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Frequently Asked Questions

Does acupuncture work?

There is a lot of discussion about acupuncture. Some people are hesitant, some want to know more and others are just curious. In this section, Sinomedica has gathered the most frequently asked questions to give a clear understanding of what acupuncture is.

Pricing and costs

Is acupuncture recognised by health insurances?

Reimbursement for medical acupuncture treatments at Sinomedica depends on your complementary insurance policy. Financial coverage is specific to your policy, therefore please check in advance with your insurance what the coverage conditions are.

How much does a treatment cost?

First session
Anamnesis, diagnosis and acupuncture treatment
Between 60 minutes to 90 minutes. Costs: CHF 160 (CHF 150 in Ticino) 

Follow-up sessions
Medical assessment and acupuncture treatment
Between 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Costs: CHF 140 (CHF 120 in Ticino)

Can I receive financial aid?

Reimbursement for medical acupuncture treatments at Sinomedica depends on your complementary insurance policy. Financial coverage is specific to your policy, therefore please check in advance with your insurance what the coverage conditions are.

What total cost should I expect to solve my problem?

Generally, a treatment plan includes 10 acupuncture sessions, at first weekly, then more spaced out over time.

First session cost
Anamnesis, diagnosis and acupuncture treatment; between 60 minutes to 90 minutes. Costs: CHF 160 (CHF 150 in Ticino) 

Follow-up sessions cost
Medical assessment and acupuncture treatment
Between 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Costs: CHF 140 (CHF 120 in Ticino) 

Indicative total cost
A minimum between 1230.-/ 1420.- per treatment plan should be considered. 

The treatment plan is defined together with the patient during the first session. Generally, a treatment plan includes 10 acupuncture sessions.

Medical acupuncture

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a treatment derived from traditional Chinese medicine. Fine needles are inserted at certain sites in the body for preventative and therapeutic purposes.

Medical acupuncture is the use of acupuncture based on a scientific medical diagnosis and treatment approach. It is a well-established and recognized medical treatment for many acute and chronic diseases, as well as for, physical health (pain, fertility, integrative oncology, weight loss) and mental health (anxiety, stress, burnout, depression).

What are the benefits?

Medical acupuncture is a recognized method for treating numerous acute and chronic diseases. Medical acupuncture as an integrated medicine is also the ideal supplement to other treatment protocols. Acupuncture is painless, has no side-effects, no contraindication and is compatible with most medications.

How long does the treatment last?

The Sinomedica approach involves ten acupuncture sessions every week, followed by five sessions every fortnight, and finally one session per month according to clinical needs. In the case of weight loss, sessions are extended once a week until the targeted ideal weight is reached.

After how long do you see the benefits?

It is personal and depends on the health condition of the patient. Usually patients feel the positive effect of the acupuncture treament  after the first session. Symptoms improve significantly after each sessions. Health benefits builds on each other thanks to the treatment cumulative effect  which deliver long lasting  treatments benefits.

Weight loss

Who is the diet for?

For everybody who wants to lose weight whether they are slightly or severely overweight. Sinomedica program is a healthy solution to regain control over your body weight and should be considered as the treatment of choice compared to surgical intervention or pharmacological approaches.

How much weight will I lose?

Through the Sinomedica Shou Shen® program you will reach your ideal weight without muscle loss, regardless of whether you need to lose 5, 10, 30, or 80 kilos. Once you have reached your ideal weight, your endocrine system will naturally help you regulate your weight.

Sinomedica also developed a less strict diet with a weekly acupuncture session specifically for people who need to lose less than 10 kilograms, for pregnant women, athletes, and children.   

How long will it take me to reach my ideal weight?

It depends on your ideal weight, which is based on gender, weight and height. Following the program session timeline of one acupuncture treatment per week and the Sinomedica diet are essential for therapeutic success. In the first week, patients generally lose 3 to 6 kilos and 1.5 to 2 kilos per week afterwards, until the ideal weight is reached.

What am I allowed to eat?

Sinomedica Shou Shen® is a low carbohydrate diet made up of vegetables and proteins (meat and fish). Once you reach your ideal weight, your Sinomedica specialist will advise you on how to gradually re-introduce small amounts of other foods to your diet. Detaliled list of allowed food will be supplied to the patient and varies depending on the full or half diet program.

Why do I need acupuncture in addition to the diet?

Acupuncture rebalances the endocrine system responsible for appetite control, thus restoring a healthy metabolism and drastically curbing appetite.

Acupuncture restores the balance and well-functioning of the leptin and ghrelin hormones, which decrease the feeling of hunger and increase the feeling of satiety.

Additionally, acupuncture lowers stress and anxiety levels, improves the immune system and the general well-being of patients.

