Previously, I shared about the different factors that affect the number of acupuncture treatments you might need. [Click here if you missed it.]
- Are your symptoms acute or chronic?
- Are you giving acupuncture a chance to work?
- Are your appointments close enough together?
- Are you doing your homework?
And certain treatment requests will have a more specific treatment plan, such as smoking cessation or fertility treatments.
Because each person is so individual, I generally recommend planning on starting with four to six visits.
This does not necessarily mean I think all your symptoms will be resolved and back to normal after four visits, particularly with chronic situations.
But this gives acupuncture time to start working so you and I can both see signs of progress to know whether or not to continue.
The next logical question is…
So what happens after the fourth visit?
At your fourth visit, we will reevaluate by comparing how you’re doing now to how you felt on the first day.
Then we’ll decide together where to go from there. These are some of the possibilities:
Once in awhile, a patient chooses to stop at this point.
Either they are feeling great and want to monitor progress on their own…
Or, there has been zero improvement and they need to go get medically reevaluated.
If you decide to stop, I’ll help you plan out your next steps in care. And you are always welcome back at any point.
When this happens, you may find while it didn’t seem like treatment was making improvements, symptoms can worsen after stopping.
If so, it tells you acupuncture was helping you maintain where you were and preventing a worsening.
Let’s Keep Going
When a patient is making good progress, but it doesn’t seem to be holding as long as we would both like, then I recommend to keep going another few sessions at the same interval.
For example, you feel great for five days after treatment, then the pain returns. This is still a sign of progress and we don’t want to extend treatments out prematurely.
Continuing three or four more weekly sessions will help your body hang on to the improvements.
Let’s Test the Waters
When a patient is making good progress, and it seems to be holding very well, it’s time to test the waters and stretch out the time between treatments.
For example, if you were coming in weekly, I’ll have you go out two weeks and see how it holds. Then three weeks out, then four weeks.
Let’s Move into Maintenance
Maintenance mode looks different for everyone, but this is where you decide how you want to include acupuncture in your self-care routine.
Some people stop treatment for while and come in a few months later for a few sessions as needed.
Some love how acupuncture is helping them handle stress and the day-to-day symptoms that come up. They usually choose a regular interval, about once every three to six weeks.
When you’re at the point of maintenance, you tend to have enough personal experience with acupuncture by then to know what the right interval is for you.
I give more guidance in the beginning when people are most unfamiliar with acupuncture.
Treatment is such a personal choice and your situation is unique to you, so I will always honor your preferences.
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