How Often Should I Get Acupuncture?
Although everyone is a unique individual, in general, it is best to come more frequently in the beginning and then spread out your acupuncture treatments as you begin to respond and the results last longer.
Acupuncture sessions are cumulative so you should feel more benefit with each subsequent treatment. I usually recommend a person to come 1 to 2 times a week for about 4 to 6 sessions, then go to an every 2 week schedule, then once a month for maintenance until the condition is gone. We make those decisions together based on how well you are responding.
Obviously, some conditions can be healed completely while others are long term, chronic problems that can only expect to get symptomatic relief with acupuncture.
Waiting too long between acupuncture appointments can cause your body to revert…
There are a few general principles of healing that we can use as guidelines when trying to determine what your treatment experience will look like:
- The first is that acute conditions are quicker to resolve than chronic ones. So if for example, you sprain your ankle and you get acupuncture soon after the injury, you should be pain free or at least feel much better within 2-3 treatments. In these situations, I recommend getting treated every few days to keep the momentum going. If you wait too long between appointments, your body goes back to being in the state it was to begin with and we are starting at point zero each time. It takes longer to resolve the condition this way.
- That being said, we are limited by our busy schedules and our wallets in this country. In China, when someone has an issue, they get treated every day or every other day for 10 sessions, at which point they reevaluate and begin another series if progress is being made. We don’t have that kind of freedom but my experience has showed me that acupuncture still helps the body to heal even with a less frequent schedule than in China.
Chronic conditions require patience…
If you have a chronic condition, years or decades, you will have to be more patient with the benefits you can expect to receive from treatment. In chronic cases, I recommend weekly treatments for at least 8 weeks before modifying the schedule. There is saying in holistic medicine that it takes one month of treatment for every year you have had the condition. That seems to be fairly accurate in my experience.
However, if you don’t feel any different after the 4th or 5th visit, I am thinking about a different treatment approach or referring you out to someone who may be able to help you better than I can. It is important for you to feel optimistic and to be noticing some benefit during your time with me.
Get tune-ups when the seasons change…
The last recommendation or guideline I will give you is that if you are pretty healthy and want to stay that way or you need a tune-up every once in awhile, you should get a treatment every three months at the change of the seasons. The transition from summer to fall and from winter to spring tend to be particularly challenging. If you have not been to see me for awhile, it’s probably time for a tune up!
Thank you for allowing me to serve you and participate in your healing.
To Your Best Health,
Sydney Cooley L. Ac., Dipl OM
My Acupuncture Durango
801 Florida Rd, Suite 12, Durango, CO