We begin by setting a goal based on our training, clinical experience and the available evidence base. This means our treatments are informed by the traditional Chinese approach, while ensuring as far as possible that it is realistic to expect acupuncture to help and ethical to offer treatment as such. Initially, I usually suggest 3-4 weekly treatments then together, as a partnership, we can re-evaluate our treatment aims from there. Many practices encourage twice weekly treatments to begin with. We recognise that this is difficult for many people and we do not generally request this.
A course of several treatments is usually necessary, 6-8 as a guide, in order to achieve "Maximum Therapeutic Benefit" and then to stabalise this by increasing the intervals between treatments. It can take longer but we will discuss this in advance. It is very unusual for conditions to resolve altogether in one or two treatments. Mild to moderate symptomatic relief within the first few treatments is likely. Sometimes there can be a temporary worsening of symptoms, a little more soreness, changes which evidence a response, but that the body is adjusting to a long-held habitual pattern, and it needs time. Healing is a process which takes time. Acupuncture helps remove barriers to healing, through a number of mechanisms, but it doesn't heal. You do!
So if it is necessary to attend regularly, for a number of treatments, how much will it cost? Community Acupuncture makes this more affordable by offering a 'middle way model' of reduced cost in return for a shared space. As a registered member of the Association of Community and Multibed Acupuncture Clinics, Belfast Community Acupuncture has committed to offer high quality acupuncture such as you should receive in any reputable clinic. The guidelines for pricing these clinics (and we are the only registered multibed clinic in Northern Ireland) are roughly from a minimum price of half the going local rate up to a maximum of the local going rate. We thrive on being busy, as we are not funded or subsidised. We charge the minimum possible to sustain a small local business. Clients are encouraged to commit to a full course of treatment by choosing Community Acupuncture, availing of our sliding scale rates and attending regularly!
For more information on Community Acupuncture please visit ACMAC
The highly reputable British Acupuncture Council discusses the question of "How many treatments" on its website, which is also an excellent resource for current research: http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/public-content/public-ask-an-expert/ask-an-expert-about-acupuncture/ask-an-expert-about-acupuncture-nhs-private-healthcare/how-much-does-acupuncture-cost-and-how-many-treatments.html