Status Quo & The Revolution

Sounds like the name of a pretty cool punk band, doesn't it?  But I digress...

By definition, a revolution is an effort to change or overturn the status quo. So in order to best understand what we're doing and what motivates us to do things the way we do, it's important to review the status quo of the acupuncture profession and how it's changed over the thousands of years since the inception of acupuncture.

In Asia, acupuncture was originally a peasant medicine where acupuncture was received alongside your neighbors; not in private rooms, but in the same space.  Together.  It was a form of community gathering and people received treatment multiple times a week, if not every day.  It was also affordable and accessible to all strata of society.  Consequently, it was received frequently and regularly to achieve maximum results in order to prevent and combat disease. 

Sounds pretty darn awesome!
— Those who just read the previous paragraph

However, upon migration to the West, acupuncture was transformed significantly.  In what appears to be an effort to align itself with the western medicine physician, patients were no longer treated in groups, but in private rooms where treatment length is no longer based on therapeutic need, but on the time required to clean the room and make it available for the next patient.  In addition, the once-affordable costs of acupuncture skyrocketed with the going rate for a one-on-one acupuncture treatment being $65 or more in Orlando with many charging over $100 and some charging $180 - $225 per treatment.  Perhaps, if that was a one-time cost (meaning acupuncture could alleviate most conditions in one session), many could afford the $65 cost, but the reality is that most conditions require multiple treatments and, consequently, a lot more money.

Yikes - I can’t afford that!
What they have going on in Asia, with acupuncture being accessible to everyone,
sounds much more awesome that what we have going on here.
Ugh - this absolutely stinks!
— Most People, Anytown USA

But it gets worse. 

The high cost of treatment in the U.S. is essentially reducing the effectiveness of acupuncture.

Unlike Asia, where the norm is for patients to receive multiple treatments per week enabling them to get better faster, the higher cost of treatment in the U.S. is preventing the majority of people from receiving treatment as frequently as necessary to see those optimal results.  So what happens is people walk away after only a couple treatments, which are often spread too far apart, saying, "acupuncture doesn't work" or, even worse, the higher fees keep people from even trying it!  Many people just aren't willing to gamble hundreds of dollars to find out if acupuncture is a sham or not. 

And we don't blame them.

Despite its roots of being available to everyone, acupuncture has quickly become an upper middle class commodity and thus inaccessible to the masses, the folks who need it most!
— Casual Observer

Believe it or not, it gets even worse. 

Acupuncture students are currently being taught in school that if they want patients to respect and value them, and the profession as a whole, then they have to charge a lot of money.  Students are also taught that those patients who don't pay the high fees "really don't want to get better" or "would get better if they made the decision to invest in their health" with no insight, clue or sensitivity, whatsoever, to what the real financial situation of the patient is.

For these reasons, it's apparent that blindly sticking with the status quo (pun intended) does nothing but REDUCE the number of folks who have access to the benefits of acupuncture.  Since this runs contrary to our mission to INCREASE access to acupuncture, it just makes no sense for us to walk the path of the status quo.

Furthermore, when you consider that finances are the leading cause of stress and, consequently, stress is the leading cause of illness, it seems even more nonsensical for a healing profession to ignore the barrier to treatment that high out-of-reach fees create.

Instead of measuring our value, and the value of our profession, in terms of how much money we charge for our services, we prefer to measure our value in terms of how many people in our community whom we can adequately serve.

High fees raise barriers which reduce access to acupuncture while lower fees significantly lower those barriers and make acupuncture more accessible to the vast majority of our neighbors.
— Bob Conrique, Accessible Acupuncture

For all of the aforementioned reasons, it's become a no-brainer for us to ditch the status quo.  That's why we've joined The Calmest Revolution Ever Staged to bring affordable and accessible acupuncture to Orlando!