Traditional Chinese Medicine on a Budget: It isn’t Covered

traditional Chinese medicine
Science & Medicine

traditional Chinese medicineOne of the worst aspects of the way our health system runs revolves around the total exclusion of all holistic and proven ancient modalities for healing disease, even though they are generally much less costly. Forcing healthcare for those who are just beyond being subsidized takes away the money some put aside for supplements and non-insured approaches to healing and better health without side effects.

But here are some strategies available for using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), including both TCM’s herbal pharmacology and acupuncture.

Herbs and Consultations

Most Chinese medicine doctors have the title Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM). They charge an initial consultation fee that lessens once you start herbal treatments. The most traditional DOMs prescribe raw herbs they have in store, and you’re expected to brew them as teas in a traditional clay pot which can be purchased from them.

Weekly or bi-weekly, the herbs are adjusted according to the patient’s progress. Perhaps once a month you may be required to have another visit for the DOM to read your pulse and examine your tongue. Some DOMs specialize in brewing their own herbal concoctions and selling them inexpensively each time your pulse and tongue are examined.

Naturally, some DOMs are better than others. Unlike western allopathic medicine, TCM doesn’t have the one-size-fits-all mindset. It’s a healing art that’s meant to adjust to individuals. You can search out a good DOM and go strictly herbal with good results without breaking the piggy bank. Acupuncture is a booster rocket for TCM’s herbal remedies, and can even suffice as a stand-alone protocol.

But it’s pricier. Usually $50.00 or more for a session that gets you an hour under the needles. DOMs don’t push acupuncture with fear-based coercion, though. After all, there’s no insurance to cover it, so you can get by without acupuncture if it’s beyond your budget.

Although specific injuries and short term maladies can be handled quickly with TCM, constant treatments may be necessary to gain permanent benefits for overall health. You can receive acupuncture at lower costs.

Acupuncture on A Budget

Most oriental medicine acupuncture schools are set up to obtain at least an acupuncturist certificate (L.Ac.). They offer student sessions monitored by DOM teachers, and they are cheap at $15 to $20 per session. These schools usually have a pharmacy of herbal medicines to compliment your acupuncture or use without the needles.

Problem is, those schools are more concerned with teaching and producing professional acupuncturists and DOMs than following up on your case. And their sessions are usually set at 20 minutes or so.

A recent revolution was started in Oregon and has spread throughout North America, sort of a people’s acupuncture arrangement. It’s called the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA), and they have clinics located in many areas throughout North America.

The clinics have an honor system sliding scale starting at $15 to $20, usually cash only. Each acupuncturist is at least an L.Ac (licensed acupuncturist). They also sell prepared TCM patent herbal medicines.

You can enjoy hour-long or more sessions under the needles, but they’re in a group setting with reclining “Lazy-Boy” type chairs. All that needs to be exposed in this setting are your arms and hands, lower legs and feet, your face and head, and the upper most area of your chest. Almost everyone falls asleep restfully under the needles. You can see if there’s a Community Acupuncture Clinic near you here.