Acupuncture 101: How Much Does Acupuncture Cost?

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For people who’ve grown up treated only by Western medicine, the benefits of holistic Eastern medicine like acupuncture are unknown. Most people who’ve heard of acupuncture also heard of different conflicting reports about the ancient practice. But what is it, what does it treat and most important, how much does acupuncture cost?

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years. It was first practiced in China as a pain healing method with a myriad of benefits. In this article, we’ll look at what is acupuncture, how it works, benefits, and the cost of acupuncture.

how much does acupuncture cost


How Acupuncture Works


Acupuncture is a procedure that should only be practiced by a licensed and qualified medical practitioner with experience in using acupuncture. This is because acupuncture treatment involves the use of hair-thin needles inserted in specific places on your body also known as acupoints. This is done to help the body release natural chemicals to help fight pain symptoms, release energy, and promote relaxation. Acupuncture treatment is a holistic healing method that promotes natural healing in the body.

Acupuncture treatment is very safe. However, if the steel thin needles are inserted incorrectly, one might end up feeling more pain than relaxation which outweighs the benefits of the treatment. For better results, consult your doctor before going for acupuncture treatment. Get to know the acupuncture prices, benefits, side effects, and risks if any. The doctor or physician can also recommend a good acupuncture practitioner for you.


During the initial consultation, the practitioner discusses your conditions or acupuncture needs. This helps them examine the body and assess areas that will react to the treatment. Depending on the procedure, the acupuncturist then inserts sterile needles in specific acupoints of your body at different depths.

After acupuncture treatment, you are likely to feel a deep relaxation. At Move Well MD, we recommend that you have someone take you home from your appointment. We also recommend that you take at least a day of downtime for your body to help fully embrace the effects of acupuncture treatment.


What Conditions are Treated by Acupuncture?


According to research, acupuncture is useful in treating different health conditions, symptoms, and diseases. Most people who ask how much does acupuncture cost are in it for pain relief. Acupuncture is based on traditional Chinese medicine. Its purpose is to stimulate the body’s central nervous system to help improve ailments, relieve pain, and heal injuries.

Acupuncture can help in treating:

  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Acute pain
  • Migraines
  • Back pain
  • Knee pain
  • Stress
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Smoking cessation
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Neck pain


Some studies also show that acupuncture might be an effective remedy for anxiety, sciatica nerve pain, and fertility. To be on the safe side, acupuncture should ever be used to replace medication. Talk to your doctor or physician before using acupuncture as a full alternative for pain relief.

The Benefits of Acupuncture


  • Pain relief

This is the single most sought-after benefit of acupuncture. It may help reduce knee pain and low back pain caused by wear and tear osteoarthritis. How acupuncture helps lower back pain lies mainly on the body’s natural healing response.

An acupuncturist inserts a needle penetrating the fascia, an innervated connective tissue wrapping around all your muscles and organs. The body senses something abnormal and it responds by sending lymph fluid, blood and other nutrients to the stimulated area to help it heal.


  • Nausea and Vomit Control

Nausea and vomiting are side effects of chemotherapy. Medication used to control them in chemotherapy are often not effective or enough. On the other hand, increasing the dosage of the medication to increase their efficacy might cause other side effects. Acupuncture offers an alternative solution. It also helps reduce nausea during pregnancy but further research is needed on this field.

  • Improve Sleep

One of the effects of acupuncture is a deep sense of relaxation. After an acupuncture session, some people fall asleep easily and find it hard to concentrate. This is the reason why at Move Well MD, we recommend you find someone to take you home after a session. It is also recommended that you give your body at least a day to rest as you might find it hard to stay awake after treatment.

  • Help Reduce Headache and Migraine Severity

In addition to helping reduce different types of pain, acupuncture may alleviate painful migraines. The blood rush from the brain to the acupoints on the body helps remove excess blood on the brain which might cause headaches sending it to different parts of the body.

Other benefits include:

  • Easing menstrual cramps
  • Aid recovery after injury or surgery
  • Tame allergic asthma
  • Helps with hypertension and stroke


How much Does Acupuncture Cost?


There is no fixed or definite cost of acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture prices differ depending on factors such as location, sessions and expertise of the practitioner among others. However, National studies show that an acupuncture session costs anywhere between $70 and $150. Remember, this is the acupuncture cost. The consultation fee is mostly separate and ranges from $100-$300. After the initial acupuncture session, other sessions costs between $50-$90 per session. These are the national average costs of acupuncture.



The cost of acupuncture is also affected by your health concerns and the areas of the body to be treated. It is normal for the first session of acupuncture to cost more than the subsequent sessions as it includes a medical examination. The practitioner gives you the acupuncture prices during the first consultation where they set up a custom plan for the treatments.

Some clinics may charge more for treatments to aid fertility and cosmetic acupuncture. Others might also offer lower follow up treatments from as low as $50 per acupuncture session. Others might even offer discounts for multiple treatments to help you save on acupuncture cost.

