Acupuncture Treatment Frequency: how to get faster, better results
Published on March 25, 2017
by Dr. Caitlin Gordon

Acupuncture Treatment Frequency: how to get faster, better results

Published on March 25, 2017 by Dr. Caitlin Gordon

More is Better

If acupuncture progress is very slow, 75% of the time it is because you need to come more frequently. The other 25% of the time may be due to a condition that is not going to improve from acupuncture, or other factors in your lifestyle like stress, sleep, diet, etc.

I don’t want to feel “salesy” or make you feel pressured, so sometimes I don’t push the importance of acupuncture treatment frequency. However, I should. While I joke about the magical properties of Eastern medicine, the truth is that it is not magic. I cannot wave my needles once and cure you (typically ;). Even though acupuncture seems more mystical than physical therapy or chiropractic (and it absolutely is healing on a deeper spiritual level), it still requires consistency. Your body is doing the work, and it needs frequent reminders to get back into balance.

Acupuncture is like exercise. Anytime you do it, it is beneficial for your body. You experience positive effects. But you don’t build muscle or lose fat by going to the gym once a week. Let’s discuss the two acupuncture treatment frequency phases.

Relief from Chronic or Acute Symptoms

acupuncture treatment frequency      Two or three treatments a week is essential for more acute problems. In China, it’s common for people to be treated daily for five days, take two days off, and then do five more daily treatments. These TEN treatments in less than two weeks are the recommended number to address most problems.

If you want acupuncture to resolve your hot flashes, your chronic headaches, your depression, or your 10-year-old shoulder pain, it is better to come in three times a week for 3 weeks than every other week for 3 years. Really, truly. We gotta retrain the neural pathways in the brain, and your body (muscle, tendon, nerve). We need repetition and consistency.
The good news is once you are feeling better we space out treatments, and you only need to come in once a month or once a season for a tune-up!

The good news is once you are feeling better we space out treatments, and you only need to come in once a month or once a season for a tune-up!

Maintenance-Mode Acupuncture

To keep you on the happy track and to manage stress, or to manage conditions worsened by stress, weekly acupuncture works well. I love that acupuncture is part of your self-care routine. When you’re in good health, with few major symptoms, this type of treatment frequency works. It can also work well if you have more chronic symptoms but are very compliant in following recommendations on your diet, sleep, herbs, and supplements. You know if this is you or not!

Once a week or every other week does not work for addressing chronic conditions if you aren’t doing much else outside of your hour a week at acupuncture. It is not enough.

I want to make it easier and more affordable for you to come in with the frequency needed to really heal. Let’s talk about some of the obstacles to committing to the correct acupuncture treatment frequency.

“I Don’t Have Time!”

If you don’t have time in your schedule, you aren’t prioritizing your health. That’s okay, just be honest about it. If you don’t have two or three hours a week to work on getting well, you aren’t going to get well. Whatever it is that helps you heal (acupuncture or otherwise) is going to take changing what you’re currently doing, and making time.

“It’s Too Expensive”

This gets expensive, I know. We are very much of the mentality that we want to spread out the good things we do for ourselves so they last longer. I get it. However, if you’re going to spend the money over 6 months, you’re better off spending it over 6 weeks and truly getting the results and building the momentum for lasting change.

I am offering a new membership option soon, which allows you to come in as much as you want for a set monthly rate. This will be very cost effective for acupuncture treatment frequency of two or three times per week.

As a business owner, I want you to get faster results too! The sooner you feel better, the sooner you’re out my door and telling your friends and family how amazing acupuncture was. Of course, if you want to come weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly for preventative care and maintenance, this is highly encouraged and welcomed. However, the goal is for you be at the maintenance level where your chief complaint/symptom is 80+% improved.

“Insurance Only Covers 20 Visits Per Year”

It is wonderful that many insurance plans are now covering acupuncture. They often arbitrarily pick a number of treatments to cover per year. It is understandable to want to spread those out so they last the entire year! However, this isn’t serving you if you have a chronic condition or acute symptoms. The point of acupuncture is to heal the root cause of your symptoms. Use your 20 visits in the first two to three months and fully resolve your symptom(s). Then you will only need to come in monthly or every few months for maintenance. You can pay for those few treatments out of pocket or use the community acupuncture option outlined below.

“Our Schedules Aren’t Lining Up”

I will work with you so that you can get in more frequently. Scheduling can be an obstacle. The best course of action is to schedule all your appointments for several weeks in a row, a week or two in advance. I can always set up recurring time slots for you, so your regular time is saved.

Community Acupuncture To the Rescue

Community Acupuncture To the RescueCommunity Acupuncture is a sliding fee scale option that can make frequent treatment more affordable. I encourage you to schedule community acupuncture appointments in between sessions at my office if two to three times per week still isn’t affordable with the above options, or scheduling doesn’t pan out.

Community acupuncture offers less privacy and less one-on-one time as you share treatment space and time with other people. You don’t get follow-up emails or much in the way of personalized recommendations outside of acupuncture. However, practitioners can see more people for less money with this business model. There is typically plenty of availability, and treatments start as low as 25$. They have online scheduling too! It makes a great complement to what I offer, and I highly encourage you to take advantage of both!

Check out Boulder Community Acupuncture.


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