In late 2019, I conducted a voluntary survey of acupuncturists to answer the question of how much acupuncture costs in Australia. 205 responses were received, which is around 4% of registered practitioners with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia.
Just under 75% of acupuncturists report the cost of ongoing consultations within the range of $70-100. Initial consultation fees are usually higher, and more evenly spread amongst a greater range (a total of 72% charge $81-130).
From the collected data, median price ranges were determined across the industry. Price trends were also identified in regards to characteristics such as practice location and type of clinic. Some insights were also revealed regarding the nature of where and how acupuncturists practice.
The original survey and a spreadsheet containing the resulting data can be available here.
What is the median cost of acupuncture in Australia?
- For an initial consultation is $101-110
- For a follow-up consultation is $81-90
- The cost of herbs per week in Australia is $31-40
Consultations fees were reported in all ranges from <$60 to $150+. The cost of herbs covered the range of $1-10 to $50+ per week.
Does the practice location influence the price of acupuncture treatment?
Over 50% of practitioners identified as practising in the CBD and inner suburban areas. A trend is seen whereby outer suburbs and rural areas have lower costs per session than those clinics located in the inner suburbs and CBD areas.
Is an acupuncture consultation fee influenced by the type of practice?
Those who work in sole practice tend to charge less than those who work in clinics with other practitioners. This may be influenced by sole practitioners who have home-based clinics and thus lower overheads.
Multi-modality clinics with offerings other than Chinese Medicine, tend to have higher initial consultation fees.
Does the experience of the acupuncturist influence acupuncture prices?
No clearly discernable trend was noted in the amount charged against the years of practice. There was a jump in the median cost of initial consultations for those in practice around 16-25 years, but nothing of note in regards to follow-up consultation fees.
Do acupuncturists who only see one patient at a time charge differently?
The number of beds that are run simultaneously did not appear to have an influence on the cost of an acupuncture session. It is likely with more respondents as well as further details into the type of practice this may have produced a slightly different result, especially if multi-bed style community acupuncture clinics were involved.
Does the length of consultation time affect the rate charged?
There is was a small increase noted between those whose consults last 31-60 vs those with 61-90 minute consultations. However, as the overwhelming majority of people spend 31-60min with patients in consultation, it is hard to draw a firm conclusion.
What additional modalities are practised by acupuncturists?
Encouragingly 100% of acupuncturists practise acupuncture in their day to day to practice! A range of other modalities is also used in the clinic, both from the Chinese medicine toolkit and from other disciplines. Mostly Cupping, Gua Sha, moxibustion, lifestyle and CM dietary advice are also used in acupuncture consultations.
It is worth noting that this is a small sample of the entire Chinese Medicine profession. The findings are useful for gaining insight into the pricing trends of acupuncture in Australia but are not to be taken as definitive.
There are other factors that may influence the pricing structures of individual acupuncturists which are not captured here. Specific skill sets and postgraduate training programs that a practitioner may have undergone may influence their pricing. Areas of clinic focus that they have more experience in may also play a part.
For example, in my Melbourne acupuncture clinic, I focus on practice in Nagano lineage acupuncture and Tian lineage herbalism, skill sets I have developed through an ongoing dedication to postgraduate study. This, along with my solitary focus on one patient at a time are factors that influence my clinic pricing structure.
This article on how many acupuncture treatments are needed is also valuable reading alongside the information you have just read.
What else would you like to know?
Thanks for reading this. I’d love to open a discussion on these findings and answer any questions you may have. Post your feedback/comments below, I will read and respond to every one!