Community Acupuncture FAQ

What is community acupuncture?
“Community Acupuncture” is a way to make acupuncture treatment accessible to a broader community.While the usual fee for an acupuncture treatment ranges from $50 to $100, in a community acupuncture setting this can range from $15-$40 per treatment.

How is this possible?Instead of being treated all alone in private, patients are treated in a group setting, seated in comfortable chairs or recliners (completely dressed, of course).While relatively rare in the West, group acupuncture is the usual style of treatment in China.

How is community acupuncture different from regular acupuncture?
Community acupuncture is in a larger room so that more people can be treated at the same time. At Montavilla Community Acupuncture, up to 6 people can be treated during a one-hour session. People sit in comfortable reclining chairs and wear their regular street clothes, rather than change into a gown and lie on a massage table. Proponents of community acupuncture believe that receiving acupuncture in a group augments the healing of all those in the group.

What conditions can be treated in a community acupuncture setting?
The same conditions that we treat in a private, 1-1 setting using acupuncture can be treated in a group setting. This underscores the flexibility of the system of medicine. The NIH recognizes numerous conditions that can be benefited by acupuncture, including many pain conditions. If you have questions or want more information, please call our clinic at 503-467-4127.

Learn about the history of community acupuncture
Community acupuncture grew out of the experience of acupuncture for drug and alcohol detoxification and recovery. This movement started in the South Bronx and Harlem, in New York City, in the 1970s, and gradually spread to many regions in the U.S., Western Europe and Russia. From the drug-and-alcohol recovery setting, these acupuncture programs grew to encompass programs in drug-courts, mental health facilities, prisons and restitution centers, and free-standing public health acupuncture clinics.

Such facilities were typically funded by a combination of public funds and grants to non-profits.However, by the late ‘90s, funding for these services (as well as for other medical services such as Medicaid) severely contracted in Oregon (as it did in the rest of the country), with the result that many of these programs had to close, and those that remained could afford to treat many fewer people and many fewer conditions.

In response to this situation, some acupuncturists in Portland have adapted their public health experience to a private, fee-for-service model.Montavilla Community Acupuncture is one such adaptation.In our group room, we can treat up to six people at a time (as opposed to the 20-50 in public health settings). In this way, we hope acupuncture can be made more and more available to average people with average incomes, instead of just to those who are in the higher brackets or who are fortunate enough to have insurance coverage for this treatment modality.