PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The popularity of acupuncture continues to grow. It’s used to treat everything from pain to insomnia. And now there’s a way more people can try it.
The ancient treatment of acupuncture is branching out into group sessions.
“I like the camaraderie even though no talking, said Maryann Schofield, an acupuncture patient.
At Village Wellness in Berywn, these sessions are called community acupuncture.
“To make it more accessible for people, the way we do that is we can lower the price if I can see six people at once, instead of seeing one person at a time,” explained Gabrielle Geib, an acupuncturist at Village Wellness.
Geib says in the community sessions she only works on the hands, feet and the head.
“I can still treat many different conditions from limited parts of the body,” she said.
Schofield, who’s recovering from a broken back, is a regular.
“I think it’s super,” she said.
After being slumped over for months, she’s walking upright.
“We’ve been working on stamina; we’ve been working on lower back pain,” she said. “I’m almost walking like a human.”
Acupuncture, the placement of tiny needles in specific locations, is said to work by adjusting the body’s energy flow.
In addition to pain relief, Geib says people also come for things like stress, anxiety and headaches.
“I have low thyroid function, so I get very tired at night; I have insomnia,” Maura Redmond, a patient said.
Redmond, who usually takes a nap during the session, says the group acupuncture helps her sleep better.
“It’s really helpful and I really enjoy it,” she said. “I find it very relaxing and it doesn’t hurt.”
Those orange blankets were just to keep people warm during the session.
Traditional private acupuncture costs about $100 per session; community acupuncture costs $35.