Acupuncture Cost 2019 - Best Acupuncture Near Me

Acupuncture Cost 2019 – How Much Does Acupuncture Cost?

The cost to get acupuncture treatment can vary by location and provider. Some acupuncturists offer community acupuncture services at a reduced rate, while other acupuncture practitioners near you may charge higher. Each practice has their own way of offering services, which is why we decided to explain all the options in the market place that are available to you, so you can see what would be a good fit for your health, and wallet!

Known for centuries to be an effective healing modality, acupuncture and oriental medicine services have grown in public recognition and awareness. Acupuncture, oriental medicine, or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are also commonly referred to as Eastern Medicine.  It is not uncommon nowadays to do a quick Google search for acupuncturists and find several providers within your area.

As more and more healthcare practices offer acupuncture and alternative medicine treatments, it is easy to feel unsure about which acupuncture provider will fit your needs. Mix with this your own research and identifying if your insurance covers the treatment, finding a practitioner who is a good fit for you can be quite time consuming!

In this article we investigate the real costs to get acupuncture in 2019, insurance coverage for acupuncture, and other insider knowledge that consumers must know before seeking treatment. 

What Does Acupuncture Cost?

The cost of acupuncture treatment is $60 to $175 per session, for a 45 minute to 1 hour session of acupuncture.  Your acupuncture cost will also largely depend on where you live, and the demand for acupuncture services at that time.  Areas of the United States with a higher cost of living, such as California and New York, may have acupuncturists charging $175 to $300 per session.

Expect to pay more per session for acupuncturists who are highly trained and experienced in a particular condition such as infertility, and with a proven track record of success in helping patients achieve their goals. 

Some acupuncture clinics structure their payments so the first treatment session is higher with follow up sessions at a lower rate.  Acupuncture practitioners do this because the first session takes longer, and includes a consultation, patient history, tongue and pulse diagnoses, and finally the acupuncture procedure. 

The longer first visit allows the acupuncture practitioner enough time to answer any questions you may have as well as develop an understanding of your concerns.  The acupuncture cost for sessions after your initial visit will be slightly lower, and the time faster, since the acupuncturist is just performing the procedure.

How Much Does Community Acupuncture Cost?

Acupuncture performed within the “Community Acupuncture” framework is slightly different than what you’d expect going to a regular acupuncture clinic.  In most cases, the initial visit for community acupuncture will take place one on one with the acupuncturist, where he or she will evaluate, and discuss the reason you are seeking treatment. 

Acupuncture treatments hereafter will be conducted with other patients, in an open-room format with tables and lounge chairs.  Due to the limited amount of privacy, affected areas are only treated with foot, hand, or auricular acupuncture.

Community acupuncture may range anywhere from $15 to $40 per session.  Some acupuncture practitioners will even offer sliding scale payments based on the patient’s income level.  Despite the lower cost point, community acupuncture comes with both pros and cons.

Keep in mind that community acupuncture solely focuses on needling specific points on the hands, feet, and/or ears, that correspond to other regions of the body according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

Patients who desire treatment for serious conditions (such as Bell’s Palsy, chronic back pain, or fertility, to name a few) may be better suited to see a provider who will perform the acupuncture procedure directly on the area needing attention.

What does Cosmetic Acupuncture Cost?

Acupuncture facial rejuvenation tends to fall on the pricier side of acupuncture treatment but may be well worth the cost. 

There is zero downtime needed after cosmetic acupuncture, and it comes with significantly less risk than other alternatives, such as Botox or cosmetic surgery.  Expect to see your provider for a minimum of 10 visits and pay around $1,000 to $3,000 for cosmetic acupuncture because the treatment is more time intensive. Practitioners who specialize in facial rejuvenation with Oriental Medicine may charger higher.

What does it cost to get more than one acupuncture session?

Depending on the practice you visit, some acupuncturists offer a slight discount when you purchase multiple sessions in advance.  If your acupuncturist recommends a treatment plan that requires you to come in for 6 or more sessions, the savings in a bulk payment can be significant. 

For the majority of conditions that acupuncture can help with, consistency is the name of the game.  Most acupuncture providers know this, and hence may provide new patients and returning patients, with a bulk rate payment structure to help with follow through and promote a successful treatment plan.

Additional Oriental Medicine Services: Herbal Formulas

In conjunction with weekly acupuncture sessions, your acupuncturist may recommend you herbal formulas specifically designed for your condition.  Herbal formulas are custom made by your provider.

Some states require acupuncturists who prescribe herbal remedies to maintain mandatory certification and continuing education to stay abreast on this healing modality.  These professionals receive many hours of training on herbal medicine and pass national and state exams before receiving authorization from their licensing board to provide these services to the public.

