Looking for an Acupuncturist? Healthy Matters brings you a comprehensive guide to help you choose and better understand TCM and acupuncture.
Methodology: This guide does not aim to be exhaustive. It is informative only and based on our independent research. No practitioner or clinic paid any fees or rendered any services in exchange for inclusion in this article.
TCM and Acupuncture 101
Acupuncturists are, simply said, practitioners who are professionally trained to perform acupuncture. Acupuncture is a major part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and a recognized therapeutic modality approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). It can relieve pain and cure physical, mental, and emotional illnesses through the internal organs. In Hong Kong, Chinese medicine practitioners are entitled to the titles of “registered Chinese medicine practitioner” with one of the streams of practice: “general practice”, “acupuncture” or “bone-setting” put in a bracket at the end of the title.
According to Chinese medicine, there are locations in the human body, named acupoints, linked to energy channels, called meridians. Acupoints and meridians, together, stimulate the flow of Qi and regulate organs’ functionalities. In Western medicine, acupuncture is seen as a method to improve the health and well-being of the nervous system by releasing chemicals inside the body. Western medical acupuncture is principally used by conventional healthcare practitioners, most commonly in physiotherapy or primary care. It is mainly used to treat musculoskeletal pain, including myofascial trigger point pain. It is also effective for postoperative pain and nausea.
In Asia, acupuncture is used for many different purposes for thousands of years, and until now there are still new projects researching the benefits of acupuncture. According to a journal from Scientific Reports, acupuncture can be used to cure Parkinson’s. In October 2017, the Baptist University of Hong Kong students found that scalp acupuncture helped autistic children with speech and social interaction with an efficacy rate of 97%. In February 2018, acupuncture helped Chinese and US researchers pinpoint a new asthma drug.
Acupuncturists in Hong Kong
There are as many as 7906 registered Chinese medicine practitioners in Hong Kong. To be registered, Chinese medicine practitioners must hold a bachelor’s degree in Chinese Medicine, and pass the Licensing Examination conducted by the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong.
For instance, it takes 6 years to get the Bachelor of Chinese Medicine (BChinMed) degree at the University of Hong Kong. Students conduct frequent clinical training and spend their first five years completing a full curriculum of Chinese Medicine courses, modern biomedical sciences courses, medicine and surgery courses, as well as general education at the university. In the sixth year, students undertake a 40-week clinical clerkship in affiliated teaching hospitals.
What are the main treatment methods by Acupuncturists?
Registered Chinese medicine practitioners in Hong Kong who are also acupuncturists, can conduct the below common treatments:
- Herbal Prescription
- Acupuncture: Used to heal wounds, rheumatoid arthritis & eczema, modulating non-specific immunity (atopic allergies), modulating pain experience for chronic neuropathic pain syndromes; changing blood coagulation (rheumatoid arthritis, gout & psoriasis), enhancing vasodilatory response, increasing IVF implantation success rates, improving heart microcirculation, regulating blood pressure, and many more.
- Cupping: Applied to promote blood, oxygen, and nutrients supply to painful constricted areas or wounds.
- Moxibustion: Used to treat musculoskeletal disorders such as bruises, sprains, tendonitis; It also offers anti-inflammation for arthritis; immune-modulating effects in lupus, airborne allergies, and many more.
- GuaSha: Guasha is a technique involving scraping the skin covered with oil, using a smooth-sided object. This technique is used to remove stagnation and improve circulation in the superficial area.
- Acupressure: Used to remove obstructions in the superficial vessels, improve blood circulation, regulate soft tissues, and relax muscles. Also used to lubricate the joints, reduce swelling, alleviate pain, restore normal joint function, treat soft tissue injuries, revolve dislocated joints, enlarge joint spaces, relieve nerve compression, or reduce adhesions.
When should you visit an Acupuncturist?
The number of treatments required depends on individual condition and sensitivity to acupuncture. For example, some may take several sessions to notice the benefits of acupuncture, whereas others may experience immediate pain relief. In more serious cases, acupuncture treatment can take several weeks, while it can take just a couple of sessions with mild cases. While acupuncture is most often applied to treat specific conditions, experts suggest that regular visits are recommended for preventive health as well.
Most common reasons to see an Acupuncturist
People commonly visit an acupuncturist when experiencing:
- Hypertension & Hypotension
- Chemotherapy (For relieving side effects of Carcinoma treatments)
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Gastric conditions, such as Peptic Ulcer
- Menstruation disorder, such as Painful Period
- Allergic rhinitis
- Morning sickness
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sprains and tennis elbow
- Back pain or back injuries
- Anxiety and depression
- Stress and Insomnia
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic pain
How much does it cost to visit an Acupuncturist in Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong and as the case with other health practitioners, the cost of acupuncture varies greatly by location and service chosen. An acupuncturist will usually assess your health condition first, and then design a customized treatment approach. Our research shows that an all inclusive program (consultation, treatment and herbs prescriptions) in a high-end private clinic usually costs around $1,100-2,000. Our research shows that a one-off consultation in Hong Kong costs between $150 and $500 generally.
For eligible HKID-holders, attending a public clinic costs $135 for a general acupuncturist and $260 for a specialist.
For non-eligible, costs are up to $1,190 per attendance.
Beware of waiting times which can be very long in the public sector. Please enquire at your clinic of choice for specific costs.
* All amounts are in HKD and were last updated in November 2020. No responsibility is accepted for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. It is always best to call ahead to make sure the information is still up-to-date.
List of Acupuncturists in Hong Kong
To make it easier for you, here is a list of Hong Kong acupuncturists and specialized clinics:
Acupuncturists in the Public Sector:
At present, there are 18 Chinese Medicine Centres for Training and Research (CMCs) in Hong Kong, which are operated under a tripartite model by the Hospital Authority, non-governmental organizations and local universities, providing Chinese medicine and acupuncture services to the public.
Acupuncturists in the Private Sector:
Here is a list of some private clinics with acupuncture specialists:
Acupuncturists in Central
Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine & Herb Clinic Hong Kong | Healthwise Chinesemed
Address: Suite 602 – 3, Prosperous Building, 48-52 Des Voeux Road Central, Central
Phone: 2526 7908
Albert Place Practice Hong Kong Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Clinic
Address: 1103 Luk Yu Building, 24-26 Stanley Street, Central
Phone: 2234 9932
Address: 6/F Kailey Tower, 16 Stanley Street, Central
Phone: 2398 9090
Acupuncturists beyond Central and in Kowloon
Virtue Medical Healing Centre
Address: Royal Commercial Centre, 56 Parkes Street, Jordan
Phone: 2698 1122
Wilson T.S. WANG Chinese Medicine Day Services Centre
Address: 4-6/F, Hawkins Wing Tung Wah Hospital, 12 Po Yan Street, Sheung Wan
Phone: 3742 0333
Does insurance cover consultations and treatments with Acupuncturists in Hong Kong?
According to AD MediLink, acupuncture treatment can be reimbursed under Chinese medicine or complementary medicine fees. Beware of acupuncture coverage sub-limits and whether your plan requires the practitioner to be registered with the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong. If you have any health related insurance questions or are looking to maximize your health insurance protection, contact an expert at AD MediLink at [email protected] or +852 2606 2668.