How Often Should You Get Acupuncture? (Health Coach's Tips) (2024)

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  • Luz Chacon
  • 05/13/2023
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As the leader of the Wellness Coach crew here at Find It Health, I’m super excited to discuss with you an oriental medicine – acupuncture – and how often you should be getting it.

Our health coach team here at Find It Health has worked hard to bring you this informative article because we’re committed to updating you with reliable and valuable information.

Read on to learn everything you need to know and also get an answer to the question: How often should you get acupuncture?

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How Often Should You Do Acupuncture?

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How often you should do acupuncture depends on the following factors:

  • The kind of medical condition: How often you should get acupuncture largely depends on the type of condition you’re treating, whether acute or chronic. We’ll define the terms as you read on, but generally, acupuncturists recommend 1-2 days per week for Chronic conditions and 2-4 days a week for acute ones.
  • How long it takes your body to respond to the treatment: We’re all genetically different. This implies that while it’ll take some people a short time to recover from something, it’ll take others a longer or shorter time. Therefore, the frequency of your acupuncture sessions will also rely on your body’s response to treatment.
  • If you’re financially adequate to have more treatment sessions: Not all pockets are equal; some may find that acupuncture comes at a convenient price for them, and others may find it difficult.

How often you should do acupuncture largely depends on the kind of condition that is going to be treated or if you undergo intense stressful periods that result in body pains.

Another thing that determines how often you should get acupuncture is how long it takes your body to respond to the treatment.


How Acupuncture Helped Me at Work

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When I used to work as an editor in a start-up magazine column, I sat in a chair for about 12 hours every weekday.

You can imagine what sitting for 12 hours and looking at a screen, with bad posture, can do to the back and neck.

I could only rub my neck and do a few stretches after work, but it wasn’t enough.

My back and neck ached for days, and that started to impede my performance at work. I wanted to buy a few painkillers, but my co-worker recommended an acupuncture practitioner instead. She told me that treating it naturally would put me in a better condition and that relying on medicine would only hide the pain.

I took her advice and went to the local acupuncturist down my street. I told her what I was going through, and we went through the whole acupuncture needle process.

There were scented candles and soft music playing as she soothed my back and neck with needles in their acupoints. When she finished, I felt like a five-year-old high on sugar. I had energy and wasn’t lethargic, two elements to managing stress. I twisted my neck this way, and that way, and it wasn’t painful at all. There was still some stiffness, but when I discussed it with my acupuncturist, and we fixed appointments that were fine with me, the neck stiffness went away after a month.

How Often Did I Do Acupuncture?

My acupuncturist was able to create a weekly schedule, which was fine by me. Since I spent all weekdays at work, I visited her on Saturdays every week for the first month. I stopped going after the second month because I didn’t experience any back pains or stiff neck, but after two months of no acupuncture treatment, the pains resurfaced.

I went back to my acupuncturist, and the pain subsided again. We spread out my appointments. Instead of every Saturday a week, it was one Saturday a month. It was enough to prevent the pain and enable me to work productively. It continued that way until I quit my job. Acupuncture is still a part of my life today because it improves my health and well-being. I now visit an acupuncturist once a month.


The Severity of Your Condition

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How often you should do acupuncture largely depends on the severity of your condition. You have to discuss this with your acupuncturist and inform them about your daily or monthly schedules.

They will also ask you about your preference and recommend a type of acupuncture treatment that suits your interest and will be effective for your condition.

In herbal medicine and Western medicine alike, there are two types of medical conditions – acute and chronic conditions – and a treatment plan will often be based on which is present.

Acute conditions appear suddenly, while chronic ones develop with time. Also, acute pain can be severe, but it lasts a relatively short time. On the other hand, chronic pain is less severe but lasts longer. Therefore, chronic pain will require more frequent treatments than acute pain.

Also, depending on your condition, you might also be asked to switch up your diet. For example, if you show symptoms of gout, your acupuncturist will advise you to stop drinking alcohol and stop eating certain foods like soups and gravies, liver, and sardines.

Someone with fibroid might require longer sessions than someone who suffers from tinnitus. Kidney stones are another condition that might require months-long sessions of acupuncture treatment than a less severe condition like indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, and related stomach issues.


