How Many Acupuncture Treatments will I need?

How Many Acupuncture Treatments Will I need?

In most cases, we recommend two treatments to determine your rate of response within a one week. Beyond those first two treatments the answer to this question will vary quite a bit. It will depend on how well the body responds to those first two treatments.

At this point, we meet for a Report of Findings, to determine your Rate of Response. It is determined by several factors, both what you report to us and what we observe. We always recommend a third treatment after the Report of Findings, since, in a group of three, we find changes tend to hold longer, so that you do not experience symptoms simply resuming their previous levels prior to our care. Additionally, this provides enough input to stimulate your body’s healing response so that the change is more profound.

We try to reach what is called “The Minimum Effective Dose“. We ask ourselves when making a treatment plan, “What is the minimum amount of treatments required to make the maximum results?” After a certain point, the extra treatments create diminishing returns and will give “less bang for the therapeutic buck”.

I like to compare acupuncture treatments like a course of antibiotics.

Imagine your doctor prescribes a course of antibiotics for a serious infection. If you only take one pill, nothing happens. If you take all the pills in one shot, you’ll get an overdose. If you end the pills the moment you feel better, the infection returns.

Acupuncture treatments work the same way. One day of treatments will feel good, but not have a lasting result. If you take all the needles of every treatment you’ll need combined, it’d be ridiculous. If you end treatment the moment you feel better, the condition may return.

-Adrian Abascal, L.Ac.

Generally the longer you’ve had the condition, the more treatments are expected. In rare cases one treatment will work but in most cases it takes a course of treatments. In China, with their healthcare system, patients get daily treatments. But here it would be prohibitively expensive.

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