You Don‚Äôt Have to Do It Alone
Acupuncture is a practice originating in China in which needles are inserted into various metaphysically determined points of the body also known as, acupuncture points, and then manipulated. Practitioners claim that it relieves pain, treats infertility, treats disease, prevents disease, promotes general health, or can be used for therapeutic purposes. ¬†The practice dates back to at least the 2nd century B.C. in China. Acupuncture typically incorporates traditional Chinese medicine as an integral part of its practice and theory. Different variations of acupuncture are practiced and taught throughout the world. Acupuncture is based on a belief that flowing through the body is a kind of energy called ‚Äúqi‚Äù (pronounced “chi”). The acupuncture points are located on what are claimed to be paths or meridians where the qi is believed to flow.
Some barriers for those thinking about acupuncture include cost and being uncomfortable having it done in a room alone with just a practitioner. Community acupuncture clinics have begun to pop up and some patients have found them to be a great opportunity to receive acupuncture in a relaxed group setting and at a lower cost. Those who have used a community acupuncture clinic state that having other people present while they receive the treatment makes it a less tense. The group clinics are described as quiet despite there being multiple patients, Acupuncture for All in Baltimore, MD features a water fountain, relaxing music, calming blue walls, dimmed lights and reclining seats. A patient at Acupuncture for All say it is like being in your own living room. Treatments last approximately 45 minutes and some patients even fall asleep during that time.
Costs at community acupuncture clinics can range from $15 to $40 per treatment, this is a much lower cost than the up to $90 per visit you could pay at a traditional acupuncture office. Some clinics even offer sliding scale fees so that those who cannot afford a $20 per visit fee can still benefit from acupuncture. Fred Wolfson, who operates Acupuncture for All said the concept of community acupuncture is based on models of clinics in Asia, which are typically low cost. Patients are drawn to these clinics for the low cost and accessibility. These clinics are helpful for patients who might not otherwise be able to afford acupuncture or afford frequent visits.
With all that good news, you may be wondering, how can I benefit from group acupuncture? There is an online community to answer all your questions and help you find a clinic. At this time they only list one clinic in New Jersey. http://www.communityacupuncturenetwork.org/
At NJFA‚Äôs June 10th Conference, Donna Butts from Generations United presented a keynote on Shared Sites, serving diverse groups. Shared Sites are defined as ‚Äúprograms where older adults and young people receive services at the same site and both generations interact during regularly scheduled intergenerational activities.‚Äù Generations United refers to these centers as, ‚ÄúIntergenerational Shared Sites‚Äù. NJFA thought this was a timely topic as the use of space for intergenerational services is also a cost savings for many municipalities that are facing tight budgets.
Donna stated that Generations United feels the needs of children, youth and older adults can be meet and improved by sharing resources through shared sites. Intergenerational services also address the social implications of an increasingly age-segregated society. Some of the benefits of shared sites:
- enhance quality of life for all participants
- provides needed services to the community
- increases cost savings & opportunities to share resources
- enhances employee benefits for programs with on-site care (day)
- attracts additional funding & positive public relations
- improves attitudes about different age groups
Generations United also notes that children benefit from interpersonal relationships with persons from a different age group and report that they have ‚Äúhigher personal/social development scores than preschool children involved in non-intergenerational programs.‚Äù Likewise, studies show that seniors involved in intergenerational programs have positive health gains. Some of the services that may be included in a shared site are: childcare center, before/after school programs, early childhood programs, schools, youth recreation programs, camps, adult day services, assisted living/residential care settings, senior centers, and community recreation programs. Some examples include; Adult day program and child care program in same site, senior center located in a public school, after school programs held at a senior center or community/multigenerational center with programs for both generations.
In the powerpoint presentation that Donna shared in the breakout session at the conference, she highlighted the value of shared sites, including:
- Best opportunity to build relationships and share resources between generations
- Physical and financial resources used most effectively, maximizes grant investments
- Significant local public and private appeal
- A strong sense of place, create community focal points for service delivery
- Incubators for new program development
- Improves sustainability of programs
Donna‚Äôs keynote presentation was very motivating, feedback from attendees was positive and many attendees stated that they found her remarks inspirational. During the presentation, Donna gave many examples and talked about successful programs, also noting how to create a successful program. NJFA would like to again thank Donna Butts for joining us at the conference and providing such valuable information to all who attended.
For more information about Shared Sites or Generations United visit their website: