I Tried Community Acupuncture and This is What Happened

Emily Smith is a 30 year old woman. She lives with two conditions that she would like help for:

  1. Anxiety

  2. PTSD

We will be using five interview questions to gain an understanding of why she chose community acupuncture for reducing the symptoms of her anxiety and PTSD:

  1. What Lead you to Choose Community Acupuncture?

My anxiety and PTSD symptoms were getting in my way of living the life that I wanted. Simple life events like driving to work, even walking into work to making dinner right - were becoming more and more difficult to do. A few of my friends suggested different types of treatments that had worked for them:

  • Counseling

  • Somatic experiencing

  • Acupuncture

I gave counseling a try for two sessions but it did not seem like the best fit for me. I gave Somatic Experiencing a try and have continued with it, and although my symptoms were reducing, I still was not living the day-to-day life that I wanted. My anxiety and PTSD symptoms still had more control than I wanted. My family and Somatic Experiencing therapist suggested acupuncture again.

So, I looked into it, but the average cost per session, being $75 to $160, I did not know how I would cover the fees. Then I read Heal.me's guide on community acupuncture. Considering the cost per session of $20-$40, I found out that there were two community acupuncture clinics in my town. This is how my journey to community acupuncture started.

  1. What did You Experience During your First Community Acupuncture Session?

When I went to my first community acupuncture session, I filled out paperwork, talked to an acupuncturist about why I was there and what I was hoping to achieve. What I found most surprising about the session was that I ended up falling asleep and felt so comfortable despite being treated in a room with other people also getting treatment. It was almost like because others in the room were relaxed and calm, it helped me feel that way. I do not often feel that way going into any health-related appointments.

  1. Did you find the insertion of the Acupuncture Needles Painful?

I experienced tingling. At one point, the needles for my arms felt almost like tickling. When the acupuncturist put needles into my legs it was an interesting experience. I had previously had a test on my legs to assess nerve damage. The needles entering my legs reminded me of that painful experience. Once I reminded myself that I was at an acupuncture appointment the memory of the nerve test went away, and I was able to experience the tingling feeling when the needles were inserted. What happened at that moment was a PTSD flashback. One of the reasons why I was trying acupuncture.

  1. What did you Experience When Your Session Ended?

At the end of my community acupuncture session, I woke up from a nap. I did not realize that my requested 45 minute time was over. It was almost like time had stopped during my session. As I paid for the session and exited the community acupuncture clinic, I felt calmer, more relaxed, and like I was floating on clouds. I felt like my mind was clearer than it had been in a long time. These are all effects that I was hoping for but did not know that I would have such an experience and outcome after community acupuncture.

  1. Would you Recommend Community Acupuncture?

I would recommend community acupuncture. I plan on going every two weeks. I think it will continue to help me and I hope to see more benefits for my anxiety and PTSD over time.

More Information

Would you like more information on acupuncture? Check out these resources:


Acupuncture: In Depth. (2017, February 21). Retrieved February 14, 2019, from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/introduction

Chao, M. T., Tippens, K. M., & Connelly, E. (2012). Utilization of group-based, community acupuncture clinics: a comparative study with a nationally representative sample of acupuncture users. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 18(6), 561-6. Retrieved February 14, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3390970/

E. Smith, personal communication, February 18, 2008

Peoples Community of Acupuncture: Our History. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2019, from https://www.pocacoop.com/our-history

Tippens, K. M., Chao, M. T., Connelly, E., & Locke, A. (2013). Patient perspectives on care received at community acupuncture clinics: a qualitative thematic analysis. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 13, 293. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-293. Retrieved February 14, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4231447/