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Health insurance for acupuncture

Health insurance for acupuncture is included with many extras policies. Compare policies with acupuncture cover from less than $4 a week.

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What you need to know

  • Health insurance for acupuncture is included under the natural therapies section of extras cover.
  • Extras with Acupuncture cover is available from around $13 a month.
  • The waiting period for acupuncture is normally 2 months, but policies with zero waiting periods are available.

Compare acupuncture health insurance

Here are some extras policies from Finder partners that cover acupuncture. Most also cover a range of other extras treatments, including optical and dental. All prices are based on a single individual with less than $90,000 income and living in Sydney.

1 - 10 of 42
Name Product Treatments Price Apply
HCF STARTER EXTRAS
Extras cover
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Psychology
  • Remedial massage
  • Hearing aids
  • +2 other treatments covered
$12.74
per month
Frank Basic Extras
Extras cover
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Psychology
  • Remedial massage
  • Hearing aids
  • +1 other treatments covered
$13.57
per month
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Psychology
  • Remedial massage
  • Hearing aids
  • +2 other treatments covered
$16.89
per month
Frank Easy Extras
Extras cover
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Psychology
  • Remedial massage
  • Hearing aids
  • +2 other treatments covered
$20.21
per month
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Psychology
  • Remedial massage
  • Hearing aids
  • +2 other treatments covered
$25.52
per month
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Psychology
  • Remedial massage
  • Hearing aids
  • +4 other treatments covered
$26.54
per month
Flex 50
Extras cover
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Psychology
  • Remedial massage
  • Hearing aids
  • +4 other treatments covered
$31.51
per month
HCF MID EXTRAS
Extras cover
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Psychology
  • Remedial massage
  • Hearing aids
  • +3 other treatments covered
$32.04
per month
Value Extras
Extras cover
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Psychology
  • Remedial massage
  • Hearing aids
  • +4 other treatments covered
$32.38
per month
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Psychology
  • Remedial massage
  • Hearing aids
  • +4 other treatments covered
$32.68
per month
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Compare up to 4 providers

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is a natural therapy, taken from traditional Chinese medicine, that aims to treat a variety of conditions through inserting small needles into the skin. As well as being practiced by specialist acupuncturists, it's sometimes used by physios and GPs. There's some evidence it's an effective treatment for some pain and nausea, but many other claims made by acupuncturists are not backed up by solid clinical evidence.

Acupuncture is claimed to stimulate the nerves, causing the brain to release hormones and other helpful chemicals that help you heal faster and feel better. An acupuncturist will ask you what's wrong and then insert thin needles into the skin at strategic points around the body. They'll place each needle wherever they think it will have the most impact on your condition, drawing from both Chinese medical tradition and Western medical understanding of the nervous system.

What is acupuncture proven to treat?

Despite being considered a natural therapy, there's good evidence to support its effectiveness for some medical issues. According to the Better Health Victoria, here are some of the disorders that acupuncture is proven to treat:

  • Dental pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Controlling nausea after operations and chemotherapy

Additionally, the USA-based NCCIH says that there is some evidence that acupuncture is effective in treating:

  • Headache
  • Lower-back and neck pain
  • Osteoarthritis and knee Pain

What else is acupuncture claimed to treat?

With a 2,000 year history, acupuncture has had plenty of time for it to be used to try and treat a rank of illnesses and disorders. Many of the claims by acupuncture supporters are based on limit research - acupuncture should only ever complement your existing medical treatment rather than replace it.

Here are a few of the conditions that acupuncturist claim it can help treat:

  • Asthma
  • Digestive problems
  • Arthritis
  • Migraines
  • Allergies
  • Constipation
  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Temporomandibular disorder (TMJ)

Here are a few more specific health issues that acupuncture is often used as a natural treatment for.

Acupuncture for weight loss

Acupuncture is often used as a treatment for 'imbalances', which some people say includes obesity and weight loss. There is some evidence to back up claims of acupuncture's effectiveness for weight loss, but the evidence is not particularly comprehensive, owing to poor and inconsistent methodology.

According to Chinese tradition, negative emotions like anxiety and over-worry can lead to imbalances in the digestive organs. An acupuncturist will treat this with the "five point" technique by placing needles in five points in and around your ear. Your ears are said to contain meridian points that affect all regions of your body, including these five related to weight gain:

  • one point affecting the hunger response
  • one point affecting the stomach (the main digestive organ)
  • one point affecting the spleen (connected to the stomach)
  • one point affecting digestive hormones
  • one master point affecting pain and addiction

Acupuncture for fertility

Acupuncture is often claimed to be able to increase your chances of conceiving, both naturally and through IVF. However, there is no conclusive evidence to back up these claims.

To promote fertility, acupuncturists will place needles around your legs, lower abdomen and lower back with the purpose of increasing blood flow to your uterus and ovaries. If you're preparing for in vitro fertilisation (IVF), acupuncturists claim it can help to reduce stress, regulate hormones and encourage ovulation.

Acupuncture for pregnancy

Acupuncture supporters claim it can help with a range of pregnancy-related issues like fatigue, morning sickness, aches, pains and swelling. There's a reasonable amount of evidence for this claim. A 2017 study found acupuncture to be effective in preparing for childbirth, while a 2020 study also found that acupressure - a related treatment - was effective in reducing nausea.

Here are some of the ways you might be treated by an acupuncturist during pregnancy:

  • First trimester. The acupuncturist might work on treatments to help prevent miscarriage, reduce morning sickness and channel nourishment toward the bub.
  • Second trimester. This is generally considered the "easiest" trimester, so you may just go in for maintenance treatment.
  • Third trimester. Acupuncture will be used to help your body adjust to all its rapid changes and to help you prepare for delivery.
  • Post-birth. You can even get treatment after birth to help your body recover from the extraordinary experience that just occurred.

Acupuncture for anxiety

There is some evidence to support claims that acupuncture is effective in treating some symptoms of anxiety. A 2021 meta-analysis found that acupuncture proved effective in treating generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), but that more randomised trials were needed to support its effectiveness in treating other forms of anxiety.

In Chinese medicine, different types of anxiety are said to be caused by a deficiency in one of the yin-promoting organs. Acupuncture will specifically target each one, like so:

  • Anger. Acupuncture will aim to balance the liver and gallbladder energy.
  • Worry. Your spleen and stomach will be the target.
  • Fear. Let acupuncture restore balance to the kidneys and bladder.
  • Sadness. Use acupuncture to send some qi to your lungs and large intestine.

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