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Healthcare on a Budget: Community Acupuncture at Empower Health

Thanks to the Olympic athletes that were sporting circular bruises this year, cupping and acupuncture has gotten quite a bit of attention, especially in the fitness community. This makes me glad, since I’ve been using acupuncture for years for all sorts of aches and pains due to exercise and/or muscle injuries and anything that doesn’t require for me to take pain killers of any kind is the greatest thing in the world to me! I wouldn’t say that I exercise excessively but with teaching 2 fitness classes a week plus my running, yoga, personal training, and walking everywhere sometimes my body gives me little hints that it wants me to slow down. Rest is very important but sometimes you need something more to keep your muscles happy, sometimes massage helps, other times acupuncture is the best for me.

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In the last couple of weeks I’ve had this nagging pain in the ball of my left foot. Not enough that impeded my running but just enough to make me limp when I was wearing regular shoes and not cushy running shoes. I tried massage, rest, ice, compression, and even (gasp) Advil. All of this didn’t make my pain go away and it was frustrating me! I knew it wasn’t a fracture or any underlying serious issue but wasn’t sure what else to do. It finally dawned on me to ask an acupuncturist and with a three little needles on my right hand (for the pain on my LEFT foot), my foot felt SO much better!  Our bodies are amazing and complex things and I don’t pretend to understand how or what happened, all I know is that my foot was finally pain free.

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If you’re like a lot of people who want to try acupuncture, you may find that it may be too expensive but I’m here to tell you that yes, it can be done! Empower Health Clinic in Vancouver has community acupuncture twice a week. All that means is that you do not have a private session, you are in a comfortable room with 3 or 4 other people enjoying their own gravity chair and calming music while Kevin, the registered acupuncturist, treats you according to what may ail you (specialists like medicines are two things you should be VERY careful in choosing, to avoid serious health and legal issues described at http://sideeffectsofxarelto.org/current-xarelto-lawsuits/, among others). The treatment lasts for up to an hour and all it costs is $40 per treatment or $25 if you book 4 or more treatments in advance. They can submit your claim to MSP for you if you are under Premium Assistance too so you don’t have to worry about submitting it yourself and, if you have extended benefits, they can submit directly to most major private insurance companies.  There are limited appointments available on Mondays from 4:30pm to 6:30pm and Fridays from 11am to 1pm so it’s always best to reserve your spot by calling them at 604-336-2844 or visiting their website at http://www.empowerhealth.ca/community/community-treatments .

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If you’re curious about acupuncture I think this is the best way to go without breaking the bank. And if you’re into fitness or sports, this may be a nice alternative for you, especially if you haven’t tried it before. I tell you, Kevin is awesome! Just for saving my foot I will be singing his praises everywhere I go

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