Can you get acupuncture on the NHS?

According to a survey by the University of York, treatment for infertility by independent acupuncturists was found to have increased five-fold in 10 years. 

Treatment for infertility is just one example of why individuals across the UK seek help from the NHS.

The use of acupuncture, accessed both through the NHS and privately, has increased significantly in recent years, but just how easy is the first route?

In this article, we discuss where acupuncture is available and the ways in which this type of therapy can help with a range of illnesses and physical ailments.

Is it possible to get acupuncture on the NHS?

According to the NHS website, acupuncture is used in some NHS GP Practices across the UK as well as in pain clinics and hospices. However, it also states that access is limited. 

In some instances, individuals may be able to receive acupuncture through the NHS if it is recommended by their doctor or if they are referred to an acupuncture clinic within the system. 

Generally, however, resources are limited, and high demand together with long waiting times for this therapy is likely to restrict the availability of publicly-funded acupuncture. 

What conditions are best treated with acupuncture?

At Acupuncture That Works, we regularly help people with a range of health conditions and concerns by balancing the flow of Qi in the body and promoting healing. 

While individual responses vary, acupuncture has achieved positive results in treating various conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Chronic pain: Acupuncture can be effective in managing conditions like back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, and migraines.
  • Stress and anxiety: Acupuncture has been seen to help individuals feel a sense of calm and relaxation, reduce stress, anxiety and promote emotional wellbeing. 
  • Fertility and reproductive challenges: In recent years, acupuncture has gained popularity in helping men and women with fertility treatment, addressing menstrual issues and other reproductive health concerns like endometriosis.
  • Insomnia and sleep issues: Acupuncture treatments may improve sleep quality and help individuals experiencing insomnia or sleep disturbances.

Who should not get acupuncture?

While acupuncture is generally safe and one of the less invasive therapies available, there are some situations where it is not advisable. 

Anyone with the following conditions or circumstances should consult with a practitioner before receiving acupuncture: 

  • Pregnancy: Acupuncture can be beneficial during pregnancy, and the ATW team regularly assists women struggling with a range of commonly experienced symptoms. However, it is essential to always consult with your acupuncturist to discuss prenatal care and ensure the safety of both mother and child.  
  • Immune system disorders: Immunocompromised individuals, or those with certain autoimmune disorders, should always consult their acupuncturist prior to starting sessions. 
  • Bleeding disorders: Anyone with a bleeding disorder or taking blood thinners should always communicate this with their acupuncturist. It is important precautions are taken as acupuncture involves using thin needles, which can cause bleeding.

It is important always to disclose your medical history, current medications, and any concerns you may have to your acupuncturist to ensure a safe and effective treatment plan.

How long do the benefits of an acupuncture session last for? 

The benefits from an acupuncture session, and their duration, varies according to several factors, including the specific condition being treated, individual response, and the frequency of sessions. 

Many people report experiencing immediate relief or improvement in symptoms after just one session, while others may require multiple sessions to see significant and lasting benefits. 

Most acupuncturists will recommend regular follow-up sessions or treatments to prolong the benefits and address any new concerns.

Ultimately, the lasting benefits of acupuncture will depend on individual circumstances and the nature of the condition being treated. 

Is once a month enough for acupuncture?

The frequency of acupuncture sessions can vary depending on individual needs and the specific issue or condition being addressed. 

While some individuals may benefit from once-a-month treatments, others may require more frequent sessions to achieve the best long-term results.

How much does an acupuncture session cost in the UK?

The cost of an acupuncture session in the UK can vary depending on factors such as location, practitioner experience, and the duration of the session. 

If you are interested in finding out more about the cost of an acupuncture session or have any questions about acupuncture and how it can help to improve your overall wellbeing, feel free get in touch with us today by calling 0800 051 76 88.