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Community Acupuncture - a new trend?

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VERONA ISLAND - Who isn't stressed out these days? There is a small group of Mainers who have discovered how to truly unwind thanks to acupuncture. E. Marie Arnberg is a licensed acupuncturist who works at DownEast Community Acupuncture on Verona Island. It's one of only two full time community acupuncture clinics in the state.

"You don't understand how good acupuncture is until you get acupuncture," Arnberg said. "I treat people between 8 and 82 years of age for stress, allergies, to help them quit smoking. But the most common ailment that I treat is back pain. Often people have lingering misalignments from stress or sitting behind a computer too much, and one way to rectify it is to relax."

Arnberg said one of the misconceptions people have about acupuncture is that it is expensive. But that's where community acupuncture comes in. At DownEast Community Acupuncture, patients are seated in recliners in a large room together with bamboo dividers between the chairs. Treating more than one patient at a time allows Arnberg to offer acupuncture on a sliding pay scale. A session costs between $15 and $35.

"Price is always an issue because most insurance companies don't cover acupuncture. But community acupuncture is a business model that is affordable and separates the whole issue of money and treatment," she said.

The other fear many have is pain.

"First I show them the needle. I have them breathe and then when I enter the needle, most are surprised they didn't feel it," Arnberg said. "I never know how people are going to respond. Most of the time there is a shift created right away. I also use different heat treatments so if the needles don't relax them enough, I use heat on their bellies."

Arnberg has had the pleasure of seeing her patients feel better after just a few treatments.

"The beauty of acupuncture is you can treat it in so many ways - in a chair, on a table. You can place needles between the fingers or the knees. For example, the ear treats the whole body, similar to reflexology," she said. "I have people who suffer from anxiety, have problems concentrating, insomnia and discomfort, so acupuncture is wonderful for that."

To learn more about DownEast Community Acupuncture or to give it a try, log onto www.downeastca.com or call 479-2944.

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