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How Long Do The Benefits of Acupuncture Last For?

Dr. Carl Clarkson • November 29, 2021

As an acupuncture professional, you’ll be aware of the benefits that acupuncture can provide for your patients, but do you know how long those benefits last for? Or, perhaps your patients are concerned about how many sessions they’d need to see the benefits?

In this article, we go over how long the benefits of acupuncture should last, as well as how often individuals should have acupuncture to maximise their outcomes.

So, how long do the benefits of acupuncture last for? Once the body is used to the new nerve pathway that acupuncture builds, studies show that the benefits of acupuncture can last for months, depending on the condition, and the severity of symptoms. The medical history may also play a part in this.

Read on to learn more about how long the benefits of acupuncture last.

How Long Do the Benefits of Acupuncture Last?

The benefits of acupuncture can last for weeks, months or, even up to a year in some cases. However, this depends entirely on the condition that your patient is being treated for, the severity of their symptoms, and their medical history. Some may see longer-lasting benefits than others.

Those with more severe symptoms tend to require more acupuncture sessions than those with more minor symptoms. Because of this, it can take longer to experience results, and those results may not be as potent as with more minor symptoms.

If your patient is unsure, or reluctant, explain to them why you recommend a certain treatment plan, any expected outcomes, and when you think they should start seeing results, as well as how often they should return to maintain those results.

Does Acupuncture Have Long-Term Benefits?

Various studies (1, 2) have concluded that acupuncture offers long-term benefits for a variety of conditions, including chronic pain. Some will experience mid-to-long-term benefits of a few months, whilst others experience benefits lasting up to a year. In some cases, acupuncture may have permanent benefits which don’t require further treatment.

In most cases, however, semi-regular treatments are required to maintain the benefits of acupuncture. This may be weekly for more severe conditions, every few months, or as required for milder conditions.

Does Acupuncture Work Permanently?

Acupuncture can, in some cases, offer permanent benefits, although this is more likely to occur in cases with milder symptoms. Some industry experts debate the possibility of acupuncture offering permanent results, whilst others simply state that it works differently for everyone, just as regular Western medicine can have differing effects.

How Often Do You Need Acupuncture For it to Work?

Whilst the effects of acupuncture differ from person to person, many people will begin to experience benefits after 1-2 sessions. In some cases, this can take longer, to which some acupuncture professionals recommend giving it at least 5 sessions before deciding that it doesn’t work.

That being said, a thorough assessment of your patient before treatment begins will likely determine the initial number of sessions required. After these initial sessions, you can conduct a follow-up assessment to review the results, if further treatment is needed, and how often.

Is Acupuncture Once a Month Enough?

As an acupuncture professional, you’ll need to make recommendations on how often to schedule appointments, based on an initial assessment and consultation. This will vary from patient to patient, however, once the symptoms begin to reduce, and your patient starts to feel the benefits of acupuncture, reducing appointments to once every 1-2 months may be enough to maintain the benefits.

Can You Have Acupuncture Too Often?

Acupuncture cannot be given too often; the risks and side effects are minimal, therefore patients shouldn’t come to harm from regular appointments. Many acupuncture professionals even recommend sessions of at least once a week for certain conditions and, in some cases, multiple times a week to begin with.

That being said, there is an ethical consideration here; just because there are minimal risks associated with regular acupuncture appointments doesn’t mean that practitioners should abuse this and schedule unnecessary appointments.

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If you or someone you know is interested in training in Acupuncture and Dry Needling, check out the Breeze Academy course list. We have a range of Acupuncture and Dry Needling courses, including foundation courses, more advanced courses, courses for nursesand midwives, and acupuncture for sport.

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