Let’s dive right in to what it takes to get results from acupuncture. How many treatments, how frequently, and why.
Acupuncture is a therapy. This means that each treatment builds on the next. We can compare this to taking a medication. Lots of people are familiar with how that works. You get diagnosed, and then you get prescribe a dose based on your condition. How long have you had it, how severe, how many complications are there, etc.
Like taking a medication, acupuncture does require consistency. Your job is showing up for your appointments, and relaxing during treatment.
Because acupuncture is based on Wholism, the whole person and the whole person’s life and habits are taken into account. Your practitioner may assign homework for between visits or suggest lifestyle tweaks.
So besides keeping your appointments, another part of your job may be making small manageable changes at your own pace to help align your daily life toward your health goals.
Now back to the original question. How many treatments will you need? This will vary based on the same factors for determining a medication dose. Each acupuncture treatment is “1 dose”. Based on the practitioner’s assessment of the severity and chronicity of your problem, and your goals, she will determine how often to come in and for how long.
Acute problems are those that have been lingering for less than 3 months, in general. So if your back pain just started last week, get in and get it treated right away, and you may be fixed in one treatment. However, if the reason for this back pain is for example uterine fibroids, or a prolapse, or diabetes, or other chronic and complicated issue, then the back pain may not be totally fixed quickly. We will likely want to address the underlying issue.
More often, I see a lot of chronic complaints. Chronic means it’s been going on for more than 3 months. For example, you’ve had sinus congestion or painful periods or no periods for 5 years. Or 10 years. Or…. well you get it. People often don’t seek treatment but instead just “deal with it”. The longer the body-mind is “talking” to you with symptoms, and the longer the communication goes ignored, the more problems can compound and wear on your energy reserves. Symptoms need attention to prevent worsening over time.
The Treatment Plan
Most acute problems we estimate will take around 6 acupuncture treatments. Because chronic problems vary so much, and are often so complex and intertwined, we estimate about 10-12 treatments, in general, for some significant results, meaning some things are staying improved between treatments. The nice thing is there will be gradual improvements along the way as the treatment plan progresses. I am perpetually amazed at what this medicine can do.
Once improvements are sustaining longer periods between treatments, and you are feeling pretty good, then we begin a maintenance program, where you come in for “meridian tune-ups” once every 4-8 weeks. This keeps the engine humming along and prevents relapse.
The Whole Model – The Foundation
Acupuncture is part of the system of medicine called Chinese Medicine (CM) or Traditional East Asian Medicine (TEAM). This is a TOTALLY different approach than Conventional AKA Western AKA Allopathic Medicine. It’s hard to look at acupuncture through the lens of modern medicine and totally understand it. The basic principles are very different.
TEAM practitioners are interested in treating the whole person. What is her spirit like? What is her sleep like? Does she have normal elimination and excretion? How can we facilitate her natural healing abilities in order to improve her quality of life ?
Quality of Life
Bottom line, what do we all want when we make the call or search on Google to find a practitioner of some sort? We want to improve our quality of life. If you can get pregnant, if you can not miss school or work every month, if you can sleep through the night, if you can go for long walks, whatever your goal, what are you willing to pay? Where in your priorities does it fall? Can you visualize what future you want, and start actualizing it now because the future begins in this very moment? This is called a personal investment. And it’s up to you to decide what you want, and how you want to get it.
When someone asks what acupuncture costs, or says they can’t afford to keep coming, I totally understand. I grew up very modestly, and my family never seemed to have enough funds. But like education, health is an investment in the future You. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is a way to improve your quality of life on every level. By addressing root imbalances, your branches will grow stronger and those branches will bear more fruit – aka servicing others, creativity, or whatever else you are here to do.
if you made it this far…
Thanks for reading, and I hope you got some insight from it. At the very least maybe you know if this is a route you want to go down. And please call me for a no obligations chat if you have any questions at 630-335-1069 (textable).