How many treatments do I need?

How many treatments do I need?

16 April 2016 by Caitlin Armit

Treatments – how many will I need?

This question is often one of the first that patients ask at their first consultation. The answer largely depends on what is being treated and whether the condition is acute or chronic.

When we see you for an initial consultation, we find out as much as we can about your current main complaint as well as your general health and lifestyle factors so that we can get an idea of your constitution and any underlying health issues which may have contributed to your current complaint.

Generally speaking, the longer you have had a condition the more treatments you may need but this is not always the case. Similarly, if your condition is complicated by other elements of your health it may take longer to achieve a lasting result. If you have a head cold which has been hanging around for a few days but otherwise are in good health then you should feel better after a couple of treatments but if you have a strong history of asthma, digestive issues and anxiety for example then we would recommend a longer course of treatment to address underlying conditions. The accompaniment of Chinese herbs with your acupuncture sessions may bring speedier results.


But wait! There’s more!


There is a more important factor in your treatment schedule than the number of treatments required and that is….. treatment frequency! Treatments need to be close together to achieve the best results. In China, people often seek treatment daily for a short period of time. We understand that this may be unrealistic for most people in Australia but we do recommend bi-weekly treatments for most conditions. If you can only manage weekly sessions, that’s ok, it may just take longer to get the results you need.

Think of it this way: If you were trying to memorise a speech or study for an exam then you would revise the content, practice and rehearse every day in order to retain the information and make it second nature to repeat what you have learned. Consistency and dedication count for a lot! Acupuncture is like teaching your body new information and a new way of being. Your body needs to receive the same information, in the same way, on a consistent and regular basis in order to retain the message.

We live in a world of fast-paced events and instant gratification but this is not how our bodies are designed. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can sometimes have alarmingly fast results but it varies from person to person and condition to condition.

The Acupuncture Now Foundation provides a comprehensive explanation of the research findings around treatment frequency, duration and repetition:

One, Two, Three, Four… How Many Sessions More?



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