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The Benefits of Group Acupuncture

Posted 7/7/2016 by UHBlog

Have you ever wanted to try acupuncture, but cost or access kept you from making an appointment? A group setting may be the answer.

The Benefits of Group Acupuncture

Acupuncture groupies and people new to this ancient Chinese healing practice can derive many benefits – both physically and financially – from group acupuncture sessions that are rising in popularity.

“Acupuncture does not have to be expensive to be effective,” says licensed acupuncturist Austin Homrighaus. “Since most insurance plans don’t cover acupuncture, group acupuncture is an acceptable way to access the healing modality of acupuncture – while being an affordable, out-of-pocket expense.”

Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin, sterile needles through the skin at strategic points on the body, including the hands and forearms, feet and lower legs and scalp and ears. These acupuncture points stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. It's this stimulation that boosts the body’s natural painkillers and increases blood flow.

According to Homrighaus, acupuncture can help with:

  • Pain
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Digestive problems
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Insomnia
  • Migraines
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Infertility

Homrighaus has seen positive, encouraging results in many of the patients who have attended group acupuncture sessions.

“Many patients have been pleasantly surprised by the measurable changes to their symptoms when they come in for weekly or bi-weekly sessions,” he says.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about group acupuncture:

Q. How does it work?

A. Wear comfortable clothes to the treatment. You and other participants sit on chairs or lie on massage tables while soothing music plays in the background. Each group acupuncture treatment lasts 15 to 45 minutes.

Groups range in size from two to 12 people, all of whom are having their personal needs addressed by the acupuncturist, who quietly and briefly talks to them before giving a treatment. After you roll up your sleeves or pants legs, the acupuncturist inserts the needles and your treatment begins.

Q. What are benefits of a group setting?

A. “Some people seem to relax more deeply and experience better results from the treatment when they are treated in a room with other people,” Homrighaus says. “People don’t feel isolated or alone in seeking help when they are receiving treatment with others who are suffering similar physical or emotional problems. And the shared atmosphere can lead to a heightened, collective healing energy level.”

Q. Can I try it a few times?

A. A group acupuncture session is a good option for people who are curious about this ancient healing art.

“If someone has a particular diagnosis or problem and is not seeing good results with medication or traditional medicine, we are a viable option,” he says. “People can tell within three to five visits whether acupuncture can work for them without a sizeable investment of time or money.”

Appointments are encouraged for group acupuncture, which is currently available at three locations within University Hospitals: Beachwood Internal Medicine Associates in Beachwood, Ohio; Internal Medicine Specialists in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and UH Sheffield Health Center in Sheffield Village, Ohio. More locations are being planned. The cost is $30 per treatment. To register for group acupuncture, you can make an appointment and fill out a health screening form on University Hospitals Connor Integrative Health Network's website, or by calling 216-285-4070.

Austin Homrighaus is a licensed acupuncturist with the UH Connor Integrative Health Network. You can request an appointment with Homrighaus or any other UH Connor Integrative Health Network provider online.

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