The pain or symptom you’re experiencing may be rooted in something deeper that needs attention in order for your body to fully heal and recover – no exception.

Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, the exception is an incident of acute trauma that was beyond your control. Although, one could argue that some acute traumas could be prevented if your body was strong enough to withstand the incident, but that’s a different article.

The focus of this article is to bring light to the following questions:

How many acupuncture treatments will I need?

How frequent should I come in?

How long will it take for me to get better?

Once I start feeling better, should I stop treatments?

In order to answer these questions, let’s direct our attention to the treatment plan.

What is a treatment plan and why is it important?

In it’s simplest form, a treatment plan is the blueprint to achieve your health goals. It’s the map that tracks progress and milestones to make sure that each treatment is focused and is directed towards your desired outcome.

Why is it important to follow through with the treatment plan?

The importance of following the treatment plan could not be over-emphasized even if the symptoms you came in for has resolved. The symptoms you originally came in for may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to an imbalance of your overall health.

The symptoms you originally came in for may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to an imbalance of your overall health.

This example illustrates the importance of following through with the treatment plan instead of using your symptom as the indicator on when to stop care. A successful treatment plan not only addresses your symptoms, but it also elevates your overall health and wellbeing.

An example…

Let’s take one of the most common conditions people come in for acupuncture: headaches. Although it may seem like a headache resolves in 1 or even 2 treatments, the overall condition of the patient may not be stable enough to prevent the condition from reoccurring. A sound treatment plan would go through a few phases with varying focus points to address not only the symptoms but also the various underlying conditions.

To illustrate this, a treatment plan could go as follows:

Phase 1 (Treatments 1-3): Resolve the pain or discomfort the patient is experiencing.

Phase 2 (Treatments 4-8): Address and treat underlying conditions such as muscle compensation, sleep disturbance, digestive imbalances that could be exacerbating the symptoms.

Phase 3 (Treatments 9-12): Syntruvia Somatosensory Integration™, a brain-based treatment approach to optimize the communication between your brain and your body.

Phase 4 (treatments 13-18): Address perpetuating factors (posture, sleep, muscle weakness, nutrition) that if left uncorrected, will have the condition return.

Of course, this is a rough outline of what a treatment plan could look like and would vary depending on the condition of the patient.

As with the picture of the iceberg above, your symptom or pain may stem from numerous things such as old injuries, stress, surgeries, chronic disease, muscle imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, emotional trauma and a lack of purpose. All of these should be addressed to support the body in healing and recovery.

E

A successful treatment plan not only addresses your symptoms, but it also elevates your overall health and wellbeing.

So where does this leave us with the original set of questions?

How many acupuncture treatments will I need?

How frequent should I come in?

How long will it take for me to get better?

Once I start feeling better, should I stop treatments?

The number and frequency of treatments will affect overall outcomes.

For example, a patient coming in with an acute condition may need fewer overall treatments with higher frequency versus a patient coming in with a chronic condition may need more but less frequent treatments to accomplish their goal.

To put it simply. IT DEPENDS.

It depends on…

Lifestyle.

Existing conditions.

Length of time the condition has been bothering you.

Compliance with the treatment plan.

Your health goals.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cris del Rosario is an integrative licensed acupuncturist and a certified strength and conditioning specialist. He specializes in pain relief, preventive care, and chronic conditions. Cris has a private practice in San Diego, CA. Find Cris on Twitter @icrisdelrosario.

QUESTION: What has your experience been with acupuncture treatments? Let us know in the comments section below.