Before you get an answer on how much should acupuncture cost, book a consultation with the practitioner. Discuss your condition and the treatment then understand the practitioner’s training and experience to know if they are a good fit for your needs.


Is Acupuncture Covered by Insurance?


Some private and public insurance covers provide cover for specific acupuncture treatments. Most insurance companies cover acupuncture but not all and those who cover acupuncture cost depend on the condition. With acupuncture fees to be covered by insurance, it is better if you check with your insurance first. Don’t make assumptions. Check if your insurance company if acupuncture is covered and what conditions are covered. Patients with FSA or HAS might also be able to use acupuncture as an eligible expense but check with the insurance provider first.

Even if insurance is helping out, you might still be required to do co-pay for every session. This is different depending on the insurance plan. Medicare doesn’t cover acupuncture unless you are referred by the primary care provider for chronic lower back pain which has bothered you for more than 3 months. Medicare also limits the number of treatments per patient – no more than 12 acupuncture sessions in 90 days. It however allows only 8 more if your condition improves.

Some clinics do offer sliding scales and may even have payment plans for patients with no insurance to cover the acupuncture fees. However, even if you have insurance, it might not cover for other treatment modalities, herbs, supplements or other treatments that come with acupuncture.


Is Acupuncture Worth How Much It Costs?


Acupuncture is worth the cost. With acupuncture, every patient is different. Some people find amazing relief and greatly improved function after acupuncture treatment. This is especially for people with acute pain or low back pain. However, some people have conditions that don’t respond as well to acupuncture compared to others.


Acupuncture is a safe, and effective treatment with little risk of side effects. Before you consider it, talk to the acupuncturist and see how acupuncture can help with your condition. It is better to determine if the treatment can work for your condition before you decide if it is worth the money. From here, you can decide if acupuncture is worth the acupuncture costs associated with the treatment. For some individuals, lack of insurance support and cost might take acupuncture of their options.



What to Expect During an Acupuncture Treatment


The first thing is consultation. Before the cost of acupuncture is determined, you get an initial consultation. The acupuncturist evaluates your condition and discusses acupuncture treatment for your ailments.

Next, the acupuncturist goes through your medical history and evaluates their findings. If you have any current symptoms, they are also considered to help create a complete and effective treatment plan. The reason for health evaluation is to first determine if the treatment is right for you. If your condition can’t be treated with acupuncture treatment, the acupuncturist should tell you. The consultation lets you know what to expect after acupuncture treatment and anything else you need to know about it.

Acupuncture is a practice used to balance your life energy or Qi. The acupuncture treatment lasts between 30 to 90 minutes. The acupuncturist uses thin needles to promote healing in specific areas (acupoints) in your body.

During acupuncture treatment, the steel, hair thin needles are left in your body for 10-30 minutes which gives the body time to rest and let your life energy become balanced. Acupuncture doesn’t hurt but it is normal to feel a tingling sensation when the needles are inserted. Slight pain or throbbing where the needles were inserted is also normal during acupuncture.


Does Acupuncture Treatment Hurt?


Most people tend to think that acupuncture treatment is painful. After all, they are going to insert a bunch of needles in my body. However, this is a misconception. For most people, there is slight to no pain even when the needles are inserted. This is because the needles are so thin and are inserted by a qualified practitioner. The acupuncture needles also have rounded edges to prevent unnecessary skin cutting. This drastically reduces skin inflammation, pain, and swelling.

Acc needles

Most people don’t even get to the cost of acupuncture when they think of the needles to be inserted in the body. They are worried about how long these acupuncture needles are and how much pain is involved. However, at Move Well MD, we can assure you the needles are so thin you hardly feel them penetrate the skin.

Acupuncture should not hurt and it is never meant to hurt especially when done by an experienced professional. It is however normal to feel some particular sensations during the acupuncture session. Most people don’t even feel the insertion or removal of the steel needles. However, it is normal for some people to feel some tingling, heavy, or throbbing sensation because the needles stimulate the nerves when inserted.

Acupuncture doesn’t hurt and how you feel depends on your sensitivity and level of pain tolerance. Some parts of the body are also more sensitive than others and this also determines how you feel during acupuncture.



The cost of acupuncture treatment is dependent on your condition, experience of the acupuncturist, location of the clinic and much more. Acupuncturists may charge more than $100 per session but it also possible to pay less for the same. Before you decide acupuncture is the treatment for you, consult your insurance company to know if they cover acupuncture. If your provider or plan doesn’t cover acupuncture fees, look into any discounts on sliding-scale fees, prepaid sessions, and treatment.

Acupuncture doesn’t hurt but it is normal to feel some tingling sensation on the acupoints where the needles are inserted. If acupuncture is an avenue you want to explore, Move Well MD, has qualified, friendly, and professional practitioners ready to offer you splendid acupuncture sessions at affordable prices.