QUESTION : If an interested person has a group of clients who could possibly benefit from AcuDestress, what should a group organizer do to explore this?

ANSWER: Servicing groups who might profitably use AcuDestress is right down our alley. In fact, that is so much the case that we never treat individuals because of the benefits added by doing this in a group format. so, bring your request to the table. Generally groups of 12 people are formed, but even more frequently we can find space in our regular program for smaller groups of individuals who are interested. And in short order.

At this time AcuDestress is constituted as a medical service, provided at least in part by a physician, and the costs are determined by the parameters of medical care. This means that it is regulated by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons, who reviewed it in 2013. A portion of the procedure is ear acupuncture.  In Ontario, acupuncture is not covered by the provincial insurer (OHIP)  and so some provision to pay our personnel must be arranged. We currently have an arrangement to provide the service through the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN)  which supplies a modest fee which covers in part the services of an ear acupuncture trained certificant (called an ADS) trained by NAD the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association,  headquartered in New York City and supported by legislation in Ontario. The central service of group psychotherapy is funded by OHIP.  Patients from jurisdictions outside Ontario  with the exception of Québec (which does not fully reciprocate) usually receive OHIP services by a reciprocal agreement with the patient’s province or territory. Finally, some of our clients, about 50% of people in the workforce now have supplemental healthcare insurance plans, many of which cover acupuncture.  A notable example is the federal government employee insurance plan administered by Sun Life.  The complexity of multiple sources of revenue to cover this program requires that each case be discussed and investigated on its own possibilities.  We would be happy to give you  an opinion on how your group might be serviced, but likely this will also require that you do some checking with agencies you work with on your own.

Why would you want to go through all the trouble to do this?  Mainly because AcuDestress works and it works quickly (one month), and it works in some situations where other modalities don’t. Personality disorders and ADHD are particularly susceptible to it, while resistant to other modalities.  So you won’t be wasting your time looking into this. Your time will be well spent. So how could you investigate this further?  By sending a member of your administrative group and a member of your client group to an actual session, to be recipients themselves.  You do not need to be overstressed to benefit,  and so this would be an appropriate thing to attend for anyone.  But you’d also like to know how your client group responds to it,  or takes to it,  as is is different from other healthcare modalities.  In essence you find out by participation.  While you can do all of the reading and all of the talking if you haven’t experienced AcuDestress,  you won’t really know what people are talking about. For that reason,  when a new group appears and show some interest we invite them to send to people, one for management group and one from the client group to attend a full session.  When this happens, we set aside all fee considerations other than provincial health care insurance, just as we do when we have healthcare professionals  who are considering becoming involved.

In addition to giving you hands-on experience (including hands-on results),  coming and doing the program will allow you to start to understand what you will need to do to alter your existing program if you want to accommodate AcuDestress.  The tendency for all groups who have not participated themselves is to try to adapt AcuDestress to what they are already doing,  while just the opposite is required if one wants to have this modality catch on in your environment. I, for instance, had to alter completely how I did therapy, by adopting a transpersonal approach. To have the program succeed, means that how it works will have to become transparent to personnel who direct clients to it, not a closely-guarded secret. There must be a fluid back-and-forth communication between all parties and at times this requires changing time honored procedures to “ grease the axle”  for it to work smoothly.  We’ll discuss this all with you, based now on a fairly long term experience,  but mostly you’ll see for yourself what will be required. But we’ll be able do this better after your own experience of it.    Brian C. Bailey M.D.