Newcomers to my practice sometimes ask me “why do I need a follow up acupuncture treatment?”
The number of acupuncture treatments required depends on your health and how long you have had the symptoms.
If your complaint has been going on for years, then you usually need more treatments than someone who, for example, injured his wrist last week. In the latter case, only a few treatments may be needed.
Even then, treatments are more effective if they follow each other in quick succession. My experience is that the treatment is most successful when the appointments are closely planned at the beginning and at a given moment take place at larger intervals, whereby the results are tangibly and visibly increased.
For example: someone who has had back pain for 7 months and therefore has a lot of pain, could start treatment with 1 or 2 acupuncture sessions per week. Often this person will feel relief after 1 or 2 sessions. However, the patient will have to be treated once or twice a week for the first 2-6 weeks. Then, if the symptoms subside, the time between appointments can be increased until the symptoms are tolerant or stay away altogether.
In mid-February 2016, I participated in a canopolo tournament in Stadskanaal, where I was a first aid person with someone from the counterparty. I saw that her shoulder and upper arm were covered with kinesiotape. It was noticeable because the tape was blue.
As curious as I am, I couldn’t help asking what was going on. “Hey you, I really only saw you as a spare player. How is that? ”She told me that a year ago she had got her shoulder got dislocated. After various therapies, including physiotherapy and manual therapy, she still had pain in her right shoulder. It was difficult for her to stretch her arm all the way above her head. And she was unable to make certain movements, which are essential during a canoe polo competition, because of pain and movement limitation. I suggested treating her with acupuncture needles so that she could join the competitions. “Yes, but I have already had acupuncture or dry needling and that didn’t help then”. “Probably because there was puncture where it hurts. This area does not have the energy that can support the recovery. “
A theory in acupuncture is that you can mirror areas of the body. For example, the right shoulder is reflected in an area in the left lower leg. Immediately after I placed two needles in her left lower leg, the pain and movement limitation disappeared immediately. A smile appeared.
Last week I sent a message asking how her shoulder is doing. She replied that she had not been in pain for a week and could do everything again. I am very happy for her that one acupuncture session of less than 10 minutes has helped so well.
Acupuncture, Chinese herbs and Cupping are supportive to help with recovery, also with many other complaints than just pain. The philosophy of this millennia-old medicine is not that you are broken, but out of balance. In Chinese medicine, the development of serious or uncomfortable symptoms indicates that you are unhealthy and out of balance. This may even have been prior to the uncomfortable symptoms – perhaps for a long time!
My goal is to help you return to a healthy state of being, where the symptoms do not return. This takes time. How much time that is, is different for everyone. Your body has work to do to regain and maintain health.
Think of it as an antibiotic cure that needs a period of time to kill the infection; one strong pill can initiate the healing process, but that is not enough to do the full job thoroughly.
Acupuncture is great and can often provide relief quickly, sometimes even immediately! But to support the results and make them sustainable, you will probably need several treatments.