By Daniella Wiedel / For the Las Cruces Sun News
Used for centuries in Asia to treat everything from migraines, muscle strains and sleeplessness to digestion issues, a chronic illness, or simply stress, acupuncture can create a state of relaxation and wellness.
And to make it more affordable, Crossroads Community Acupuncture is offering the treatment on a sliding payment scale ($16-$41 per treatment) at its new location at 130 S. Main St.
Prior to opening its doors here in January, it was located inside Greenworks Community Center at the Downtown Mall in a smaller space able to accommodate seven patients at once in a group setting, each person resting on their own recliner or table. Within the last year, over 2,000 treatments were given, allowing the company to save enough money for the move and remodel including the addition of soft light, comfortable chairs and an open space to grow.
A percentage of proceeds also went toward the Crossroads Border Project, which facilitates capacity-building programs for health workers in the border region (here you can watch a recent news story on ABC about their project in Mexico.)
Acupuncture is an alternative medicine treatment involving placing thin needles just beneath the skin’s surface on various points all over the body to achieve therapeutic effects and stimulate well-being.
“It’s really great when you’re stressed.” Cat Chavez-Soliz of Las Cruces said, a patient at Crossroads. Originally, her friend referred her to the clinic when it first opened in March 2012.
Chavez-Soliz said after going twice a week since then, she feels more in control of her lingering symptoms of fibromyalgia, a muscle and joint condition characterized by very tender tissues in the body with side effects like depression, insomnia and irritable bowel syndrome.
“It’s a great coping mechanism and an escape, giving you a chance to take care of yourself,” she adds.
Doctor of Oriental Medicine Ryan Bemis is the only acupuncturist at Crossroads currently, but hopes to add a colleague to his staff this summer to allow the clinic to be open for more appointments seven days a week. Currently, it’s closed Sundays and Mondays. Receptionists check patients in and set up appointments at the clinic, which serves about 15-20 people per day and 80-100 per week.
After a consultation and discussion with Bemis, in which he might examine a patient’s tongue and evaluate their pulse, treatment starts. Thin, hair-like needles are inserted into points along the feet, legs, arms and head without disrobing. From there, you get to sit back and relax.
“Everyone has a different experience with acupuncture,” Bemis said. Some might fall asleep or into a meditative state while others might remain awake for the duration of the session varying from 25 minutes to two hours. Depending on your treatment goals, Bemis can offer a treatment plan recommending how often to come in.
Bemis is nationally certified and licensed by the state of New Mexico to prescribe Chinese herbs and provide acupuncture services. He completed his master’s level program at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine with internships in Portland specializing in public and psychiatric health as well as addictions therapy. At Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, NY, he learned about using points in the ears to treat those in high trauma and stress situations.
On the sliding scale, clients pay what they can afford within a price range. Affordability and effectiveness are values Bemis strives for. His clients seem to be pleased with their results.
Daniella Wiedel is a freelance writer and can be reached at email@example.com.
What: Crossroads Community Acupuncture
When: Tues-Thurs 11-8, Fri 11-3, Sat 9-1
Where: 130 S. Main St. (Parking Lot #10) Las Cruces, NM 88001 in the downtown mall just below Downtown Desert Yoga. The entrance is off of Water Street.
Appointments: Appointments can be made online at crossroads.appointy.com with just a few clicks. Walk ins are welcome, but appointments are recommended.
How much: Sliding scale each visit $16 to $41. Unlimited Acupuncture monthly memberships also offered on sliding scale for $75 to $150 per month (pay what you can afford on both scales). Also, a $14 administrative fee is incorporated in your total on your first visit. Consult the Web site or Facebook page for special “free” days.
Valentines Day Special: 2 acupuncture treatments for $20. Treat someone you love this Thursday, February 14th