Anyone wanting a good price for acupuncture might be interested in community acupuncture. But what does this term mean and is this the McDonald’s of Chinese medicine?
A quick look at a website from a community acupuncture association called ACMAC’s (the association of community and multibed acupuncture clinics) states it’s all about affordability for the patient.
A practical example of this is the community acupuncture network (http://www.communityacupuncturenetwork.org/) . They state it is a non-profit organisation based in America that gives a price range from $15-$40 per treatment. Google “community acupuncture Australia” and you might find a site that has cheap acupuncture, cash only.
A basic dictionary definition of community is a group of people with a shared interest. When I asked a couple of friends about this in the context of acupuncture they came up with ideas like: not for profit, or a volunteer service by people to help others. Surely that’s how it would be so cheap they said.
So when the term “community” is used in a context with acupuncture it takes on other connotations of not for profit. That’s because the roots of community are about people sharing with each other, without benefiting off of each other.
So how does this heavily used term become defined within acupuncture and business? Well it’s a grey area.
Glancing at the ACMAC site it doesn’t specifically say what this definition is. If we look over a community acupuncture site in Sydney it doesn’t mention if it’s not for profit or not.
Community acupuncture for some is definitely a business though. Someone profits from a large turn over and can charge cheaply because there is a large number of people coming through the door. That’s fine.
The intent behind what is done is as important as the deal though. Qualified acupuncturists providing cheap community acupuncture can be based under two models. A business one and a not for profit one. When using the term community acupuncture, this should be made clear.
Making this clear will go a long way with helping everyone be less naive about the reason for low cost treatments and to make an informed choice. To know that community acupuncture can mean volunteer or a business means a clear choice.
A seminar in Sydney is coming up the 29th October run by a group called ACMAC (the association of community and multibed acupuncture clinics) will provide a forum for this.