Community “Style” Acupuncture

I’ve been wondering why many CAPs choose to use the term “community-style acupuncture” instead of just community acupuncture in their marketing materials.  Is it a conscious decision?  If so, why?
It makes sense because you are referring to the type of acupuncture you practice.  Just as you may practice Tan-style or Tung-style or Japanese-style acupuncture, community-style acupuncture is a descriptive term.  It tells prospective patients what to expect from the treatment.
But to my ears it also sounds a little watered down.  The term community acupuncture, though we can’t trademark it (as people have noted in the forums), has a strong association to CAN, to a specific movement and set of ideals.  Does adding “style” in the middle distance it from that concept, even if only subtly?  Does it sound a little apologetic?
And, is the extra word really descriptive of what we do?  If you go to a restaurant for family-style dining, the other people in the restaurant are probably not your actual family.  However, if you go in for community (style) acupuncture, the hope is that the people you are sharing the room with are, in fact, part of your community.
I am not making judgments about this.  Until I sat down to write this post, I wasn’t even sure which term I used in my own materials because for me, and I think this is true for most people, it wasn’t a conscious decision.  I am curious to hear other people’s thoughts on the issue.

Emily Konstan
Author: Emily Konstan

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  1. I’ve noticed that phrase

    too. And I agree w/ you, Emily, that adding “-style” to CA does seem to water down the concept. Have not taken a close look at the websites of those clinics that use that term though.

    I have noticed that term (“-style”) used by some hybrids and those that offer more affordable txs for a very limited amount of time/week, like 1 day a week for a few hours. Sort of like a loss leader in retail stores that advertise an inexpensive product on sale to get people to come in. They don’t make money on the sales of the advertised product but once customers are in the store, they expose them to the other (more expensive) choices. And make their money on those sales.

  2. I have considered using the

    I have considered using the term “Community Style” to differentiate form other clinics in my area that are a community clinic but CAN type clinic. One such example is the Yo San Community Clinic, which is a student clinic.

    I have not used this term in any marketing materials or on my web site, but I thought I would share my though process as to why I have considered using

    Michael Costa
    Costa Acupuncture

  3. yes!

    emily, i have been thinking about this recently and was even considering a post here, so i am glad you mention this. to me the use of the word “style” does refer to something fake, simulated, trendy. i think of fashion trends. i think it discounts the broader vision of social justice put forth by CAN. one of my students got angry a few weeks ago because she overheard a school admin person while giving a tour to a prospective student refer to community acupuncture as a “trend” in the profession. my student came to me fuming about this reference: “we’re NOT a trend!” i suggested she confront the admin person and recommend to her the use of the term “avalanche” instead.


  4. Being a PIP, with mother tounge different than English,


    Please bear with me….

    At the following link, you can find definitions of the word STYLE:

    The mediating word between COMMUNITY and ACUPUNCTURE, (be it STYLE, FORM,  or any other word) serves the purpose of letting people know that the work we do is structured. It has a shape and form. It’s a distinctive service we give to the community. And the service is not about recycling any 1960’s hippy/communal stuff. 

     Plus, I for instance, live in a very small community in a rural area. My intention is to have people come over from other tiny communities nearby, whom I will not regularly meet (sp?) at the grocery store, kindergarten or library. So, these people will not belong to my community per-se but they will (hopefully 🙂 ) come to recieve community (style) acupuncture.




  5. Hey another name for Boutique Acupuncture

    could be  Community Stile Acupuncture

    to connote the sometimes subtle but present sorting of the classes. 


    Clinics will be popping up with names like:


    Turnstile Community-Style Acupuncture–higher sliding scale to keep the riff-raff out

    High Stile Community Style Acupuncture–for social climbers

     Doggie-Style Community Stile Acupuncture (facelift acupuncture for dogs like Pugs–musk be AKC certified)

    Bend Ewe Over Community Style Acupuncture–for those in the flock who just need to follow the trend  


    Bar-b-Que Flavor Cool Ranch Community Style Acupuncture–you want fries with that? 




  6. insight into the thought process…


    I certainly understand your explanation, but I’m wondering… did you go through this thought process *before* deciding to use the term “community style”?  Was it a conscious decision to use community style acupuncture vs community acupuncture in your materials (which I haven’t seen, btw, so I am just basing this on your comment)?

  7. Emily


    In my materials, I use the term that makes sense in hebrew (my mother-toungue), and can be freely translated as: “chinese community acupuncture”.

    So, no “style” there  🙂 





  8. I’ve heard lots of patients use the term…

    On the phone with a friend in Portland earlier today, talking about a mutual friend with some horrible recent health issues… he told me that our friend was getting acupuncture at “one of those working class clinics that just opened down the street.”  Not either of the WCA clinics, mind you, just another community-style clinic.  Certain phrases just stick with folks.