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Reasons why people don't try acupuncture: Part 1

Reasons why people don't try acupuncture

As an acupuncturist, I hear many reasons why people won’t try acupuncture. Some reasons come from people who are looking for an excuse, and some from people who can acknowledge the benefits.

The most common reason I hear is that the cost is too high. This comes in two forms: time & money. While people can easily assess and quantify what it will cost them to try acupuncture, many are not willing to really analyze the benefits. Almost more importantly, many do not assess what it will cost them if they don’t invest in their health.

“I don’t have enough time”

Most acupuncture appointments are about an hour long. I get it- when you add in travel time and a buffer for traffic and parking, we’re looking at a significant time commitment. On top of that, it’s not a one-time deal. You’re going to have to schedule acupuncture in regularly over a set period of time in order to get the most benefit.

In our culture, we slip very easily into the habit of being busy: busy with work, family, friends, etc. At times it feels absolutely impossible to imagine finding a whole spare hour in our chaotic lives. And yet it’s when we’re feeling the busiest and most overwhelmed that we often experience an increase in many of our symptoms and conditions. During these time periods, it’s even more important to schedule in self-care. I challenge you to look at your schedule critically. How are you spending every minute of your week? Are there any spare moments that you find yourself scrolling social media, stuck to the couch after work, watching tv, or simply being less than 100% engaged? I am in no way saying there isn’t a time or place for these “activities” (I am guilty of them all), but I am asking you to start thinking about your priorities. How many of these non-obligatory activities are benefiting your health and contributing to your life? Could you cut back on one in order to take better care of yourself?

“I don’t have enough money”

Acupuncture treatments range in cost, anywhere from $30 per treatment in a community style group setting, to $250 per treatment in a highly specialized private practice. Depending on the severity and chronicity of your condition, the number of treatments you need will also vary. Some people feel better after one treatment, but to make a significant lasting change it will likely take many more than that.

Similar to your schedule, I challenge you to critically look at your budget and how you’re spending your money. Is there any unnecessary spending you could cut back on? The cost of your daily Starbucks alone may cover a monthly acupuncture appointment! I’m not telling you to deprive yourself of every treat that brings you joy, but I am asking you to really evaluate the benefits of your extraneous expenses. Maybe it is your regular manicure that brings you sanity, and that is fine by me! If you’re feeling like you don’t have any extra funds to invest in yourself, it might be a good time to make sure that your current spending is done with purpose.

COST of not investing in your health:

By avoiding the financial and timely cost of investing in your health, what will you experience:

  • Will you indefinitely suffer from your symptoms and complaints?

  • Will they get worse over time?

  • Will your medications result in additional side effects to manage?

And how might these factors affect your life:

  • Will they affect your ability to do your job?

  • Will they affect how you interact with your family and children?

  • Will they impact your overall quality of life?

BENEFITS of investing in your health:

In contrast, what if you set aside $80 and a little over an hour a week (over a set time period) to invest in your health, well-being, and quality of life.

Imagine suffering from your symptoms less: you feel more energized because not only are you sleeping better, but also because your previous ailments are no longer draining your energy everyday. You’re energized, less distracted by your health, and therefore more efficient in your day-to-day living. You can do your job more effectively, play with your children without duress, and engage more deeply with the people you love. What is this worth to you? Or, asked in another way, what are YOU worth?

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