Herbs may be provided to you in whole to be taken as a tea, or within capsule form to be ingested orally with a meal. Herbs prescribed by an acupuncturist can cost patients $15 to $100, depending if the herbs are patent ready-made pills, powdered extracts, or finally raw herbs.

What is the Cost for Cupping?

Cupping has been around for many years and is known as an ancient Chinese therapy, by which suction cups are heated from the inside with a flame, and placed on strategic points on the body.  The suction effect of the cup pulls the skin away from the musculature underneath to stimulate blood flow. 

There are two main types of cupping, wet and dry.  Wet cupping involves a small laceration of skin so blood is drawn into the cup during suction.  Dry cupping will suction the skin without drawing blood.

The practice is said to increase blood flow, promote healing by stimulating the immune system, and reduce pain.   

Patients will pay anywhere from $40-$85 for cupping therapy depending on their geographic location.  Cupping is not usually covered by insurance, so expect to pay out of pocket for this one. 

On a high note, wet cupping may be beneficial for individuals with low back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, and musculoskeletal pain, according to a 2019 scientific literature review conducted by the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine.  In 2016, a study from the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies found that cupping can help promote relaxation and comfort on a systemic level, thus leading to internal opioid production in the brain which helps to reduce musculoskeletal pain. 

Provided the reasonable price point and research to back it up, cupping may be a worthwhile investigation for certain patients.   

Cupping treatment is a cost effective, non-invasive, and low-risk procedure when performed by a licensed and qualified provider.  The National Institutes of Health advises that some individuals may experience bruising, redness, and soreness around the cupping site.  Cupping may be contraindicated for individuals with certain skin conditions so please consult with a licensed acupuncturist or oriental medicine provider for more information, and to find out if cupping is right for you.

What is the cost for Electro-Acupuncture?

Electro-acupuncture costs are similar to those of regular acupuncture from around $75 to $200 per session, or more depending on the geographic location). 

In this type of acupuncture therapy, a minimal electrical charge is applied to the needles with a small electrode that are already inserted at key points in the body, for about 15-45 minutes.  The electrode gently vibrates the “chi” that the acupuncture points are said to stimulate. According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, electro-acupuncture has shown good results for chronic pain, muscles spasms, and neurological diseases.

Will my insurance cover the cost of acupuncture?

For some patients, acupuncture treatments may be covered by their insurance. For others, acupuncture and herbal medicine costs will be an out of pocket payment.

Some acupuncture clinics will provide their patients with a superbill.  A superbill is a form which includes the amount of treatments you received, the acupuncture session charges, modifiers, ICD-10 codes, CPT Codes, date of visits, and more.  The superbill allows you to submit the information to your insurance company for reimbursement of services.

Does Medicare and Medicaid cover Acupuncture?

Premium insurance plans are more likely to cover the cost of acupuncture, chiropractic, and other alternative medicine services. Government offered healthcare plans such as Medicare and Medicaid currently do not cover acupuncture, but this policy may change in the near future.  A press release dated July 15, 2019 stated that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid are considering offering alternative treatments for individuals dealing with chronic back pain. 

With opioid and drug abuse growing, giving patients access to non-invasive and low risk treatment options is becoming significant consideration amongst the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

How do I choose an acupuncture provider?

Finding an acupuncturist who aligns with your healing goals can be daunting. Best Acupuncture Near Me aims to simplify the task. 

Make sure the acupuncturist is licensed.

A top factor in choosing an acupuncturist is making sure the provider is licensed to practice in his or her state.  Another credential to look for is NCCAOM certification.  Most providers will offer this information on their website, or will gladly provide it if asked.  NCCAOM, which stands for the National Certification Commission on Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, is the only national organization that authenticates entry level competence for acupuncture and oriental medicine providers.  NCCAOM certification indicates that the provider has met national standards in competence and safety for performing acupuncture services. 

Before your first visit, make sure the acupuncturist you plan to see is licensed either by the state and/or the NCCAOM.  You can also check online reviews to see patient testimonials of their experience with the acupuncturist, and to find out if the provider would be a good fit for your healthcare needs.

Ask a friend, family, member, or colleague for a referral.

Ask around your inner circle to see if someone you know has had acupuncture before, and if they would recommend you the provider who treated them.  Word of mouth referrals can be a great way to connect with an acupuncturist since you get a first-hand testimony of the provider’s abilities.

Your initial visit with an acupuncture provider will include a detailed patient history, exam, and other TCM health assessments that are important at the start of your journey.  Meeting with the provider in person, as opposed to phone consultations, is important both for you as the patient, and the provider.  By evaluating your constitution in person, the acupuncturist can more accurately diagnose you from a Chinese medicine standpoint. 

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