How Your Body Responds

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80% of people treated by acupuncture because of chronic fatigue have reported instant relief and energy boost. Someone like me who had neck and body pains in the past recovered one month after acupuncture treatment. The pains came back again after two months, and I had to go back to that.

Some acupuncturists might recommend coming in once or twice a week for an acupuncture appointment. Just like it takes the human body a certain amount of time to respond to weekly exertions in terms of working out, it also takes a certain amount of time to respond to acupuncture. It is advisable to consult your acupuncturist, as I stated earlier, to see if a better appointment might be arranged.

Poor diet, sleep routine, stress, and hormone levels may also affect the way your body responds to acupuncture treatment. Even a healthy diet could affect it. This is why some acupuncturists will ask about your lifestyle and recommend changes that will be beneficial to you and aid the treatment. Changing your diet, drinking more water than alcohol, quitting smoking, and regular stretches or yoga are certain recommendations acupuncturists give to their patients.

Benefits of Getting Acupuncture Often

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You might think acupuncture just helps relieve stress, but it’s much more than that, as scientific studies have shown. People who get acupuncture treatment for the first time have reported instant relief and better mobility.

Your ailment might not be gone within one session, just like mine, but believe me when I tell you that instant relief is a must after every session. Imagine feeling such relief every week? It’s not a bad deal if you ask me. Chinese acupuncture is still a part of my life today because of many benefits, including:

  • Improved sleep routine.
  • Fewer muscle spasms
  • Improved digestion.
  • Improved respiration, energy, and vitality.
  • Absence of headaches and migraines.
  • Less muscle pain
  • Reduced blood levels.
  • Frequent pain relief.
  • Improved menstrual cycles
  • Better emotional, mental, and physical well-being.
  • Lower risk of diseases and other ailments.
  • Lesser menstrual cramps pain

Frequently Asked Questions

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How Often Should You Get Acupuncture? (Health Coach's Tips) (11)

How Often Should You Do Acupuncture?

As previously mentioned, it depends on your condition and your individual needs. How often you should do it depends on your individual preference.

Generally, it takes about 3-5 sessions for acupuncture treatments to start working for a range of health conditions. Just like with my stiff neck. If, however, like me, you want to continue reaping the benefits of acupuncture after your ailment has been treated, consult your acupuncturist. They might recommend one or two sessions a week or once a month, depending on your needs and lifestyle.

Can You Get Too Much Acupuncture?

The answer is NO. 2-3 sessions a week is generally acceptable. An acupuncturist will not recommend more acupuncture appointments than that unless you ask for it. Other than that, you can not get too much acupuncture. Hence, there is little importance in the regulation of acupuncture. If you’re worried about side effects or risks, it is normal.

There are some negative effects of acupuncture as well. Common risks that come with acupuncture treatment include:

  • Bleeding around needle insertions.
  • Skin rash
  • Nausea
  • Allergies
  • Infection
  • Soreness

Therefore, if you experience any of these during your first medical acupuncture treatment, you will have to speak with your acupuncturist. People who easily react to things, have a fear of needles, and are easily anxious shouldn’t have further treatment. Although needles may not be used for certain acupuncture treatments, you might still be prone to risks like nausea and skin rash. Pregnant women, people with bleeding disorders, and people who have metal implants are also not recommended to undergo acupuncture treatment.

Does Acupuncture Release Toxins?

No, but preventative medicine and alternative medicine studies have found that certain acupuncture points help stimulate the central nervous system, which in turn releases chemicals that are good for the body. These chemicals go into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. They also help balance and regulate hormones. This is why one of the major benefits of acupuncture treatment is instant relief, better sleep habits, improved mobility, and mental and physical well-being.

Toxins are different from chemicals that are released into the body. Some toxins, when produced in large amounts, are poisonous and could potentially kill someone. Although there are toxins that naturally occur in humans, acupuncture treatment does not release or increase their production. It even helps flush them away when there is improved blood circulation and kidney function. So be rest assured, prolonged acupuncture treatment will not release harmful toxins into your bloodstream.


