So, if it depends, what does it depend on?
- How long you have had the condition/symptom – back pain that you have had for 30 years is going to take longer to resolve than back pain you have had for 30 days.
- How often you get treated – You will get faster results from weekly treatment than you will from monthly or bi-monthly treatment. In some cases, twice a week is recommended to get quicker results.
- How complex the issue is – a simple, straightforward matter in someone with generally good health will take less time to resolve than a more complex set of symptoms caused by several underlying imbalances.
- How well you take the lifestyle advice of your practitioner – if your practitioner notes that you need a change in the foods you eat, your water intake, or your sleep habits, they are doing so specifically because based on their training and observation of your symptoms, those changes would support your healing. The more you are willing to make those changes and stick with them, the faster your condition will resolve.
- How honest you are about your symptoms – It is easy to decline to mention symptoms because we are embarrassed, or even because we think they are unrelated. In Chinese medicine, constellations of symptoms tell your practitioner how to best treat you. They may not address all symptoms in each treatment, but sometimes sets of symptoms point to an underlying imbalance. Your acupuncturist has a clearer view of both the imbalance causing the symptoms and any other imbalances that may be present. This helps the practitioner select the points most effective to treat that imbalance.
- How easily your qi moves – We are all different. Some people’s qi moves very quickly – it’s the nature of how they’re put together. Other people’s qi doesn’t move as quickly and it may take more treatment to resolve the imbalance. It likely also takes more to cause imbalance in that person. One way of being is not better than the other – they’re just different. How quickly your qi moves may impact how quickly your symptoms are resolved.
So, when you begin acupuncture treatment, keep these things in mind. Work with your acupuncturist to get and keep a good sense of how things are progressing and notice within yourself what changes you see happening. You may not notice marked improvement in all your symptoms immediately, but notice what is changing, what is easing, and which symptoms are becoming less bothersome. This helps you know from the information your body provides, how your treatment is progressing. Share these observations with your practitioner. One thing that happens often is that we forget our symptoms (or their severity) as they resolve. When you are clear with your practitioner, they can help remind you of where you started and together you can assess your progress at regular intervals.