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Acupuncture treatments can help you feel better for days or weeks, depending on the type and severity of your injury or health condition. If you’re like most acupuncture clients, you probably want to extend your results as long as possible. Luckily, a few simple steps can help you make the most of the effects of your treatment sessions.
When Will Acupuncture Results Wear Off?
The length of time you can expect to notice an improvement in your symptoms varies based upon:
- The duration of your symptoms
- The type of symptoms you experience
- The severity of your symptoms
- Whether the symptoms are related to a chronic injury or illness
- Your lifestyle, diet, and habits
If you recently injured yourself or have been experiencing a flare of a chronic disease or condition, such as asthma or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), treatment effects may last several days. During this phase of treatment, your acupuncturist works to get your symptoms under control by eliminating blockages of Qi and restoring the Yin-Yang balance in your body. You may need to visit your acupuncturist two or three times per week during this phase of treatment.
As you continue acupuncture treatment, you’ll notice that your pain decreases and other symptoms gradually improve. You may find that acupuncture effects can last a week or longer, and you can schedule appointments less frequently. Eventually, you may only need to visit your acupuncturist every month or every other month to maintain your results.
How Can I Tell if Acupuncture is Helping?
You’ll probably feel noticeably better after your first acupuncture treatment, although it will take more than one session to completely resolve your symptoms. If your symptoms developed over the course of several months or years, they won’t disappear after just one visit to the acupuncturist.
Signs that acupuncture treatment is working include:
- Less Pain. Pain may not disappear entirely, but you should notice that it’s less intense, doesn’t occur as often as usual or doesn’t last as long.
- Improvement in Bodily Functions. Acupuncture treatments can improve the function of your respiratory, digestive, and other systems. You may find that your breathing is a little easier or notice that you experience an upset stomach or diarrhea less frequently.
- Reduced Stress. Acupuncture is very effective in reducing stress. In fact, a change in your stress level may be one of the first positive effects you experience after beginning acupuncture treatment.
- Less Insomnia. Falling or staying asleep may be less of a problem once you begin acupuncture. The effect is particularly noticeable immediately after your treatment. In fact, you may want to schedule your treatment for later in the day if you’ve been suffering from insomnia.
- More Energy. Not surprisingly, you’ll probably feel rested and energized after a good night’s sleep. You may also notice that it’s a little easier to concentrate at work or school.
How Can I Prolong My Results?
Prolonging the results of acupuncture treatment can be as easy as:
- Making a Few Lifestyle Changes. If you’re being treated for back pain, you’ll want to pay attention to your posture and consider using an ergonomic chair at work. If you don’t, you may risk reversing the positive effects of acupuncture. Although your asthma may be better-controlled thanks to your acupuncture sessions, it’s likely to worsen if you continue to smoke. Lifestyle changes are an important part of improving your health.
- Enjoying a Little Downtime. After an acupuncture treatment, you’ll want to take it easy for the rest of the day, if possible. Don’t schedule a strenuous workout or stay up until 2 a.m. watching old movies.
- Taking Advantage of Herbal Remedies. Your acupuncturist may recommend herbal remedies or might offer a custom-made herbal preparation that will enhance the results of your treatments.
- Improving Your Diet. A healthy diet is essential to your recovery. During your treatment sessions, your acupuncturist can offer a few suggestions that will help you improve your diet.
Acupuncture offers a safe, drug-free way to treat pain, injuries, and a variety of illnesses and conditions. Contact us if you’re ready to enjoy the benefits of this effective natural treatment method.
Acufinder.com: How Many Treatments Will I Need?
UC San Diego School of Medicine: How Acupuncture Can Relieve Pain and Improve Sleep, Digestion, and Emotional Well-Being
Mayo Clinic: Acupuncture, 2/14/18