What is Affordable Acupuncture?

In the UK most acupuncture and complementary therapies are carried out in one-to-one sessions. Here, the practitioner will see one patient at a time in a private room, usually for between 45 minutes to an hour. This is a great way to receive treatments, but it comes with one significant drawback: price. The cost treatments in these settings are generally high, mainly due to room rental costs. Such treatments can cost anything from £35 to £100 and upwards. Many people are happy to pay these amounts, but for others the cost is prohibitive, especially if they may need to have a long course of treatments. Some people can afford this whenever they chose; plenty of people in the UK can afford to pay this once in a while; but lots of people will find it hard to pay this price regularly, and it is vital that you can have treatment frequently enough and for long enough to get better and stay better.

Over the last few years, an alternative model for acupuncture clinics has started to spread throughout the country. Known as ‘Multi-Bed’ or ‘Community Clinics’, these spaces are giving people the opportunity to receive acupuncture treatments at a fraction of the price of private treatments. In a ‘multibed’ clinic, several people are treated together in one large room, hence the term. These kind of spaces are similar to those found in China, where many people will be treated with acupuncture together, in a large open room.

It is possible for acupuncturists to offer this type of service because acupuncture needles usually take 20-45 minutes to do their work, so the practitioner can place needles in one patient, leave them to relax into their treatment, and then move on to another patient.

By treating more than one patient each hour, a practitioner can significantly reduce the price of each treatment. Also, rent costs per patient can be much reduced, and these savings can be passed on to you, the patient.

Treatment Cost in Multibed Acupuncture Clinics

Just like with private acupuncture treatments, the prices charged in multibed clinics varies. But generally, they will be at least half the cost of a comparable private consultation. In some cases the cost may even be lower. Many low cost acupuncture clinics have a ‘sliding scale’. This means that patients can pay any amount that suits their budget, from a range. In this way, people can pay a little more if they can afford, or if their treatment frequency is reduced, or less if they need frequent treatments.

The low cost of acupuncture at community clinics means that people are more likely to be able to come for frequent treatment sessions. It is often necessary to have acupuncture weekly or more often in order to get the best results, or to have treatments for a sustained period of time. If you only have a few treatments, or your treatments are too infrequent, the acupuncture may not build up the momentum to give you the healing you seek.

Privacy in Multibed Acupuncture Clinics

Although multibed acupuncture clinics are more open than private sessions, research has shown that people feel many positive benefits, but only very few negative factors when being treated in these environments. People have reported that they like the sense of community that is created in these clinic spaces. They also enjoy the increased interaction, and feel that their problems are not as large and overwhelming as they might have first thought.

Most people feel surprisingly comfortable and at ease in multi-bed clinics, especially if the acupuncturists are experienced and well trained. Many of these acupuncture clinics offer private rooms where people can go to chat about personal issues, and a good practitioner will always tell you if they think that a private treatment would be best for you. Of course, this type of environment is not for everyone, but for many they provide a high quality of treatment that would otherwise be difficult to afford.

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