Any natural, sustainable method to improve the body works best with steady progress over time. You wouldn’t go the gym once and expect a lasting miracle. Or take a martial arts class sporadically a few times a year and expect to master the art. Acupuncture is no different. One treatment can do a lot. I’ve seen one acupuncture treatment create life changing effects on many occasions. If the effects are to last, though, it’s best to schedule a series of sessions in a strategic way.
Taking most orthopedic (pain) cases as an example, the effects of one acupuncture treatment tend to look something like this:
After the treatment there may be a bit of soreness that subsides and gives way to a wave of relief. This relief usually lasts 3-4 days before the pain starts to creep back, though it might be at a more tolerable intensity.
Strategic scheduling requires anticipating this, and being ready with another appointment 3-4 days from the first.
Letting the treatments build on each other in this way is the most effective method for quickly creating lasting changes. This might entail 3-4 visits over the first two weeks. It sounds like a lot, but it’s actually building a foundation, so that the subsequent visits can be further spaced out.
As the initial complaint fades away, treatments can be scheduled further apart, maybe once a week, or once every ten days depending on the progress. Here is an overview of the progress curve:
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan, but it’s beneficial if you understand that there is a process underway. Acupuncturists usually recommend anywhere from 6-12 treatments for most complaints. Sometimes it only takes 2-3. Sometimes difficult, chronic conditions need extended care. For best results, be ready to commit to a series of sessions.
This is acupuncture in a perfect world. Of course, there are logistical and financial variables. This is a conversation that must be had with your acupuncturist. In my office, I do everything I can to help create a process that will be most effective, while still realistic.