Acupuncture is a centuries-old treatment method that works by identifying underlying dysfunction and restoring the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body. By supporting the body’s ability to heal itself, acupuncture has the potential to benefit a broad range of ailments, from musculoskeletal issues like tendonitis to nerve pain like neuropathy. If you’ve decided you’d like to give acupuncture a try to discover how it can improve your symptoms, you may be wondering, how many acupuncture sessions do you need to see results?
How many acupuncture sessions you’ll need depends on the severity of your symptoms as well as your health goals. Generally speaking, weekly to biweekly acupuncture sessions for a period of 6 to 12 weeks are advised.
Who should get acupuncture?
Anyone can benefit from acupuncture, regardless of age, fitness, or activity level. Acupuncture is strong enough to alleviate muscle knots and other everyday aches and pains, yet gentle enough to support optimal healing after surgery. Because acupuncture is adaptogenic in nature, it works with your body to heal damaged tissues, meaning it can be utilized as a treatment approach for all sorts of health issues.
Obviously, acupuncture is the gold standard of holistic treatment measures for athletes and physical laborers. Acupuncture reduces pain and inflammation, improves blood flow to injured muscles, and promotes rapid recovery. Regular acupuncture sessions restore and preserve strength, flexibility, and range of motion enabling active individuals to enhance their physical performance.
But acupuncture has a modulating effect on the nervous system that makes it an effective alternative treatment method for other issues, too. Because acupuncture works on a neuropathic level, it can be used to treat digestive ailments, like GERD and IBS. It can also be used to regulate the immune system, making seasonal allergies, food allergies, and autoimmune conditions easier to cope with.
As if all of these benefits weren’t enough, acupuncture has the ability to regulate neurotransmitter activity, as well. Acupuncture upregulates serotonin activity in the brain, which doesn’t just improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, but also helps fight conditions associated with low serotonin, like migraines.
Overall, acupuncture encourages relaxation and acts as an all-natural mood stabilizer. Regular sessions can reduce muscle tension and ease mental stress, making it easier for you to roll with the punches and meet the demands of your day-to-day life.
How many acupuncture sessions will you need to overcome your symptoms?
The number of acupuncture sessions a patient may need can vary wildly. A mildly twisted ankle may require weekly treatments for a month, while someone with back pain due to sciatica may require 2 to 3 treatments a week for several months.
It only makes sense that the more intense your symptoms and/or the longer you’ve been dealing with them, the more rigorous your acupuncture treatment plan will need to be. Milder symptoms and symptoms that tend to come and go are typically easier to manage with fewer acupuncture sessions.
How many acupuncture sessions you’ll need to see results generally depends on three factors. First, the underlying cause of your symptoms, second, the severity of your symptoms, and, third, the duration of the symptoms themselves.
Often, weekly to bi-weekly sessions for a period of 6 to 12 weeks are recommended. Of course, that’s just a rule of thumb. The underlying cause of your symptoms can be the linchpin in determining how often you’ll need treatment.
For instance, if you experience mild symptoms, but they’re the result of a degenerative condition, like osteoarthritis, you’ll likely need acupuncture sessions more often to help you control the condition. But if your symptoms are caused by an acute injury, like muscle strain due to bad posture, your round of treatments may be much shorter.
Your acupuncturist will work with you to determine the underlying cause of your condition and to give you an idea of how many treatments you’ll need to overcome your symptoms.
How long do the benefits of an acupuncture session last?
Acupuncture has many benefits to offer, even in the short term. The benefits of a single acupuncture session can last for quite a while, providing you with relief from your symptoms for days to weeks. Of course, weekly sessions have the potential to be even more beneficial.
Regular acupuncture sessions for a period of a few months can compound the benefits of the treatment, providing you with long-lasting results. With weekly or bi-weekly sessions for several months, you can expect to enjoy a reduction in the severity of your symptoms for up to a year.
Remember, acupuncture isn’t just a band-aid fix. It’s a holistic therapy that stimulates your body’s ability to heal itself. As with all things, moderation is key to a successful treatment approach. You don’t want to go overboard with acupuncture. But regular treatments can greatly support your health and wellness.
How should you prepare for your first acupuncture session?
It’s normal to be nervous for your first acupuncture appointment, but really, there’s nothing to be worried about. Just be sure to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing so you can stretch and perform a strength assessment if necessary. This will help your acupuncturist get to the root of your symptoms.
Once your acupuncturist has identified the cause of your pain, they will begin placing needles at various points across your body. You may feel slight pressure as each needle is inserted. The needles create microscopic tears in the muscle fibers, causing them to release tension, creating a sense of calm.
At this point, you’ll be advised to relax while the needles go to work, increasing blood circulation and reducing inflammation. When your session is over, the needles will be removed, and you can get on with your day.
Acupuncture can be used in tandem with massage and other holistic therapies, like cupping, dry needling, and soft tissue mobilization. You may also be given a series of gentle exercises to enhance the effects of the therapy.
Book your first appointment
At Lycoming Orthopedic & Sports Acupuncture, we’re dedicated to helping each of our patients unlock their full potential. Contact our office today to learn more about acupuncture and the variety of holistic treatments we offer.
When you book an appointment with us, you can rest easy knowing you’re in the hands of capable professionals. We look forward to helping you take the first steps as you embark on your wellness journey and take charge of your health.