How can I avoid regaining weight? To avoid the the cycle of the yo-yo effect, the metabolism needs to be stabilized, hence the integration phase when the ideal weight is reached. Over the course of two months, you will gradually integrate small quantities of other foods into your diet. Three meals a day, a low-carb diet, and an acupuncture session every two weeks are the key components to long term success.
How can I prevent the yo-yo effect in the long run?

After the two-month integration phase, you start the maintenance phase in which you resume eating a normal diet (although carbohydrates should make up less than 20 percent of all calories), while maintaining monthly acupuncture sessions. Your specialist will advise you on the maintenance phase in detail.

How can I maintain my ideal weight?
  1. Control: weigh yourself every day and react immediately if you gain or lose 0.5 to 1 kilo
  2. Physical activity: engage in regular physical activity, at least twice a week
  3. Diet: three meals a day, no snacks, low on carbohydrates
  4. Acupuncture: continue going to regular acupuncture sessions to promote hormonal and metabolic balance.

Stress-related conditions

Anxiety and/or panic attacks

Individuals with anxiety disorder manifest both physical and mental symptoms.

Anxiety or panic attacks develop on two levels:

  • Cognitive symptoms: sense of alarm or danger, induction of negative memories
  • Physical symptoms: tension, tremor, palpitation, dizziness, and nausea.

Anxiety and antidepressant medications are the treatments of choice, but they have many adverse effects. Acupuncture is now recognized by the medical community as an effective therapy with no side effects and comparable therapeutic success and efficacy.

What is burnout?

Burnout results from one or more stressors where stress management is inadequate. This leads to exhaustion and the manifestation of the following symptoms:

  • fatigue
  • disturbed, restless sleep
  • irritability
  • inability to cope with crowds/noise
  • feeling agitated
  • concentration problems/ forgetfulness
  • loss of control
  • no longer able to perform daily functioning

Burnout can be caused by work-related stress, a divorce/separation, chronic illness, family care, financial difficulties, or attending a demanding education.
Sleep disorders

Insomnia is one of the most common diseases in modern society. It can lead to early waking, short sleep, severe insomnia, poor sleep quality and causes a range of negative emotions such as fatigue, cognitive decline, tension and anxiety, affecting social harmony and stability.
Acupuncture has currently proved effective in treating insomnia in many studies.


  • Helps falling asleep more easily
  • Promotes steady sleep
  • Aids deep sleep.


Pain conditions and chronic pain related symptoms

Acupuncture is a very effective form of treatment for many types of pain, ranging from acute and chronic lower back pain, knee osteoarthritis, migraine and tension headache, neck and shoulder pain, as well as post-operative pain, cancer related pain and childbirth pain.

Acupuncture also yields results in the treatment of fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as contributing significantly to the fight against opiate addiction.

Many people with chronic pain report problems sleeping, fatigue and anxiety, which can be treated with acupuncture.

Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and stiffness and is often accompanied by fatigue, sleep disorders, cognitive dysfunction, headache, asthenia, mood and sleep disorders. Fibromyalgia can cause chronic widespread pain and seriously affect the life quality of patient. Fibromyalgia is most common in women between ages 20 and 55 years old.

Acupuncture can greatly reduce the pain related to fibromyalgia as well as the related symptoms like fatigue, anxiety and sleeping disorder.
Opioid addiction for the treatment of chronic pain Over the past 15 years opioid overdose and dependence has become an increasing health problem. Switzerland being the 7th largest consumer in the world. Therefore, there is a need for non-pharmacologic and non-addictive strategies for pain management and decrease of opioid dependence.

Acupuncture is a safe alternative to opioid use. In addition, pairing acupuncture treatments with drug treatment for chronic pain greatly increases the beneficial effect, reducing the risk of developing a dependence to the drugs.
Migraine Migraine is a debilitating condition characterized by recurrent headache, often accompanied by photophobia, phonophobia, or nausea. The standard pharmacotherapies treatments are often accompanied with undesirable adverse effects.

Acupuncture can reduce the frequency of seizures and reduce their intensity, consequently decreasing the use of medication. Acupuncture is very effective and has no side effects.
Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a peripheral neuropathy that can generate tingling, numbness and pain in the hand and arm. It is due to compression of the median nerve that runs down the arm and reaches the fingers by passing inside a narrow channel (the carpal tunnel) present at the level of the wrist.

Acupuncture is scientifically proven to help relieve its symptoms.

Le syndrome des jambes sans repos Le syndrome des jambes sans repos (SJSR) est un trouble neurologique lié aux moments de relaxation. Des épisodes d’inconfort se produisent fréquemment avant de s’endormir ou au réveil.
La victime perçoit un malaise insupportable, un désir accablant de bouger ses membres inférieurs.

Integrated oncology

Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. In Switzerland, around 6300 women get breast cancer each year.

