The frequency of acupuncture treatments depend on many factors, including the condition being treated, the severity of the condition, if it is a chronic or acute condition etc. But generally speaking, the more acupuncture a patient receives, the better the outcome. Acupuncture is a physical medicine. In China, patients often receive acupuncture daily, and sometimes even twice per day. If you takes a nutritional supplement (vitamin/mineral/herbal formula), you take it not once a week, you take it once or twice a day. Rarely does our Western lifestyle permit for such frequency.
At the beginning of a course of a treatment, a session often produces a notable impact (not always on the first treatment) that typically reverts after a day or two. Biomedicals are released by acupuncture and have their effect, but they are metabolized and gone out of the system in a relatively short period of time. Acupuncture is like taking a complex drug of neurotransmitters and immune response modifiers, but taking the “drug” only once per week will not attain the maximum result.
In our Western setting where less frequent treatment is common, it is highly recommended to include other aspects into the treatment plan, such as lifestyle changes, nutritional support, herbal therapy, physical therapy, body work (such as massage, myofascial release, etc.) and exercise, in order to reach the desired improvement.
A single treatment will always provide benefit. When we layer this with multiple visits, acupuncture comes into its true power, delivering transformative outcomes and lasting change.
Dr. Caroline Alison Nichols (TCM)