Acupuncture is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It consists of inserting wire-thin needles into specific points on the skin that are considered to be situated along certain lines, called meridians. Some therapists are practicing electrical stimulation through needles to improve certain effects. A needle can be left in the skin from 2-3 seconds to twenty minutes, depending on the wanted result. During the sessions patients are usually feeling relaxation, sometimes little heaviness in limbs. The inserting of the needles must not be painful.
Acupuncture prices are quite variable and depend on the country and region, and also on the practitioner's training and qualifications. A physician acupuncture practitioner would usually charge more than trained acupuncturist with no medical degree. In Great Britain, for example, a session of acupuncture costs between $20.00 and $40.00. The optimal number of sessions is decided by the therapist, regarding the disease that is cured. Only in rare cases a single session provides the necessary effect. The World Health Organization is giving a list of more than 40 medical conditions for which acupuncture can be applied.
In the United States, a standard session of acupuncture costs $50-70. Many American health insurance companies are covering acupuncture costs, but not all of them. That is why it is reasonable to calculate the expenses for the entire treatment, including medicines and medical procedures, before starting acupuncture treatment. In some cases acupuncture seems to have a much lower cost than other medical alternatives for the same problem. For example, one of possible solutions in infertility is in vitro fertilization (IVF) that requires at least three procedures that together cost over $90,000.00.
Acupuncture practitioners allege that the ancient Chinese technique can successfully treat the infertility caused by certain male and female factors, from anovulatory menstrual cycles to low sperm count and impotency. Acupuncture costs about $75 per treatment and the procedure must be done once a week from three to eight months. If the woman gets pregnant she will continue the acupuncture treatment throughout the entire pregnancy. By simple mathematical operations we can see that even the longest acupuncture therapy would not cost more than $5,000.00, which is definitely lower than $90,000.00. But the chances may be different so each alternative must be thoroughly analyzed.
Another important branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine is Herbal Medicine. There are a great number of specialized centers of Traditional Chinese Medicine where professional herbalists offer herbal consultations and prescribe different medications prepared exclusively of Chinese herbs. A typical Chinese herbs consultation costs about $40-60. During the consultation the herbalist examines the patient, collects medical history, examines the tongue, pulse and makes other routine procedures needed to establish the diagnosis. Then he prescribes Chinese herbs that are not included in the consultation price.
Herbs are available as pills, powders and tinctures, as well as whole. Chinese herbs costs fluctuate considerably from $5.00 to $350.00 and more, depending on its effects and the diseases that it can treat. For example, $350.00 is the price of a strongly concentrated Ginseng roots extract that is claimed to have extraordinary energizing effect, improving mental and physical abilities, and memory. In Chinese herbs you can find remedies for an incredible number of health problems ranging from hair loss to impotency and even cancer.