Research shows acupuncture is effective managing treatments side effects. It relieves some of the symptoms related to chemotherapy treatments such as nausea, fatigue and stress, improving the quality of sleep and overall well-being. Additionally, studies suggests that regular acupuncture treatments reduces the risk of recurrence in breast cancer patients.

Acupuncture against the side effects of cancer

Numerous scientific articles support the role of acupuncture as a complementary therapy and demonstrated that it relieves cancer related symptoms and side effects.

Some symptoms treated with acupuncture in oncology:

  • Nausea/vomiting related to chemo- and radiotherapy treatments, anticipatory and postoperative nausea
  • Flushing secondary to pharmacologically induced menopause
  • Cancer related pain and postoperative pain
  • Fatigue control (extreme physical, emotional and cognitive fatigue)
  • Mood (anxiety, depression, stress) and sleep disorders.

Women's health

Menopause-related syndromes

Hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia are the three most common vasomotor-related symptoms experienced by 80% of women. Although hormone therapy is effective for reducing VMSs, its use is restricted in some women due to the side effects. Many women will seek nonpharmacologic treatment options such as acupuncture.

Scientific evidence supports the use of acupuncture to relieve these menopausal symptoms and increases quality of life.

Menstrual disorders

There can be many disorders related to the menstrual cycle that can benefit from acupuncture treatment.

Dysmenorrhoea, menstrual pain, is the most common form of period pain and affects up to three-quarters of women. It is characterized by cramping pain in the lower abdomen that may spread to the lower back pain and may include other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue and anxiety. Use of medication with side effects is high.

Acupuncture offers a safe and painless approach to effectively manage symptoms of period pain. It improves the uterine arterial blood flow and relieves the pain
Acupuncture can be used as an effective and safe treatment for females (including adolescents) with irregular cycle.

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Le syndrome des ovaires polykystiques est présent chez 5 à 15 % des femmes. Il est devenu un problème de santé majeur et est la cause la plus fréquente d’infertilité. Il s’agit d’un syndrome clinique caractérisé par un cycle menstruel irrégulier ou une aménorrhée, l’acné et l’hirsutisme (croissance excessive des cheveux) et est souvent associé à l’embonpoint et à l’obésité. La plupart des patientes ont plusieurs kystes dans les ovaires. Le syndrome des ovaires polykystiques peut avoir des implications importantes sur le bien-être psychologique d’une femme tout au long de sa vie. Actuellement, les principales formes de traitement pour les femmes atteintes de ce syndrome sont les thérapies pharmacologiques, mais celles-ci sont associées à différents effets indésirables. Des études scientifiques soutiennent l’acupuncture comme traitement non pharmaceutique possible pour le syndrome des ovaires polykystiques. L’acupuncture peut jouer un rôle dans l’induction de l’ovulation par le biais de la régulation hormonale.


Endometriosis is a multifactorial, inflammatory, gynaecological condition characterized by the presence of endometrium, or mucous membrane that normally lines only the uterine cavity, outside the uterus. It can affect women as early as their first menstruation (menarche). The main symptoms are very intense pain during the menstrual and premenstrual periods (dysmenorrhea) and at the time of ovulation, along with chronic pelvic pain, pain in sexual intercourse, and chronic physical fatigue. Current pain therapies often involve various pharmacological and surgical treatments.

Acupuncture is an effective integrative therapy for endometriosis. Acupuncture treatments increase blood flow, alleviate pain through increasing the body’s own pain-relieving molecules (endorphins), regulate the hormonal levels and increase the immune response. This results in less pain, better hormonal balance and less inflammation.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

PMS occurs in relation to the menstrual cycle hormonal imbalances. Symptoms usually begin five to 11 days before menstruation. PMS symptoms are often mild, but in some women they can be severe.

Acupuncture regulates the hormonal levels and reduces inflammation and the overall severity of PMS symptoms.

Pregnancy disorders

Women may suffer from various conditions during pregnancy. Concerns over drug use trigger the use of other non-pharmacological alternative treatments.

Acupuncture treatments can bring relief to: 

  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • fatigue
  • burning and minor pains in the stomach
  • constipation
  • different aches and pains
  • breech babies and labor difficulties

Acupuncture also helps mothers recover faster after childbirth
. It also helps prevent post-natal depression.

Women fertility

In women organic disorders (e.g., ovulatory disorders, tubal disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis) and lifestyle factors are highly associated with female infertility.

Acupuncture, as a nonpharmacologic therapy, has been shown to improve the menstrual cycle and the ovulation through regulating the nervous and endocrine system and the blood flow to the uterus and ovaries.

Acupuncture also helps to create a favorable environment during procedures such as IVF or ICSI. Current evidence suggests that acupuncture given during embryo transfer improves rates of pregnancy.

Do you need more information?

If you think you might benefit from the treatment, do not hesitate to clarify your doubts.