You might wonder, "How much acupuncture do I need to get the results I want?" How often do you need to get needled to produce an improvement in your health?
Like any other medicine, you have to take a dose on a regular basis to get a positive result. For most medications, you would need to take a dose daily to get a change in your body. For example, if you need a medication for blood pressure, you will need to take the medication every day to get a change; if you take it only once a month, you will not change your blood pressure
Acupuncture works the same. Similar to exercise, acupuncture works by stimulating your body to change itself. Experience has proven that if you don't get treatments often enough, or for enough total sessions, you will get little or no improvement in health.
Thousands of years of experience and modern research have shown that therapeutic needling produces the most rapid improvements in health when applied three or more times weekly (especially in the initial stages). In China, patients get needled daily, thrice weekly, or twice weekly as a minimum, for 10 to 20 consecutive sessions, as a standard course of treatment.
For acute injuries, I consider twice weekly the minimum effective frequency, and for chronic conditions (such as headaches), twice in 10 days.
Clinical studies in China have found that 10-20 treatments will produce significant improvements for a majority of patients who complete the course.
If the condition only recently appeared, you may only need a few treatments, but most chronic conditions require 10 to 30 treatments for resolution (some really deep-seated stubborn conditions may require more).
Once you achieve your health goal, you can move to preventive treatment. Getting acupuncture once weekly or biweekly can reduce stress, improve mood, and prevent dis-ease.
Combining daily herbal medicine with needling will reduce the need for frequent treatment in some cases.
In China, it is common for people to receive acupuncture treatments daily. However, generally it is not advisable to get acupuncture more than once daily.
When looking for an acupuncturist, remember to ask how much acupuncture you will need, and consider the cost of treatment. Have a look at our menu here.