Open Space Community Acupuncture - Union Square

70 Union Square #102, Somerville, MA 02143    |     617-627-9700


What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of oldest forms of healing on record, used consistently for thousands of years in Asia, and increasingly popular around the world. It has been endorsed as effective for numerous conditions by the World Health Organization and the National Institute of Health. Using tiny solid needles the acupuncturist stimulates points just under the surface of the skin, enhancing the body’s ability to heal itself.

Are Your Needles Sterile and Disposable?

Yes, this is the industry standard in the U.S; all our needles are prepackaged, sterile and used only once.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

From a traditional perspective, acupuncture works by stimulating “Qi” the vital energy flowing in each of us along channels in the body. By balancing and revitalizing the Qi, acupuncture enables a person to heal and their body to recover function.

Western studies in the past several years indicate the following:

  • Dopplar ultrasound shows that acupuncture increases circulation & blood flow in treated areas.
  • Thermal imaging shows it decreases inflammation.
  • Neuroimaging studies suggest it calms areas of the brain that register pain and activates those involved in rest and recuperation.

To quote Lisa Rhohleder, founder of the community acupuncture movement in the U.S., “No matter why someone is seeking treatment, acupuncture seems to produce similar overall benefits: increased energy, reduced stress, lower levels of inflammation, better sleep, improved moods, and often, a general sense of well being and relaxation.

This makes acupuncture particularly helpful to Americans in the 21st century, because we are some of the most stressed-out people in history.”
See Lisa’s article here: what is acu and why does it matter

What Can Acupuncture Treat?

Acupuncture can be very helpful in speeding the healing of acute problems like the common cold and muscle strains or sprains. It can alleviate chronic pain, and often enables patients to cut down their pain medications and/or resume exercise.

Acupuncture can also be helpful with chronic, nagging health problems such as allergies, digestive problems, insomnia, menopausal symptoms and PMS. It works well on emotional issues and addictions of all sorts.

Regular treatment supports patients with serious health conditions that also require regular medical treatment, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, Lyme infection, and cancer.

Acupuncture is excellent for any condition exacerbated by stress. Many find that regular acupuncture treatment increases awareness of their body. They come to feel more alive/ more awake, and naturally gravitate towards healthier lifestyle choices.

Acupuncture is NOT a magic bullet. Although “overnight” cure is possible, usually it takes a course of treatment.

How is Community Acupuncture Different?

Unlike in a private setting, in a community clinic there are multiple ongoing treatments in one shared space. The soothing atmosphere in a community clinic exists because all of the patients create it by relaxing together. This kind of collective stillness is a rare and precious thing in our rushed society. Maintaining this reservoir of calm requires that no one talk much in the clinic space and that when we do, we talk in a whisper. Community Clinics use a traditional approach, relying on pulse diagnosis. This is how acupuncture is commonly practiced in Asia — many patients per hour and very little talking. Treatments are simple, frequent and regular.

Does it Hurt?

No – acupuncture doesn’t have to hurt, and it definitely doesn’t feel like getting a shot at the doctor’s office. The needles are much thinner -about the width of a few human hairs, not hollow and do not inject anything into the body.

Most people are deeply relaxed and/or asleep once all the points are placed, and don’t feel the needles at all. They feel calm and refreshed after treatment. If any needle is uncomfortable the acupuncturist can adjust or remove it.

Why are Your Rates So Low?

At Open Space Community Acupuncture (OSCA) the cost of acupuncture is much lower than other Boston area clinics despite our expertise, experience, professionalism and quality.
The community setting enables us to streamline our processes to make treatment efficient and affordable. Each visit, providers will get an update from you on your condition and individualize a treatment for you to suit your needs. The atmosphere in the clinic is extremely peaceful and conducive to healing.

Methods of Payment

Cash, Checks or Credit Card.  Checks can be made payable to “OSCA”. You can also pre-pay with a credit card when you schedule online– click “view products/packages” at the top of the scheduling page.

How does the sliding scale work/ Do You Require Proof of Income?

The sliding scale is $20 – $40 per treatment with a one-time extra $10 fee the first visit. Each patient decides where they fall on the scale/ how much they can afford to pay. No questions asked; no proof required.
We understand that everybody’s situation is different. We’d rather you come more frequently to get good and lasting results, and pay lower on the scale than come less frequently and pay higher per visit.

Can I Choose Which Acupuncturist I See?

Yes! When you schedule your appointment you have the option of selecting a particular practitioner. You are also welcome to just come whenever is most convenient to you. We keep a running record of your treatments and any of us is able to see you.

I Have Back Pain; Can You Treat That in the Community Clinic?

Yes. We often use the opposite side of the body to treat pain, so we do not need to needle directly into the painful area. You can sit in one of our recliner chairs, a ‘zero gravity’ chair, or lie on your back on the table. We can do effective treatments in the community clinic, no matter where your pain is.

How Long Does a Session Take?

Allow about an hour for your session.  You may want to feed your meter for longer so you don’t have to worry. If people get very relaxed they sometimes stay longer.  20 minutes is a general minimum amount of time for the needles to be in, but 45-60 is more common.

What About Herbal Medicine?

We don’t currently offer herbal medicine but are on the lookout for a good herbalist to join us!

How Can I Support My Treatment?

  • Drink plenty of water through the week.
  • Commit to a course of treatment.
  • Avoid or reduce alcohol and caffeine on the days of your treatment.
  • After treatment it is advised to be moderate in whatever you do.

Getting started as a new patient at Open Space Community Acupuncture

New Patients, if it’s convenient you can fill out your intake form when you schedule online. If you prefer you can fill a form in when you arrive for your treatment.

Things to Keep in Mind for Your First Treatment:

  • You may like to avoid or reduce alcohol and caffeine the day of treatment
  • Don’t fast before treatment / be sure to have eaten at least a little food that day
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothes: pants loose enough to roll up to your knees and sleeves loose enough to roll up to your elbows
  • Please avoid perfumes/scented products as some of our patients have allergies
  • We have white noise and meditative background music, but you are also welcome to bring a headset with your own music, or ear plugs
  • We keep the treatment room toasty warm, and have blankets to drape over you. You are also welcome to bring your own blankets
  • As we don’t always have front desk coverage, we may not be answering phones during active clinic time- please double check our directions and map ahead of time