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  • Writer's pictureBally Lidder

The Cost of Acupuncture Treatment: What You Need to Know

You may have been thinking about a course of acupuncture treatment to complement your treatment plan and wellbeing.


In this blog, we will explore the factors that influence the cost of acupuncture, what you can expect to pay, and its potential benefits.


What does Acupuncture Research Say?


Research into the benefits of acupuncture has not always been scientifically robust enough to draw conclusions. Gold standard research should include a control group that does not receive the treatment being tested and this is difficult to do when you can see and feel a needle being inserted. 


What we do know is that a recent BMJ publication analysed more than 2,000 scientific reviews of acupuncture and found that of the 77 diseases investigated, acupuncture showed a moderate or large effect with moderate or high certainty evidence in eight diseases or conditions:

  •  improvement in functional communication of patients with post-stroke aphasia (language expression)

  • relief of neck and shoulder pain

  • relief of myofascial pain (muscular pain)

  • relief of fibromyalgia related pain

  • relief of non-specific lower back pain

  • increased lactation success rate within 24 hours of delivery

  • reduction in the severity of vascular dementia symptoms

  • improvement of allergic rhinitis nasal symptoms (Hay fever)  


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that acupuncture for pain relief has the most evidence. This includes persistent lower back or neck pain, knee pain associated with osteoarthritis, tension headaches and postoperative pain.


Acupuncture and it’s use in Obstetrics & Gynaecology

In a very recent review (Dec 2023) of the research into Acupuncture and its use in Women’s Health it has been found that

  • Period pain was significantly reduced in the acupuncture treatment group compared to the non-treatment group

  • Pain associated with Endometriosis was reduced in the acupuncture treatment group although the effect did not last past 24 weeks

  • Low frequency electro -acupuncture has been shown to be effective in treating PCOS

  • Acupuncture has been shown to increase live birth rates among women undergoing IVF

  • Acupuncture is beneficial in improving menopausal symptoms and quality of life

Factors Influencing Acupuncture Costs:


Geographic Location:

Acupuncture costs can vary significantly based on your location. Rural areas or regions with a higher cost of living may generally have higher prices for acupuncture services.


Practitioner Experience and Expertise:

There's no statutory regulation of acupuncture in England.

The experience and expertise of the acupuncturist can impact the cost. Experienced and established practitioners may charge more for their services, but their expertise can also result in more effective treatments.


Acupuncture can be provided by the following professionals:


  • Practitioners registered with British Acupuncture Council (BAC), these acupuncturists have usually trained to degree level and will often practice Traditional Chinese Acupuncture.

  • Western Medical Acupuncture is provided by medical doctors registered with the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS)

  • Many Physiotherapists offer Western Medical Acupuncture aimed at relieving pain and muscle tension. This kind of acupuncture can be more cost effective as it forms part of a holistic treatment plan. Physiotherapists can be registered with The Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP), although this is not mandatory as, once trained, acupuncture treatment is included within our registration of The Charted Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).


At Lidder Therapies we offer a blend of Western medical Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Acupuncture depending on the individual needs of our patients.


Session Duration:

Acupuncture sessions can range from 30 minutes to over an hour. Longer sessions often come with a higher price tag, but they may be necessary for complex conditions or comprehensive wellness programs.

Physiotherapy sessions including acupuncture are usually 30 minutes and traditional acupuncture sessions tend to be longer duration.


Frequency of Sessions:

The number of sessions required for your specific condition plays a significant role in the overall cost. Acute issues may need fewer sessions, while chronic (persistent) conditions may require ongoing treatments.


Clinic Setting:

Acupuncture can be provided in various settings, including private clinics, community acupuncture centres, hospitals, or even in your home. Each setting will have different pricing structures.

Additional Therapies:

Some acupuncturists offer additional therapies, such as Physiotherapy, cupping, herbal supplements, or dietary recommendations, which can add to the overall cost of your treatment plan.



Understanding Typical Costs:


Initial Consultation:

Many acupuncture practitioners charge a separate fee for the initial consultation. This appointment may include a thorough assessment of your health and discussion of your treatment plan.


Per Session Costs:

On average, a single acupuncture session can range from £50-£120 or more. Prices may be influenced by the factors mentioned earlier.


Package Deals:

Some practitioners offer discounted rates for patients who purchase multiple sessions upfront. This can be a cost-effective option for those committed to a series of treatments.



The Potential Benefits of Acupuncture

Although not supported by robust research, anecdotal reports on the benefits of acupuncture include the following, which can make it a worthwhile investment:


Holistic Healing:

Acupuncture takes a comprehensive approach to health, addressing both physical and emotional well-being.


Pain Management:

Acupuncture is known for its effectiveness in relieving various types of pain, from chronic backaches to migraines.


Stress Reduction:

Regular acupuncture sessions can reduce stress, anxiety, and improve overall mental health.


Improved Sleep:

Acupuncture can help regulate sleep patterns and alleviate insomnia.


Enhanced Immunity:

Strengthening the immune system can lead to fewer illnesses and reduced healthcare costs in the long term.



Managing Acupuncture Costs

Insurance Companies:

If you have private medical insurance check if it covers acupuncture. Some plans may partially or fully cover the costs of acupuncture treatments, especially if part of your physiotherapy treatment.


Package Deals:

Some acupuncturists offer discounted rates for purchasing sessions in bulk or as part of a wellness package.


Community Acupuncture:

Community acupuncture clinics, where several people receive treatments in one room, often offer more affordable rates. While the setting is different, the quality of care remains high.




The cost of acupuncture is influenced by various factors, and it's essential to consider your specific needs, location, and budget when seeking treatment. Whether you're exploring acupuncture for pain management, stress relief, improving your fertility or overall well-being, open communication with your acupuncturist about pricing, potential package deals, and any available discounts can contribute to a positive and transparent healthcare experience.





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