THIS September, Stroud welcomes a new community initiative at Hawkwood College, providing an affordable alternative to expensive one-to-one acupuncture treatment, using a 'multi-bed' approach.

Acupuncture has provided a positive alternative to Western forms of medical treatment, working against problems such as back pain, chronic fatigue, colds and flu and respiratory disorders.

As well as the traditional method of needling acupressure points, treatments can involve massage, applying heat and stimulating the blood flow in the body using glass cups.

Local acupuncture clinics are varied in their practices, locations and fees.

The new community clinic offers a fresh approach to an ancient method of treatment, with a shared space where several clients are treated at the same time.

The clinic will be led by licensed acupuncturist Sam May, Bsc, LicAC, MBAcC, who has established a successful community clinic in Bristol in recent years, responding to the growing need for cost-effective acupuncture treatment.

Because of limited access to acupuncture treatments through the NHS, finding a suitable practitioner may be a long and expensive process for a client.

One-to-one acupuncture can often be costly, with treatments in the area reaching up to £60 for an initial session.

The community clinic offers a cheaper alternative by using a ‘multi-bed’ setting.

The open-plan setting of the treatment space means that several clients will be treated at the same time, with a private consultation beforehand.

This approach is modelled on a traditional Chinese methodology, and provides an effective way for the practitioner to treat more than one patient at a time.

While clients may be daunted by the idea of trying acupuncture for the first time, in a mixed client setting, the feedback from the community clinic has been overwhelmingly positive.

“The multi-bed clinic has been a fantastic help to me,” says one Bristol client.

“I have always wanted to try acupuncture, but couldn’t afford to pay in the region of £40 a session. Sam is very professional and provides a very personal service, and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending him.”

Creating a respectful environment for each client is a priority, and clients are made to feel comfortable and


Sam explains “The main benefit (of this model) is that it’s cheaper, and people also find that they enjoy the shared experience. Most people find it is a very nice experience coming into a space where there are other people getting better at the same time.”

The aim of the new community clinic is to provide positive and professional treatment at an affordable rate to those seeking acupuncture.

The cost of treatment is presented on a 'pay what you can' basis, with a minimum amount of £15 for a session.

The new community acupuncture clinic will initially run on Tuesday mornings, 10.30am-1pm, starting on September 16.

Hawkwood College is located on Painswick Old Road, Stroud, GL6 7QW.

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