What can I expect on my first visit? Everybody experiences the effects of acupuncture a little differently. Depending on the type of problem being treated, some people may start to notice the benefits almost immediately while others need a few treatments before they feel a difference. Some people become very relaxed while others may feel euphoric or energized. People who don't feel any different when they leave the clinic may start to notice changes in their symptoms hours to days later.
What types of conditions is acupuncture most effective for? The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified approximately 40 conditions that can be treated effectively with acupuncture. These include:
- Neurological and musculoskeletal disorders such as headaches, neck and back pain, sciatica, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, tendonitis, arthritis, neuralgia
- Stress, anxiety, insomnia, addiction
- Digestive disorders
- Respiratory disorders
- Menstrual and reproductive disorders
How soon will I be better? This is one of the most common questions we are asked. To provide you with realistic expectations, many factors affecting your recovery time must be taken into consideration, including:
- acute vs. chronic pain
- first episode or recurrent problem
- history of previous injuries
- general health
- general fitness level (includes strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health)
- poor postural hygiene
- lifestyle (work, diet, sleep)
- patient comprehension and compliance with recommendations
- kept appointments
- stress (physical/mental/chemical)
- family history
These factors and your individual health goals combine to structure the frequency and duration of your care.
What are the different types of care I can receive? Some people are looking strictly for symptom relief while others are interested in long-term strategies to maintain good health. There are three stages of care.
Initial Intensive Care (Crisis Management): The primary goal is symptom or pain relief. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may be treated as little as once a week or as often as every day.
Rehabilitative Care: The focus here is on correcting or eliminating the source of the problem. This minimizes your likelihood of a relapse. Treatment frequency starts to decrease and you are advised on home/office self-care to help support this process. You will notice further improvement in your range of movement, flexibility, strength, energy level, and/or general health.
Wellness Care: You have now returned to your pre-injury/illness state. Acknowledging that daily stresses and strains wear us all down, you choose to maintain an optimal level of functioning with periodic checkups. Depending on the factors listed above, you may receive maintenance treatments anywhere from one to six months.
Remember, how long you choose to continue care is always up to you.