This is the most popular question I get asked these days. Each practitioner you ask will answer this differently. I will share with you my best answer for how frequent you should visit for acute and chronic conditions.
Acupuncture is known in general as a "natural and preventative medicine". However, we are most popularly known for helping people with pain relief. This puts Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners in an in between medicine, as we can help with acute symptoms, and also manage chronic ones. Good news is, I am thoroughly trained in western medicine so I am mindful or referring out to other medical doctors if it is necessary.
It's important to remember each patient is different. Some people take great care of themselves and acupuncture is well received and they get better a lot quicker. Some are a bit more tricky and require more attention and time.
Here is the gist for acute and chronic symptom management.
Acute Symptoms: I tend to see acute symptoms 1-2 times a week for about 3-4 weeks. Sports injuries, overexertion on workouts, acute stomach upset, colds and flu's, headaches, random aches and pains, woke up with a kink in your neck, that kind of stuff is typically resolved in a few treatments back to back.. typically the visits are not more than 2 weeks apart.
Learn more about Chronic Symptom Management recommendations
Chronic Symptoms: In general, for every year you have had the chronic pain, you can expect about a month of weekly visits. Honestly, this is a very tricky to answer as chronic problems are deep seeded often paired with emotions and/or trauma. People with pain for over 6 months find a way to "cope with it", and those habits can be very difficult to let go of. On the flip side, some may be just fine with letting go of all the habits and emotions surrounding the pain. The concept that every person is different, and may respond to the pain differently, is the very reason I love practicing this medicine so much. We have the ability to make it work for YOU. With that in mind, it may take once a week treatments for 12 weeks to get the pain levels down, it may take the first treatment to have no pain, but it returns quickly... So, overall I would say allow 6-12 weeks to regulate your pain 1-2 times a week. Then we can re-evaluate and see what will work best for YOU in the future to keep pain at bay.
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