I am asked this question by almost every new patient, and it’s a great question…...that has no real definitive answer!
Acupuncture is a cumulative process, meaning that each subsequent treatment builds upon the work done previously. The amount of treatments needed varies by the individual and condition being treated. For example, low back pain in a 22 year old athlete who has an acute sports injury will respond much differently than chronic low back pain in a 72 year old with arthritis and degenerative disc disease.
For some patients, their condition may completely resolve in 1-3, or 3-6 treatments. For others, they may have a course of 12 weekly treatments, and then begin to taper off their visits to maybe every two weeks, once a month, and then they may discontinue treatment, and only come in when they have a flare up of symptoms. Finally, there are patients with chronic, degenerative conditions that may never completely resolve, but regular acupuncture treatment helps them manage their chronic pain and other symptoms, so that perhaps they are able to use less medication, stay more active and experience a better quality of life.
So, to try to really answer the question of “How many treatments will I need?”, I always tell patients, to give it at least 3-6 treatments to see significant results, but YOU are the best judge of what is working for YOU, because you live in your body, and I don’t. I am here to work with you as a team to collaborate with you and help you achieve optimum health!
Allison Blaisdell, MSTOM, Lic.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in private practice at Maverick Square Acupuncture in Boston, and also at Massachusetts General Hospital. She offers private and community acupuncture treatments, as well as online holistic health coaching and consultation. Her mission is to educate and empower her patients to achieve their best possible health.