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Community acupuncture through the Community Acupuncture Network provides affordable alternative healthcare options.

Community acupuncture is designed to help people access acupuncture treatments.

According to "CAN:"

Community Acupuncture Network (CAN) is a non-profit organization of practitioners, patients, and supporters whose goal is to make acupuncture more affordable and accessible by promoting the practice of offering acupuncture in community settings for a sliding scale ranging within $15-40 a treatment.

If you’re an acupuncturist looking for a model of care that is financially sustainable yet viable for the community, check out these FAQs:

1. How does a community acupuncture clinic work?

Acupuncture has been a community based medicine for most of its long history. In Asia, acupuncture has traditionally been practiced in group rather than individual settings. For acupuncture to be most effective, patients need to receive it frequently and regularly — far more frequently and regularly than most insurance plans will pay for. As acupuncture has moved toward the mainstream, it has been forced into a paradigm of one-on-one treatments and high prices, which has decreased not only patient access but treatment efficacy.

Community acupuncture clinics represent a return to tradition. Community acupuncturists focus on using “distal” points (below the knee and elbow, and on the head and neck) so that patients can remain fully clothed during treatment. Community acupuncture clinics often use recliners rather than treatment tables. Many patients prefer a community setting because they find it more relaxing; or, as one patient put it,

I’m not sure why I ever spent $100 to put on a hospital gown and lie in a cold little cubicle. Acupuncture is acupuncture, and it works wherever you do it. I like having other people around; you can feel the healing energy in the room.

2. Is community acupuncture the same as public health?

No. Public health clinics rely on some combination of grants, government subsidies, and/or donations. Community acupuncture clinics rely on fees charged to the patients: a classic private sector practice. In addition public health clinics are strictly non-profit entities. Community acupuncture clinics can be either non-profit or for profit companies. In practice, the vast majority are for profit.

3. What are the requirements of getting a clinic listed on the Locate A Clinic (LOC) page?

To be listed in LOC, you must meet the criteria outlined on the locate a clinic page.


The goal of this website is both to connect patients seeking affordable, accessible acupuncture with a community clinic near them (see the locate a clinic page), and to connect practitioners of community acupuncture with each other. When practitioners join CAN, they can access a lively online dialogue with their colleagues about every aspect of community acupuncture practice. The practitioner forums are a valuable resource for acupuncturists who are either considering, or already committed to, making their practices more accessible.

5. I’m an acupuncturist; why should I join CAN?

You can get a huge amount of support from other acupuncturists – The Community Acupuncture Network (CAN) is a nonprofit organization(501c6 ) dedicated to helping acupuncturists implement the communityacupuncture business model.  We believe that there are more than enoughpatients for everybody! We also believe that all acupuncturists areeach others’ best marketing, and more people getting acupuncture meansmore people getting acupuncture. CAN is something like an onlinesupport group, full of other acupuncturists who are rooting for yourpractice and who are genuinely thrilled at your success: just whatevery acupuncturist needs, right?

You don’t have to re-invent the wheel –Besides being supportive, CAN is also a treasure trove of information.The CAN website is designed for open-sourcing; when a communityacupuncturist figures out something that works, they post it on thepractitioner forums so everyone else can use it too. CAN acupuncturistspost their business plans, their marketing ideas, their flyertemplates, their favorite points to treat headaches, the best places tofind recliners, you name it — and once you join CAN as a member,everybody’s good ideas are available to you.

I learned about community acupuncture through one of our law firm‘s clients, Olo Acupuncture, which is making its debut in New York City.  Olo’s mission is to make acupuncture accessible, and community acupuncture affords a model for such care.

For those interested in acupuncture laws and legal issues, just search this blog for acupuncture and you’ll find articles on legal topics ranging from acupuncture credentialing to scope of practice, malpractice and negligence, and other areas of law.


Our legal advice includes both federal and state law, and we advise clients on how to minimize their legal exposure.  "Don’t roll the dice, get legal advice!"



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