Barbara Poczyniak, R.Ac, Registered Acupuncturist & Arvigo®Therapy Practitioner
Chronic or Acute Condition
For chronic, long term conditions I generally will expect treatment to last 1 month for every year the condition has persisted. This can fluctuate greatly, but gives us a good general idea. For instance, if you have had a chronic condition such as IBS for 3 - 6 years, expect gradual improvement of symptoms over 3 - 6 months. During the first month or so I highly suggest clients come in at least twice per week. This allows us to really see how the body is reacting to the acupuncture treatment. The intention is also to build upon the positive effects each treatment and not lose momentum. Once relief of symptoms is established and we have addressed the root cause, we can space treatments further apart, but never so far apart that symptoms will come back.
For acute, short term conditions the general idea is to come in for a series of acupuncture treatments in quick succession, as that can help eradicate a problem that is new. For instance an acute sports injury can usually be helped with several treatments spaced out over a few weeks. Again, I always recommend at least twice per week the first few weeks. If everything else is well with you and your body reacts positively acupuncture usually handles most acute issues pretty quickly.
Get the most value out of acupuncture
In acupuncture's country of origin, Chinese Acupuncture doctors treat patients in the TCM hospitals on a daily basis. This high-frequency treatment model is meant to get fast results, and patients expect it to work if they follow the schedule. It is not really possible to over-do it, especially if receiving the right acupuncture on a daily basis. Your body will always take exactly what it needs from the treatment, and it will always receive positive effects.
For most conditions I will also make recommendations for self care, lifestyle tips or nutrition choices that can help work alongside the acupuncture regimen. If you are not making any other changes and only relying on acupuncture alone it will be much more challenging to get results with only a monthly treatment.
Acupuncture therapy should be thought of like exercise: it feels great when you have one workout but to really see some results you have to visit the gym multiple times on a regular basis. Once you're in good shape we can talk about maintenance visits to keep it up.