Acupuncture: How Much Does it Cost?

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How much does acupuncture cost

The cost of acupuncture varies widely throughout California and the United States. When discussing acupuncture, a common question is: “How much does the treatment cost?“. The cost of acupuncture services varies depending on the payment options you choose. So, let’s discuss your options together but first…

What is Acupuncture?

What is acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese Medicine dating back nearly 3,000 years ago. Fine needles are inserted into various parts of the body to treat a range of disharmonies

Through the lens of Chinese Medicine, there are over 200 pathways of energy or qi (pronounced chee) in our bodies. These pathways are referred to as “meridians”. When the flow of energy, or qi, is blocked or stagnant on these pathways, disharmonies (pain, disease, etc.) can result.  

By inserting thin, stainless steel needles at points along these pathways, we stimulate the nervous system and help the energy flow more fluidly in the body, thus preventing and treating diseases and pain that a patient is dealing with. 

Through a Western lens, the insertion of an acupuncture needle has many physiological effects. The needles can affect neurotransmitters, downregulate pain, stimulate repair of tissues, increase microcirculation, and reduce inflammation.  

What Does it Treat?

Acupuncture can treat a wide variety of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual ailments. The most common objectives of treatment are to:

  • Reduce pain and inflammation
  • Alleviate symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and tinnitus
  • Reduce stress and anxiety, or increase energy and mental clarity
  • Strengthen the body’s immune system
  • Balance and integrate functions of the organs, making for a unified, integrated, healthy person

What does acupuncture treat

The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as an effective treatment for over 200 common clinical disorders, including:

  • Sports injury
  • Chronic pain
  • Arthritis
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Addiction
  • Insomnia
  • PMS
  • Irregular or painful menstruation
  • Menopause 
  • Asthma
  • Migraines
  • Hormonal imbalances

What Can I Expect from an Acupuncture Treatment?

What to expect first acunpuncture appointment

Receiving acupuncture is an enjoyable, relaxing experience. Your first appointment will begin with an extensive evaluation of your health history and current health concerns, and any questions you have will be answered. Your acupuncturist may check your tongue for color and texture, feel your pulse, and discuss your lifestyle habits during this time. 

Treatment will then begin with acupuncture, cupping, or gua sha, depending on your treatment plan. When receiving acupuncture, your acupuncturist will insert needles on various points of your body. The needles are hair-thin and are typically inserted only  ¼ – ½ inches into the body. The treatment itself is relatively painless, with many patients reporting some aching sensations on some points on the body that fade away. 

Once needles are inserted, and you are comfortable, you will rest for 30 minutes and let the needles do the work. Your treatments will feel deeply relaxing, connecting, and rejuvenating, and your acupuncturist will be on call to support you the entire time. 

After your appointment, patients tend to feel relaxed, experience improved sleep and digestion, have more energy, and have an overall sense of well-being. With consistent treatments, most patients notice an improvement in acute conditions almost immediately, and chronic conditions tend to improve in 4-6 weeks.  

Is There Anything I Need to Do Before or After My Appointment?

Stay hydrated before acupuncture treatment

In preparation for your visit, it is good to be well hydrated and put on comfortable clothing that is easy to rest in. You don’t want to get treatment on an empty stomach. It is also best to avoid high quantities of caffeine right before treatment, as it can hinder your ability to relax. After your appointment, we recommend patients to hydrate and take it slow to learn how their bodies react to acupuncture. You may feel sore or low energy after your first few visits. 

The Cost of Acupuncture

Do You Accept Insurance?

In the state of California, insurance companies are legally required to include acupuncture as a treatment for pain and nausea as an essential health benefit. Unfortunately, this law excludes Medicare, and for that reason, we offer discounts to Medicare patients. 

We at Solis Acupuncture are in-network with select plans through Blue Shield of California, United Health Care, Sutter Select, and Kaiser, and we offer discounts to Medicare patients. To learn if you have coverage, please call our office at 831-464-1605, and we will be happy to run a benefits check for you.  

How Much Does Acupuncture Cost Without Insurance?

The cost of acupuncture varies greatly depending on where you live, with San Jose and San Fransisco having some of the highest average costs at $130 per session. Nationally, the cost for a first-time acupuncture visit ranges from $150-400, and follow-ups range from $85-$300.

At Solis Acupuncture, we offer patients a variety of payment options (outlined below) for you to choose from. 

Cash Pay

  • $195 initial visit: The first visit to our office consists of an extended evaluation, assessment, and treatment (which will include acupuncture, gua sha, electrical stimulation, and cupping). This appointment may last up to 2 hours.
  • $120 follow-up visit: Follow-up visits are an hour and will include acupuncture, cupping, electrical stimulation, and gua sha, depending on your treatment plan. 

*We offer financial discounts for those who qualify. Don’t hesitate to contact our office to discuss your options further. 


Purchasing a package is another option for cash-pay patients. Package options are:

  • $570 for 6 visits ($95 per visit)
  • $1080 for 12 visits ($90 per visit)


We believe that everyone should have access to the benefits of acupuncture, and we are committed to making our services affordable for all. If you’re interested in learning more about our payment options or scheduling a free consultation, please call us at (831) 464-1605 or contact us online.


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Lishanna Emmert, DAOM, L.Ac

Lishanna Emmert, DAOM, L.Ac

Dr. Emmert has been treating chronic pain for 15 years. After obtaining her Master’s in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, she went on to do a Doctoral Program through the Henan University In China, then a second Doctoral program in San Jose, CA.