity because it offers a unique opportunity for meaningful treatment outside of a standard naturopathic appointment. Acupuncture is an ancient and gentle yet effective treatment technique. It works on a very physical level by promoting blood flow and secretion of pain-killing compounds. However, when used traditionally, it can also remove energetic blockages and promote the smooth flow of "Qi" (pronounced "chi"). It can be said it stimulates our bodies innate ability to heal itself. Consistent treatment over a period of a few months can have a profound health benefit. While NDs regularly do acupuncture during a naturopathic appointment, the community acupuncture setting offers a number of distinct benefits.
1) The price is reduced by over 60% compare to a standard acupuncture treatment. The trade off for the lower price is that the practitioner can see a number of patients simultaneously. One patient starts to have their treatment and while the needles are in place the doctor can start another treatment or checks on other patients. We were offering the treatments for $30 + HST compared to regularly being $85 + HST for a half hour appointment. This allows for more frequent appointments leading to quicker improvements and for people that do not have extended medical coverage to benefit from acupuncture by a registered Naturopathic doctor.
2) The community atmosphere and environment is also very unique. Patients being treated at the same time is a common practice all over the world. Since one of the key goals during the whole session is to maintain a respectful silence there is a special atmosphere created when multiple patients are sharing the treatment space. Soft music is playing with dimmed soft light. Many patients enjoy and appreciate the healing energy created in a community space.
3) The flexibility of not having a fixed appointment time is another benefit. Community acupuncture sessions are scheduled for a block of time. At pureBalance wellness centre, we run our sessions from 7-9pm. If you would like a treatment you can arrive anytime in that time period and you will be taken when the next available treatment spot is free.
As a practitioner, I really enjoyed my time at both sessions. I regularly see patients in a clinical setting but community acupuncture is a special and unique experience. Patients were very happy to receive treatments in the relaxed and quiet setting. We were able to briefly chat about the concerns they wanted addressed that day, I took a chinese tongue and pulse reading and then inserted the needles. The treatment usually lasts 20-30 minutes with the needles in place. Each treatment is unique to that person since I match a certain combination of points to that specific person and their symptoms.
Our first 2 sessions were very well attended and there were a steady flow of patients. We used the whole clinic with various treatment areas and positions available. Some people enjoyed the laying down, prone position while others preferred a seated recliner. The great thing was that a number of people that attended the first session also attended the second. The most common piece of feedback they shared about how they felt after their last session was that they were very relaxed during the treatment and felt less stress and slept better that evening. A number of successive treatments can create lasting changes and resolution of symptoms. While acupuncture can be used to treat almost any disorder, the most common conditions that respond well to acupuncture is neck and back pain, menopausal symptoms (hot flushes etc.), infertility, anxiety and acute conditions such as a cough or headache. Its also is an excellent supportive treatment for standard Naturopathic, chiropractic, massage, psychotherapy and nutritional therapy. It is very safe and does not interact with any medications or other therapies. We recommend a number of our own patients to take advantage of community acupuncture as an excellent combination with their naturopathic treatments.
My vision is to provide inexpensive yet effective acupuncture treatment to people in the Port Credit and Mississauga communities. Community - Karma acupuncture is an excellent way for you to restore your health on a energetic and physical level. Due to success of the first 2 sessions I am very excited to continue to provide this service in the coming months. We will be offering a variety of days so people have options if they can't make it on a certain evening. For the next available dates please see the pureBalance wellness centre events schedule.
Dr Paul Hrkal
“Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.”- Hippocrates