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How many acupuncture treatments will I need?

By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM

How many treatments will I need?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question.  The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary from person to person depending on the conditions being treated, your age and health, and how you respond to acupuncture.  Acupuncture is a natural medicine that is assisting your body to make changes.  This can be a gradual process.

A consultation with an experienced practitioner about you and your condition will offer the best guide for the length of treatment.

Generally, acute problems require less time and frequency of treatment. For example, an acute sprain may require only one or two treatments, whereas more chronic or severe ailments may require several (or several dozen) treatments.

How long will it take for the treatments to work?
 
A positive response to acupuncture treatments is generally seen after the first to fourth treatment. If you are being treated for a menstrual problem or infertility, give the treatments three menstrual cycles for your body to respond.  You will schedule your appointments further and further apart after you have achieved optimal response.
 
How often should I be treated?

Again, this depends on what you are being treated for and your practitioner.  It is common for treatments to be scheduled one or two times a week in the beginning to obtain optimal response and then once every other week.  If you are not able to schedule appointments that frequently, your acupuncturist may prescribe Chinese herbs, dietary changes, exercises or pressure points for you to use at home.

Acupuncture is also often used as a preventative medicine. Many people see their acupuncturist only 2-4 times a year for a "tune up" or "balancing" treatment. This can prevent disease and promote health, energy and vitality.

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