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The Best Acupuncturists in New York

Photo-Illustration: Curbed; Photos: Getty

For a Group Session

REST, 131 Norfolk St.;

A big part of REST’s appeal is its low price point — it offers sessions in a communal space for just $55. Patients, who lie in heated loungers, are able to choose from a menu of “prescriptions” — Boost, Balance, Calm, or Refresh. Jeweler Madison Snider walked into REST a few years ago on a whim. Now, she visits monthly for treatments by co-founder Yukiko Naoi. “Even though you’re in a room with other people, it still feels private and personalized,” she says. “Naoi staggers appointments, so you don’t start and end at the same time as anyone else. So even though it’s not technically a one-on-one treatment, you get plenty of attention. She asks you questions quietly and then treats you specifically. She’s helped me, for instance, with some chronic back pain I just couldn’t figure out. Over several sessions, it’s slowly gone away.”

For Your Pet’s Aches & Pains

Rachel Barrack;

Dr. Rachel Barrack is one of only a handful of animal acupuncturists in the city. A doctor of veterinary medicine, certified veterinary acupuncturist, and certified veterinary Chinese herbalist, she mostly sees dogs, cats, and horses, treating conditions such as excessive roaring, wobbling, colic, and “nonspecific lameness.” (Rates vary by location.) Executive producer Pamela Garber found Dr. Barrack on Instagram and made an appointment for her French bulldog, Jacques, who suffers from intervertebral-disc disease and has trouble walking. “Jacques emitted a few low growls when she put needles in the more uncomfortable points, but within a minute or two, the poking was done and he quickly fell into a Zen-like trance. On at least one occasion, he’s even fallen asleep while standing up.” After the treatments, Jacques’s flare-ups were much less frequent and severe and he was able to return to his former level of activity, she says. Content creator Hilary Sloan called Dr. Barrack after her Yorkshire-terrier mix Ella Bean dislocated her hip. “She helped Ella avoid surgery,” says Sloan.

For Missing Periods

Yinova Center;

While the Yinova Center — whose locations in Flatiron, Brooklyn Heights, Midtown East, and the Hamptons all have big, airy windows, and lots of plants — can help patients with a range of problems, they specialize in treating fertility and reproductive-health issues. (From $200.) Which is why research manager Audrey Chisholm decided to visit — her period had been irregular for months, and nothing she’d tried (a change of diet, less exercise) was helping. At the center, her practitioner, Carly, felt for pressure points before she placed the needles in her legs and abdomen to help increase blood flow — then blended a custom herbal tincture for her to take at home. “A week later,” she says, “my period came back. And it’s stayed back ever since.” The center makes booking an appointment especially easy — its website includes an easy-to-parse breakdown of treatments with pricing as well as photographs of its board-certified practitioners along with highly specific details: Lillianne Atlihan, for instance, is available from 2 p.m. to 7:20 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays and feels her experience working as a translator “allows her to make the language and practice of Eastern medicine accessible without sacrificing subtlety or substance.”

For $48 Sessions

Pacific College of Health & Science, 110 William St.;

Creative director Benjamin Reynaert had been interested in trying out acupuncture for years — for some serious hunching-over-his-laptop-related back pain — but was deterred by the cost. Until his partner told him about the Pacific College of Health & Science, a FiDi school of massage therapy and acupuncture. Pacific, it turned out, offers treatments with acupuncturists-in-training on a sliding-scale rate, at just $34 for students and seniors and $48 for everyone else. Though he was fairly nervous about entrusting his back to a student, the price was too good, and the pain too bad, to pass up. The students turned out to be perfectly expert seeming: “That first time, and every time I’ve been back, every student I’ve seen has been super-professional, engaging, and competent. No shaky hands or nervous banter at all.” And, he says, “it not only relieved the pain after the first session, but it completely vanished after several treatments.” While the rooms are slightly clinical feeling — closer to a doctor’s office than a spa — Reynaert says that being able to afford going for regular acupuncture to keep his pain at bay “is a real luxury.”

For Natural Botox

Gotham Wellness, 580 Broadway, Ste. 711;

Beauty-industry friends had been recommending acupuncture facials to writer Sable Yong for a while before she decided to try one. The treatment, which combines traditional skin-care technology like microcurrent and LED with acupuncture to reduce inflammation, soften lines, stimulate collagen, and increase brightness, is offered at various clinics across the city. No one got better results, Yong’s friends told her, than Stefanie DiLibero. (Designer Mara Hoffman is a fan, as is editor Liz Plosser and Milk Makeup co-founder Georgie Greville). Her first appointment took two hours, during which DiLibero stayed by her side, patiently explaining every element of the treatment. “She had a better bedside manner with needles than any nurse I’ve ever met,” says Yong. And afterward, she was “stunned” by her own appearance. “My cheekbones looked like they could cut glass,” she says. “And my skin looked dewy and plumped.” (From $490.)

For Shoulder Injuries and Allergies

Alex Batkin, 928 Broadway, Ste. 504;

After designer and antiques dealer Lauren Rodriguez Hall badly injured her shoulder, she saw orthopedists and physical therapists and got cortisone shots. None of it worked. A childhood friend recommended acupuncturist Alex Batkin, who specializes in treating athletes with injuries. After a few sessions in which Batkin performed acupuncture, cupping, and bodywork, Rodriguez Hall was stunned to find that her shoulder pain had completely disappeared. “He’s a miracle worker,” she says. And not just when it comes to sports injuries. Batkin recently was able to help Rodriguez Hall alleviate the effects of her allergies (“He placed needles right at the base of my nose — immediately I could breathe better”) and reduce a skin reaction (“He sent me home with this calming, anti-inflammatory blend he’d made, which managed to soothe it”). Most important, he is a good listener — something he likely developed during a seven-year stint teaching English at Brooklyn College. “He makes you feel seen, heard, and safe,” says Rodriguez Hall. “He sort of doubles as my therapist.” (From $200.)

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