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How Much Does Acupuncture Cost?

So, you’re interested in acupuncture treatment, but want to know how much it costs? Very generally speaking, you might expect to pay at least £35/$55 for a session lasting around 40 minutes. However, this is a very rough figure, and the actual cost may be more or less than this, depending on a number of factors:

  • How many sessions you book at once – some acupuncturists will give a discount if you book (and pay for) a number of sessions in one block.
  • The first acupuncture consultation will usually cost more than subsequent sessions, as the therapist will need some extra time for assessing your overall health, discussing your reasons for getting the acupuncture, finding out about your general lifestyle, and doing a series of preliminary investigations.
    fistful of money
  • The number of treatment sessions you need will determine the overall cost. This varies enormously between individuals; some people get great results in just a couple of sessions, whereas others need regular treatment over several weeks or months.
  • The area in which you live (or have the treatment) will also influence the cost. Generally, acupuncturists in the same area will often charge similar amounts, which will be related to the costs of living and doing business in that region. If you live in an expensive area, don’t need a lot of treatments, and are looking to save money, travelling to a less expensive place for treatment might be an option to consider.
  • Sometimes acupuncturists may recommend that you take Chinese herbs to supplement the acupressure; this will increase the cost of the overall treatment. Other procedures that some acupuncturists may use during a treatment (such as massage etc). might also incur an extra cost.
  • The cost of acupuncture sessions may also vary depending on the experience of the practitioner, as well as any other qualifications they hold. For example, if your acupuncturist is also a medical doctor, their fee might be higher. Similarly you might be able to get cheaper sessions with a student acupuncturist.
  • In some areas, relatively cheap acupuncture prices might be available from community clinics or student clinics. Some acupuncturists will also offer cheaper sessions for certain people, such as older people, students, those on low incomes etc., or for groups; it may be worth enquiring about such concessions when choosing a practitioner.

You might find that acupuncture treatments are covered by some health insurance policies (the good news is it is more commonly covered than many other alternative therapies), and in the UK, it may be available on the NHS in certain limited circumstances. In all cases, you should find out how many sessions you’re likely to need, and get an estimate of the total cost before embarking on a course of treatment.

More information about finding an acupuncturist in the UK can be found here.

You might also be interested in self-acupressure, which you can do at home. This works on the same principles as acupuncture (but without the needles), and many people – me included – have had excellent results with it. I recommend checking out Michael Reed Gach’s book Acupressure’s Potent Points which shows you how to use acupressure for lots of common minor ailments (UK link).

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