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Many women love it. Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez endorse it - they said it helped them get pregnant and become slimmer. What is it that gets world-class celebrities addicted? No - we are not talking about plastic surgery, or high-tech slimming techniques in fancy spas. We are talking about an ancient medical practice - acupuncture.

For many years, a lot of people have been quite skeptical about acupuncture. But in recent years, this alternative treatment has become more mainstream as well-known universities have scientifically and systematically studied and taught how this acupuncture works and how it benefits one’s well-being.

Many beginners often find acupuncture very intimidating because of the needles. Those who have tried it might describe it as feeling like gentle mosquito stings. The pain usually dissipates once a needle has entered your skin. The needles are thought to be effective in clearing up the clogged channels in your qi (which means - air) system, thereby bringing about better health. You usually need a series of sessions to get optimal results.

Acupuncture is sometimes coupled with other Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments. An example would be cupping, which involves applying a heated cup to the skin to improve blood flow. Moxibustion is another one, which involves heating up the acupressure points on your skin using a burning, cigar-like stick.

If you are all set to try out some acupuncture services, you may check out the 5 cool spots for acupuncture in Hong Kong we’ve handpicked for you.They are varied in budget and type in the hope that you may choose one that meets your needs.

Mandarin Oriental Spa - Luxurious Spa Suites

Hearing the name Mandarin Oriental might lead you to  believe it is one of the most luxurious venues for acupuncture in Hong Kong. The exquisite services and spacious spa suites have made it one of the top 30 spas in the world as rated by Forbes Travel Guide in 2012.

The Traditional Chinese Medicine (abbreviated as TCM) treatment includes a consultation session with one of the licensed doctors who was trained in medicine. The doctor will assess your health conditions, and then design for you a made-to-measure treatment program. The program may include acupuncture, bone-setting, cupping or moxibustion. A 45-minute session all inclusive (consultation, treatment and herbs prescriptions) costs $1100 on weekdays or $1200 during weekends.

If you simply want to feel pampered - you may opt for the Chinese Meridian Massage (Weekday: $990; Weekend: $1070). This massage which focuses on the acupressure points works deep in your muscle and can alter your organ functioning.

Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-11pm, Sat-Sun 9am-11pm. Address & phone number here

Chuan Spa, Langham Place Hotel - Tailor-made Treatment

Arriving at Chuan Spa, you will be greeted by a therapist who will take you through a five part questionnaire to determine which element inside you is out of balance. Then you will be advised on which of the 60+ standard treatments to try, or enjoy a tailor-made one at one of the stylish, Oriental-styled treatment rooms.

A 20-minute acupuncture, cupping or moxibustion treatment costs $1250, through the week. All treatments are conducted by qualified TCM therapists and the price includes a consultation session with their spa consultant Dr. Gladys Leung, a registered TCM practitioner who graduated from the Chinese University Hong Kong. An additional 20-minute treatment would cost $650.

Reservations can be made online here. All bookings have to be made 24 hours in advance.

Hours: 10am-1pm daily

eHerbs Clinic - Ladies only and Laser Acupuncture

eHerbs Clinic is one of the first beauty centers to provide acupuncture treatment in Hong Kong, and it is strictly ladies-only. You can have a range of TCM treatments there, such as Acupuncture ($600), Gua Sha ($400), Cupping ($600) and Moxibustion ($400). If you are scared of needles, Laser Acupuncture ($400) could be a good choice for you; the doctor will usually suggest an appropriate treatment. All treatments take approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

Their doctor, Kim Tam, is a registered TCM Practitioner. In addition to having some 15 years of practical experience in the field, she is also a PhD Candidate of Integration of Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine of Oncology of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine. After the consultation with her, a treatment will be arranged for you to take place in two to three days.

Since this year is eHerbs Clinic's 10th anniversary, you can enjoy a 20% discount on all treatments.

Hours: Mon-Sat 12am-8:30pm, Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays Address & phone number here

Alive Healthcare & Physiotherapy Center - Integral Therapy and Spiritual Healing

Alive is run by a registered physiotherapist with 10 years' practical experience in acupuncture. She is Alice Yuen, who has also a strong background in anatomy and holistic healing. The acupuncture therapy that she provides integrates with Craniosacral therapy and Manual therapy, which are techniques often used by a physiologist to release body stress, as well as Biogenesis, a type of spiritual healing that claims to restore health and establish harmony in your family.

About 85% of the patients there are expats from all over the world. The treatment is of hotel-price - $1100 for a 60-minute acupuncture session, inclusive of a consultation. If you like their services, you may consider buying packages which costs $5000 for 5 sessions and $9000 for 10 sessions.

Hours: 9am - 6pm (Mon.- Fri.) 9am - 1pm (Sat.)
A Special appointment will be arranged if non-office hour booking is needed

+852 2541 8600
Room 2002, Car Po Commercial Building, 18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong

HKU SPACE Orthopedics, Acupuncture and Tui-Na Centre - Professor doctors

When people first hear the name of this clinic (HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education), most would be frightened by the prospect of being treated by inexperienced interns from the Chinese Medicine faculty of the school. The fact is - you will be treated by their professors while those students observe.

An acupuncture treatment inclusive of a doctor's consultation costs $300. The treatment usually takes 20-30 minutes. Since this place provides one of the cheapest yet one of the most professional acupuncture treatments in Hong Kong, the bookings are usually quite full. It may take 1 to 2 weeks to arrange your treatment. You will be asked to bring your ID card or passport to register.

Mon - Sat: 10:00am - 2:00pm; 3:00pm - 8:00pm
Sun: 9:30am - 1:30pm
Public Holidays Closed Address and phone number here

Final Words:
To ensure your safety, When going to an acupuncturist, always ask if they use disposable needles. If you are uncomfortable with their reply, go someplace else. If you have bleeding problems or are on a certain medication that might promote bleeding, you may not be suitable for acupuncture, but you can always try other types of TCM treatments.

By Carmen Bat