by Michael Hurley L.Ac.

Have you been wondering if scheduling a private session would be beneficial?  

As many of you can see, when you schedule your community acupuncture appointments, there is now an option for private acupuncture as well. Many people have been asking me about these, so I thought I would elaborate on how private acupuncture treatments are different from community treatments and explain why you would choose one over the other or a strategy using both. 

When Cup of Life Healing Center opened in 2014, we were strictly a Community Acupuncture and Reiki space. I felt very strongly about this and maintained that for several years. Over that time, I  continually received requests for private acupuncture, and I would refer them out to the very talented private acupuncturists in our area. Some were happy, and some would eventually return to community acupuncture for various reasons. 

Seeing how vital a one-on-one option is for some made me decide to start offering private treatments. We want to give you all the options in your care and the ability to custom tailor your treatment plan to meet your needs, both medically and financially. So, last year, I began quietly offering private treatments to those who asked as a means to introduce them to our space and hopefully convince them to give community acupuncture a try. What I found out was that, in some cases, the private treatments would get faster results, and community acupuncture was a great way to continue care and solidify those results.

Why would one choose private acupuncture vs. community acupuncture?  

Community Acupuncture

Community acupuncture offers frequent, affordable treatments while providing high-quality care. This setting allows the acupuncturist to treat several people at once, resulting in lower patient costs. The community treatment room creates collective healing energy that enhances each individual’s treatment and allows families and friends to visit our clinic together

Patients remain fully clothed during their treatment in the community room. Because of this, we typically place needles in the head, below elbows, and below knees to treat various parts of the body, including places that you may not think like the low back. The quiet setting (no talking and cell phones silenced) allows for a peaceful, meditative experience. This space is ideal for more acute symptoms where pain or discomfort has not been lingering for that long and cases where there are less complex health concerns. It is also an excellent choice for regular maintenance to remain balanced.

Private Acupuncture

Private acupuncture sessions can, in some cases, allow for a more in-depth healing experience. This method is best for those preferring a private setting or those nervous about their first experience. It is also ideal for those suffering from chronic, complex, emotional, or multiple health concerns

Since patients can disrobe in a private setting, any area of the body can be treated directly. Typically, additional regions treated include the back and abdomen, which are inaccessible in the community room. Depending on the condition, practitioners may also use other techniques such as cupping, guasha, moxibustion, and E-stim(electro-stimulation).  These adjunct therapies provide additional ways of moving stagnant energy, treating inflammatory conditions, and alleviating pain. 

How about both?

Community acupuncture can handle the majority of cases very well. However, we would like to offer you even better treatment by using a combination of modalities. Ultimately, the best answer is to use a combination of private and community acupuncture.

One example is a more chronic condition that is causing significant pain (8-10 out of 10 on a pain scale). While it may be too expensive to treat the pain 100% with private treatments, you may do three or four private sessions to bring the pain level down below a 5. Then, complete additional treatments in the community setting for a few months (it may take this long or longer with chronic conditions) to make payments more manageable.

Another reason may be that you sprained your ankle or some other acute joint pain. While I have treated many of these cases very successfully in the community setting, it generally takes a few weeks to get noticeable results. Modalities such as cupping and guasha performed in the private setting can speed up results dramatically.  

One more situation would be if you were having digestive distress such as a bowel disorder or abdominal distention, and you just were not comfortable being in the community setting. In many cases, using acupuncture points on the abdomen and applying heat via moxibustion or a heat lamp can often solve the urgency of this problem in one treatment. Then, to bring the Qi back into balance, a few community treatments can be used.

I hope that this has been informative to you and will give some food for thought about your treatment plan. The above examples represent just a few possibilities. If I feel you would be better off doing private treatments or a combination, I will tell you. If you think that you may benefit, please ask me, and I will help you decide.