Healthcare costs are on the rise again, leaving Americans wondering how high their deductibles can go before their premiums bankrupt them. So what’s a middle-class employee to do to maintain their health and bank account? An option many people overlook is affordable acupuncture.
The healthcare marketplace is open again and it’s all I hear people talking about. Rates are rising and all my friends are opting for plans with $15,000 deductibles just to afford eating every month.
So it’s no wonder when people feel sick they’ll put off going to the doctor to avoid learning bad news they can’t afford to fix. Letting the problem build up and get worse over time. It’s crazy to think this is what our healthcare system has come to.
Not having health insurance isn’t the answer but Americans need an affordable option. One that won’t leave them filling prescriptions every month or paying out of pocket for pricey exams and procedures. And for some, that option has become acupuncture.
What Is Acupuncture?
When people think of acupuncture they usually shudder, picturing a ton of needles in an uncomfortable setting. That might’ve been then, but acupuncture’s had a coming of age and it’s not as scary as movies might suggest.
Acupuncture treats just about anything you wouldn’t go to the emergency room for. It targets key organ systems to reduce inflammation, increase circulation, and speed up chemical processes in the body that have become inhibited for one reason or another.
There are a lot of modalities that acupuncturists include with treatments like cupping, moxibustion, and electro-stimulation, but they’re just supporting the needles doing all the heavy lifting in this equation.
And as far as acupuncture needles go, they’re not your average needles. Acupuncture needles are 32-34 gauge meaning they’re 7 sizes thinner than the average hypodermic needle, so not much wider than a hair. So no, acupuncture shouldn’t hurt if you’re getting it from a licensed professional acupuncturist.
But acupuncture also has a reputation for being expensive, unless you know where to look.
What Can Acupuncture Do?
- Treats Arthritis
- Reduces Chronic Pain
- Relieves Migraines
- Prevents Nausea and Vomiting
- Relieves Back Pain
- Relieves Stress and Anxiety
- Helps Treat Insomnia
- Minimizes Heartburn and Indigestion
- Helps Stopping Smoking
- Helps with Cancer and Chemotherapy Recovery
- Reduces Hair Loss
- Increase Fertility
- Helps Losing Weight
CostHelper estimates that the average price for an acupuncture treatment is $50-70, with initial visits being $75-$95. It’s hard to spend that kind of money on something you’re not sure will work (or worse, hurt) when a walk-in clinic copay is $20.
A few acupuncturists in Portland, OR figured this out and developed a clinic model that would lower the price of acupuncture, therefore lowering the barrier of entry for patients on a budget. They’re called community acupuncture clinics.
Community acupuncture clinics are on a mission to make acupuncture more accessible to those who need it most. Instead of a private room and a hospital gown, community clinics have 4-14 recliners in a room and people are treated together to make sessions a mere $15-$40 each. Oh, and you decide what to pay on that scale.
Being an acupuncturist and having worked at a community clinic for the last five years I’m a little biased, but only because I’ve seen it make a huge financial and health difference for so many people.
I’ve had patients avoid procedures that insurance wouldn’t cover, avoid expensive medications, and get enough pain relief to return to work. Most patients paid for 8-12 sessions at $15 each, less than what some doctors bill for a routine visit.
Acupuncture doesn’t have to be a last resort when you’ve exhausted all other medical resources. It works best when it’s your first line of defense. Using this affordable modality can keep medical bills from piling up and reduce the number of days you’re in pain or feeling sick.
You can find a community acupuncture clinic near you by visiting the Co-Op website or Google-ing “community acupuncture near me.”
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