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 of 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 aims to reduce pain and relieve physical, mental and emotional illnesses through the internal organs. Chinese medicine practitioners are entitled 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 TCM, there are points or locations in the human body linked to energy channels called meridians, which can stimulate the flow of Qi and regulate organ’s functionalities. In Western medicine, acupuncture is seen as a method to improve the health and well-being of the nervous system by releasing chemicals from the body to relieve pain. Western medical acupuncture is principally used by conventional healthcare practitioners, most commonly in primary care. It is mainly used to treat musculoskeletal pain, including myofascial trigger point pain. It is also effective for postoperative pain and nausea.
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 per cent. In February 2018, acupuncture helped Chinese and US researchers pinpoint a new asthma drug.
What to know about Acupuncturists in Hong Kong
There are as much as 7,408 registered Chinese medicine practitioners in Hong Kong, and most of them have a specialty in acupuncture. To be registered, acupuncturists must hold a bachelor degree in Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture or other health profession disciplines, and have a minimum training to pass the Licensing Examination conducted by the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong.
For instance, it takes 6 years to receive the Bachelor of Chinese Medicine (BChinMed) from HK University. Students receive frequent clinical training and spend their first five years on campus studying a full curriculum of Chinese Medicine courses, modern biomedical sciences courses and general education courses. In the sixth year, students undertake a 40-week clinical clerkship in affiliated teaching hospitals.
What are the main treatments performed by Acupuncturists?
Registered Chinese medicine practitioners in Hong Kong who are also acupuncturists, can conduct the below common treatments:
- Needling: Used to heal wounds, rheumatoid arthritis & eczema, modulating non-specific immune reactions (atopic allergies), modulating pain experience for chronic neuropathic pain syndromes; changes to blood coagulation (rheumatoid arthritis, gout & psoriasis), enhancing vasodilatory response, increasing IVF implantation success rates and improving heart microcirculation & blood pressure, and many more.
- Cupping: Used to increase blood flow to painful constricted areas, and to re-supply vital nutrients and oxygen.
- Moxibustion: Used to treat musculoskeletal disorders such as bruises, sprains, tendonitis; it has anti-inflammatory actions for arthritis; and immune modulating effects in lupus, airborne allergies, and many more.
- Herbal Therapy
- 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 region.
- Acupressure: Used to remove obstructions in the superficial vessels, improve circulation of blood, regulate tissues, and relax muscles. Also used to lubricate the joints, reduce swelling, alleviate pain, restore normal joint function including range of motion, treat soft tissue injuries, reduce dislocated joints, enlarges joint spaces, relieves nerve compression, or reduce adhesions.
When should you see an Acupuncturist?
The number of treatments required depends on each person’s condition and response to acupuncture. For some, it may take several sessions to feel the benefits of acupuncture, whereas others may feel an immediate pain relief or feeling of relaxation for instance. In more serious cases, acupuncture treatment can several weeks, but for more simple cases it can take as little as a couple of sessions. While acupuncture is most often used to treat specific conditions, experts suggest that regular visits are important for preventive health as well.
Most common reasons to see an Acupuncturist
People commonly see an acupuncturist when experiencing:
- High and low blood pressure
- Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
- Some gastric conditions, including peptic ulcer
- Painful periods
- Allergic rhinitis
- Morning sickness
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sprains and tennis elbow
- Back pain
- Anxiety and depression
- Stress and Insomnia
- Chronic fatigue
How much does it cost to see an Acupuncturist in Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong and as it is the case with other health practitioners, the cost of acupuncture varies greatly, depending on the location and service chosen. An acupuncturist will usually assess your health first, and then design a made-to-measure treatment program. 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 more local areas of Hong Kong is generally between $120 and $300.
For eligible HKID-holders, attending a public clinic costs $135 for a general acupuncturist and $260 for a specialist.
For non-eligible people, 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 May 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 specialised 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 involving the Hospital Authority, non-governmental organisations and local universities, providing Chinese medicine and acupuncture services to members of 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, 號 全 層, 56 Parkes St, 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 maximise your health insurance protection, contact an expert at AD MediLink at [email protected].