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Laughing Tao Acupuncture will be providing free acupuncture throughout the summer. The style of acupuncture we’ll be doing is called community acupuncture.

Community acupuncture involves providing treatments in a group setting. We can generally treat 5 to 8 people at a time. Everyone is spaced comfortably far apart, and people rest on yoga mats or chairs. We do a brief intake and ask you a few questions about your health concerns, look at your tongue and feel your pulse, then provide 5 to 7 needles. Treatment time is approximately 15 minutes. There is no need to remove clothing for community acupuncture as long as we can access your arms, legs, hands and feet. This model of acupuncture originated over two thousand years ago, and it was the original way acupuncture was given. When acupuncture moved to the West, the model was changed to one on one treatments.

Community acupuncture is also a way to give effective, quality acupuncture to more people at a lower cost. Many people cannot afford one on one acupuncture, which can range from $100 to $120 an appointment. With community acupuncture, prices range from $10 to $35 a session. There is also a huge benefit to getting multiple acupuncture treatments in a week, or at least once a week. Community acupuncture creates the financial space necessary for people to get the treatment they need at a cost they can fit into their budget.

Community acupuncture is great for colds, sprains, addiction issues, smoking cessation, and even PTSD. It’s also a wonderful way to try acupuncture without making a huge investment, and it can be a great to bring friends or family so you don’t feel as nervous about getting a treatment.

So why even get individual treatments? With 1-hour appointments, we have more time to delve into your full health history, prescribe herbs as necessary, and offer Eastern massage, cupping, warm therapy, and other supportive modalities for your treatment. 10% of very full priced appointment at Laughing Tao Acupuncture is also donated towards ensuring our other patients with financial challenges receive the care they need – so our one on one treatments help us continue to run our nonprofit in a way that truly benefits everyone involved.

We are very excited that later this year we will be offering sliding fee scale based acupuncture. The price range will be $5 to $25, based solely on what the patient believes they can give at that time. Sliding fee scale funds will be used to continue running our community acupuncture treatment clinic. Community acupuncture will be provided in a separate building on the Laughing Tao property. More coming soon!

It's not a silly question to ask. You may feel better once you get acupuncture, but why?

Your body is one big, complex system. Everything in your body is dependent on the other components working well. Your brain needs adequate blood flow and circulation to feel mentally balanced, but poor blood circulation also affects how your muscles feel. You need good digestion to be able to pull the nutrients from your food and keep the body running, but poor digestion can lead to weight management issues, which will in turn affect hormones and energy levels. It's like domino toppling! When you trip one domino, all the others fall, too.

Acupuncturists don't think of acupuncture in terms of points on the body in which to insert needles. Getting the location of the points is definitely necessary - but it's because those points stimulate various pathways in your body. Acupuncturists consider the body in terms of pathways (or what we call "channels"). It's not uncommon for someone to come in with tummy trouble, and as we start asking questions we see that there are other issues happening along the pathway where the shoulder is affected. They may have back pain, as well as a feeling of heaviness in their lower abdomen, and their eyes are dry and itchy too - they might complain of chronic allergies or headaches. That's because the pathway where the stomach is involved also runs to the back and eyes.

So when you have tummy troubles and we're putting needles in your feet or scalp, you may look at us funny. Acupuncture works by clearing imbalances, blockages, or building up blood and fluids so the pathways can run smoother - like a free-flowing river.

This is also why acupuncture can take longer to bring your body back into a state of healthy balance. Often people come to see us after years of chronic pain, multiple surgeries, or other longstanding health conditions. The blockages and imbalances along the body's pathways have been building up for months, years, or even decades. Clearing them and bringing the body back into homeostasis takes commitment to the medicine, and patience to give it time to work.

People who come in expecting to feel 100% better after two treatments will, of course, be sorely disappointed. While Western medicine is absolutely wonderful at providing immediate relief through surgery or prescription medication, it often does nothing to stimulate the body into healing itself. Acupuncture works best in an environment of healing, self-love and awareness, and patience. All living things take time to grow and come into their full power. And witnessing this natural miracle take place every day in our patients is truly a blessing.

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