By AFEA member Seán O'Neill
Let’s start by saying that this will depend on you and your current situation. Your needs and how you present is unique – but there are some general scenarios that will typically apply.
Acupuncture works as a series of treatments. You can never have acupuncture treatments too often – but you can certainly have them too far apart. Acupuncture works cumulatively and your practitioner will want to continue building on any initial and ongoing success. Let’s imagine you have your first treatment and you see an improvement. Hurrah! But before your second scheduled appointment your symptoms start to creep back in and that initial feeling of well-being starts to fade.
This is an indication that the spacing between the first and subsequent appointments is too much. This can result in a see-saw pattern of your symptoms improving, getting worse, improving and getting worse again. We don’t want this. We want your symptoms to improve. In order to accomplish this you may need to be seen twice a week for the first 1-2 weeks and if after that your symptoms are reducing and the pattern of health is holding, then appointments can be set to once per week. For some people – with just one treatment and they are flying and quite quickly move on to bi-weekly treatment straight away. As long as your symptoms continue to remain stable between appointments then your practitioner will treat you based on your response.
In most cases there is some improvement after 2-3 treatments with a significant change after 5-6 treatments. More challenging or chronic cases where patients have had a condition troubling them for many years, might require 10 or more treatments.
Preventative Health (‘Tuning Mode’)
After treatment has established a stable feeling of wellness through the reduction of symptoms and a greater sense of ease and vitality, it is a good idea to support and maintain this wellness by having treatment once a month. Some patients do well coming in for a tuning treatment 6-8 weeks apart. You and your practitioner will find out what spacing for tuning treatments work best for you and your personal situation. At the very minimum it is typically a good idea to have a treatment as each season changes.