Q: How much does acupuncture normally cost, and how many treatments do you normally have to have.
A: Prices for acupuncture treatment vary considerably across the country. In London, the cost of a first treatment, which can take anywhere between an hour and an hour and a half, can range from £50-£70, with ordinary appointments of between half an hour and an hour between £35-£50. In the rest of the country the ranges are sometimes about £10 lower. Most BAcC members are willing to give concessions if someone finds treatment beyobnd their purse, but it is not something one can easily advertise - local colleagues often take umbrage at what might be construed as a price war and in our experience it is often those who most need to seek concessions who tend not to.
The answer to how many sessions is the 'how long is a piece of string?' question. A great deal depends not only of the seriousness of the problems someone has in combination with the length of time they have had them, but also on the constitutional strength of the person. A healthy person can have a serious illness and recover quickly whereas an unhealthy person can have a relatively minor condition that can last for years. All that we ask our members to do is communicate clearly with the patient what their own expectations are, and ensure that there are sufficient review periods set aside to look at progress. It helps considerably if there are measurable outcomes too; 'feeling a bit better' is less helpful than 'able to walk half a mile further.'
What we like to avoid wherever possible is a situation where someone has treatment for an extended period and then complains because there has been no change. It should always be the case that a patient is entirely clear why they are continuing to have treatment and that continuing consent has been given.