How often should I be getting acupuncture?
Great question! There’s not one clear answer. Have you had acupuncture before? Are you coming in for a specific symptom? Is your concern chronic or acute? Many factors play into how you can get the most out of your acupuncture treatment. Your practitioner can give you a better idea of what will work best for you and here are a few tips to act as a guide:
Get Some Momentum
Many of us think with limited time and resources, we should ration our treatments to last throughout the whole year. You may think to schedule once a month or once every few months to help ease stress after its built up. While I understand this thought process, you’re not getting the most bang for your buck. Get some momentum with your healing process. Committing more times in the early stages will significantly impact the course of treatment long term. Space out treatments when you’re consistently feeling better.
Ask your practitioner upfront to get a better idea of what the process will look like for you. Often we want that quick fix and can feel discouraged in the days after our first visit if everything isn’t completely resolved right away. I have a deep understanding of this medicine and STILL want the “one and done” treatment model at times. It does happen though I don’t think it’s really the best use of the medicine. Instead, schedule the first few visits as close together as possible. This may look different for everyone – twice a week, once a week or once every two weeks. With this model, your body has more regular reminders of how it functions in optimal health. In most cases, you should notice some significant shifts within three to six visits to know you’re making progress. If you have questions about what you’re noticing or if you’re not seeing the results you want, talk to your practitioner.
Don’t Wait For Something to Be “Wrong”
Acupuncture can be great for addressing health concerns we already have. I say it’s even better at helping us prevent later health issues. You do not need a specific concern to benefit from acupuncture. Many people come in unsure of what to expect and have no clear complaint. They generally end up relieving issues they thought could never be addressed and having a greater sense of overall wellbeing. This also happens with people who have had acupuncture in the past. Once the symptom they came for resolves, they discontinue treatment until something else is bothering them. Rather than stop what’s working, it’s a perfect time to continue maintenance visits. Space your visits out to once a month, then once every few months as you feel the benefits lasting longer and longer.
You’re usually not going to get too much acupuncture and there is no need to necessarily go weekly for the rest of your life. Notice your symptoms, your sleep, your digestion, and your overall demeanor. Ask your friends and family what they notice as different about you when you come home from acupuncture. Use each of these as markers. Your practitioner is also there to guide you with this.