Community (Group) Acupuncture

Community (Group) Acupuncture.

Community acupuncture is a recent innovation in acupuncture service delivery that aims to improve access to care through low-cost treatments in group-based settings. Patients at community acupuncture clinics can receive more frequent treatments compared to acupuncture users in a private setting. In group acupuncture, patients are treated simultaneously, in a staggered fashion, situated near and in view of one another.

Is Acupuncture Effective for Acupuncture in a Group Setting?

Don't just take our word for it. The following clinical trials have scientifically examined the efficacy and safety of community (group) acupuncture.

Only reputable papers recently published by peer-reviewed journals within the last 10 years are listed below.



Journal of General Internal Medicine
Individual vs. Group Delivery of Acupuncture Therapy for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain in Urban Primary Care—a Randomized Trial.
Journal of General Internal Medicine Society of General Internal Medicine

The results demonstrate that Individual and Group Acupuncture can be offered safely in the community health center setting. Acceptability to patients and clinicians is very high, and that a substantial proportion of patients with chronic pain will have clinically significant improvement in both pain and overall physical health. Based on these results, Group Acupuncture therapy should be offered as part of pain care to urban community in the primary care setting.

2020, Jan 19 • McKee, M.D., Nielsen, A., Anderson, B. et al. Full Article

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Group versus Individual Acupuncture (AP) for Cancer Pain: A Randomized Noninferiority Trial
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Biweekly group acupuncture therapy offered in the community setting for 6 weeks, delivered for half the cost of individual acupuncture, was as effective as individual acupuncture for reducing cancer-related pain interference. Group acupuncture was also more effective in improving sleep quality, fatigue, and psychological distress. It is an affordable treatment option for patients who miss out on private sessions due to relatively high costs and the lack of universal coverage for acupuncture treatment.

2020, Jan 13 • Erica Nicole Reed, Jessa Landmann, Devesh Oberoi, Katherine-Ann L. Piedalue, Peter Faris, Linda E. Carlson Full Article

Pain Medicine
Acupuncture Therapy in a Group Setting for Chronic Pain
Pain Medicine American Academy of Pain Medicine

Acupuncture therapy offered in the group setting was effective in reducing pain severity, pain interference, and depression in patients with chronic neck, back, or shoulder pain or osteoarthritis. Benefit persisted through the 24-week measure despite no additional treatment. This finding has potentially important implications for improving access to effective acupuncture treatment for patients with limited financial resources.

2018, Feb • Benjamin Kligler, Arya Nielsen, Corinne Kohrherr,, Tracy Schmid, Eve Waltermaurer, Elidania Perez, Woodson Merrell Full Article

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
"It's Better in a Group Anyway": Patient Experiences of Group and Individual Acupuncture
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Society for Acupuncture Research

Group acupuncture and individual acupuncture were similarly valued by patients, but that group acupuncture is a different experience from individual acupuncture. The study showed patients in group settings contributed to their experience by helping them relax and by forming social bonds with other participants.

2018, Jan 15 • Chuang, E., Hashai, N., Buonora, M., Gabison, J., Kligler, B., & McKee Full Article

BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies
Patient perspectives on care received at community acupuncture clinics: a qualitative thematic analysis
BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies

This study elucidate patients' perspectives on quality of care: 1) aspects of health care delivery unique to community acupuncture, and 2) patient engagement in health care. The group setting, community-based locations, and low cost of this model potentially reduce access barriers for those who might not otherwise consider using acupuncture. In addition, the community acupuncture model may offer individuals the opportunity for increased frequency of treatments.

2013, Oct 29 • Tippens KM, Chao MT, Connelly E, Locke A. Full Article


Acupuncture points
Acupuncture is comparable with morphine preparations in its effectiveness against chronic pain, but without the adverse effects of morphine, such as dependency. Acupuncture : review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials
World Health Organization, Geneva 2002