If you’ve been afraid of going to an acupuncturist, NYC’s best practitioners will have you over your fear of needles in no time. You don’t know what you’ve been missing: The practice has been around for thousands of years, is one of the most common alternative remedies on the planet and helps with a range of issues you’re likely popping pills for—like chronic pain, anxiety and weight loss. It can be as relaxing as other spa treatments like massages or as restorative as a class at yoga studios, and though it’ll likely take multiple sessions to notice a difference, it works by stimulating your nerves and muscles along acupressure points to restore your body’s Qi, the body’s life force or energy that helps you fight disease naturally. Ready to try it? Visit an acupuncturist at one of the best spas and studios.
Best acupuncturists in NYC
Natural relief seekers will love the offerings at City Acupuncture, which has trigger point, community (aka group) and acupuncture-massage combos on its menu. Longtime clients love the space’s approachable, no-frills environment and affordable prices: New clients get the first private 60-minute evaluation and initial treatment for half off (which, for $24, includes 30 to 40 minutes of rest time with needles in); add a 45-, 60- or 90-minute massage for extra relaxation (an additional $68, $86 or $120). Facial acupuncture newbies will be happy to know that particular services treat dark under-eye circles, wrinkles and acne—a plus if you’re looking for a natural way to make cosmetic improvements without having to visit beauty supply stores.
With first-time appointments for only $10 (and treatments running from $20 to $50 on a sliding scale), Brooklyn Open Acupuncture makes it easy to try new services to find out what works best for you. To get the most out of your sesh, schedule an herbal medicine consultation for the same day: Your technician will recommend the best in Japanese and Chinese powders or tinctures to cure that nagging cough. While the open floor plan might seem like a turnoff to first-timers, don’t worry about it: The vibe of the space is more yoga studio than doctor’s office, and you’ll find yourself drifting off to sleep before you know it.
The practitioners at Olo are pros at asking new patients about exactly what ails them, so they can tailor their treatment accordingly—that makes sense, considering acupuncture is about correcting the imbalances that are at the route of whatever symptoms you’ve been having (like common but often-ignored sports injuries, insomnia or allergies). New patients can get their first five treatments for $299 (normally $55/session). Though each thin stainless steel needle is inserted into your body in a communal treatment room, you’ll feel so relaxed you won’t even know others are there. With other spa treatments on the menu, like therapeutic and body realignment massage ($60, $100 or $125 for 30, 60 or 90 minutes), cupping ($15) and acu-facials ($200) or facial peels ($100), consider this the wellness mecca you didn’t know you were missing.
The owner of Naturopunc Acupuncture worked as an on-site therapist for the NYC theater and entertainment community for 17 years and still treats plenty of dancers and choreographers as part of his current practice. First-time or acupuncture pros alike can choose from Traditional Chinese, Japanese or Classical Chinese techniques; new patients get 20 percent off ($160 instead of $200 for a 75-minute session). Though repeated sessions are recommended for the best results, you can also supplement your appointment with a visit to yoga studios, herbalists or nutritionists recommended by the owner—perfect additions for creating a healthier, more balanced you.
Ever wake up one day and think that NYC is wearing you out? We feel you...and so does the team at Garden Acupuncture, who believes that you can counteract the stress of city living with Whole System Traditional Chinese Medicine. You’ll receive dietary and lifestyle change recommendations at your first visit, but the allure of this location is its specialized packages: It offers acupuncture specifically for women’s health, weight loss, migraines and constipation, as well as for children, babies or teens. While sessions cost less if you have insurance, prices are reasonable: An initial consultation and treatment session costs $150, while follow-ups are $130 per visit (or $100 for four sessions).
The founder, Joyce Leung Lilly, believes that acupuncture can cure—or be used as a tool to cure—almost anything that ails you, including substance addictions, eye disorders, sciatica, PMS or asthma (to name a few). In addition to the initial visit and recommended hour-long weekly sessions to maintain your health, she also offers solstice realignments (yes, to help you get over that dreaded case of SAD), and auricular (ear) acupuncture, which helps with smoking cessation, substance addiction and pain relief. An initial consultation with 60 minutes of treatment is $175, and 60-minute follow-ups are $125 ($500 for five).
Feel like you’re in a funk that you can’t snap out of? Founder Iris Netzer has been helping patients achieve a new balance in their lives, specializing in women’s health and fertility as well as chronic problems like lower back pain, addiction issues and stress reduction. Once your body’s yin and yang have been restored, consider adding an Acupuncture Facelift, a facial acupuncture session which will make your entire body look and feel younger (seriously). First sessions cost $140 and follow-ups are $112, but you’ll save some cash if you buy a package of six sessions up front ($600 total).
In case you’re still skeptical: Acupuncture works by balancing the flow of energy throughout your body. That means you’ll be stuck gently with needles in a way that’s perfect for what your body needs, and you’ll leave feeling relaxed—or even energized—as your body begins to heal itself naturally. Silver Acupuncture offers standard services ($190 for the initial visit; $420 for a package of four follow-ups) plus cupping, the treatment made popular by the summer Olympics that’s perfect for relieving joint stiffness, pain and improving circulation. Owner Jessica Silver is a pro at listening to your needs to give you the most appropriate treatment, and the clean, private treatment rooms are a huge plus for newbies.
Though five different types of acupuncture are on the menu at Revival, the most frequently chosen is Sa Am Five Element. Developed by Buddhist monks, it’s the best because it focuses on healing your internal organs—the “root” of your body’s tree that support all other parts. If that sounds a little New Agey for you, don’t write it off: Owner Dr. Chung will do multiple treatments in one visit to ensure quick improvement, suggesting tea and herbs that will help you until your next visit. Fans have thanked her for fixing a ton of problems, such as dry eye syndrome, skin inflammation and back and shoulder pain, and love her warm, caring bedside manner and extensive knowledge of Oriental medicine. The best part is that it’s super affordable: Initial consultation sessions and all follow-ups cost $80 each.