Conclusion – Research by

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How Often Should You Get Acupuncture? (Health Coach's Tips) (13)

All of the above is relevant and accurate information that should tell you how often you should do acupuncture treatment. It largely depends on your ailment, if you suffer from one, and the kind of lifestyle you lead.

An acupuncturist can help you decide how often you should get treatment once they’ve looked into your condition and lifestyle.

It will be noteworthy to point out that acupuncture treatment cannot treat all ailments. Carpal tunnel, for example, may not go away after long months of acupuncture treatments. It will be wise to revisit a doctor if such conditions persist.

Remember, if you’re prone to any risks that come with acupuncture, do well to inform your acupuncturist so that other acupuncture types may be offered.


How Often Should You Get Acupuncture? (Health Coach's Tips) (2024)


Can you have acupuncture too often? ›

Generally, most clients will receive 6-8 treatments before it is recommended that they either reduce the frequency of treatment or seek treatment as and when needed. However, this depends on the condition at hand, and the severity of symptoms; more severe symptoms typically require more sessions.

How many acupuncture sessions does it take to see results? ›

Generally speaking, six sessions is considered a course of treatment. However, some people will need fewer sessions, while others with a chronic condition will need more. For example, people suffering from pain or anxiety will typically notice a reduction in their symptoms after the first or second session.

How long do the benefits of an acupuncture session last for? ›

Initially, the benefits of acupuncture can last a few days to a couple of weeks after each session. Over time acupuncture can provide longer-lasting, or even permanent, relief from pain, inflammation and other problems.

How frequently should you get acupuncture? ›

The number of treatments depends on your condition, its severity and how your body responds. Most people have an appointment once a week. Others get treatment more or less often, depending on how long the effects last. Your acupuncturist will recommend a schedule that's right for you.

What happens if you do too much acupuncture? ›

Nothing serious will happen to you if acupuncture needles are left in for a too long. You might feel tired as over stimulation of the points can drain your energy.

Is there anything you shouldn't do after acupuncture? ›

Clients should avoid strenuous exercise, caffeine, junk food, alcohol, cold temperatures, digital screens, and, where possible, stressful situations. What's more, if clients leave their appointment feeling lightheaded or dizzy, they should avoid driving until they feel better.

Does your body detox after acupuncture? ›

The detoxing effects of Acupuncture can last for around 3 days. During this time the body is cleansing and removing toxins and waste build-up from the body. Because of this, clients may report fatigue and discomfort. However, others can report feeling revitalised.

How do you know acupuncture is working? ›

The results of acupuncture typically aren't immediate. It can take several months of weekly treatments to see lasting changes, depending on your desired outcome. Some short-term effects may indicate that the acupuncture sessions are working. One sign is you notice slight improvements in your symptoms.

Is 20 minutes of acupuncture enough? ›

"We defined acupuncture as 'adequate' if it consisted of at least six treatments, at least one per week, with at least four points needled for each painful knee for at least 20 min, and either needle sensation (de qi) achieved in manual acupuncture, or electrical stimulation of sufficient intensity to produce more than ...

What are the disadvantages of acupuncture? ›

The risks of acupuncture are low if you have a competent, certified acupuncture practitioner using sterile needles. Common side effects include soreness and minor bleeding or bruising where the needles were inserted. Single-use, disposable needles are now the practice standard, so the risk of infection is minimal.

Is once a month enough for acupuncture? ›

Acupuncture is also great for long term emotional health, immune response, and longevity so we recommend a minimum of one treatment per month for optimal health and wellness.

What are the stages of healing with acupuncture? ›

I encourage people to look at healing in 3 phases, Acute Care, Maintenance Care and Wellness or Preventative. Acute Care is just what is sounds like, at the time of injury or flare up when pain and symptoms are present and/or exacerbated.

Do I tip my acupuncturist? ›

DO NOT TIP YOUR ACUPUNCTURIST. In school our professors regularly emphasized that although acupuncture treatments are relaxing and luxurious like spa services (or at least mine are), this is still a medical field. You don't tip your doctor. And I do not expect you to tip me.

When is the best time to do acupuncture? ›

Generally speaking, the most important times to have acupuncture are: During the follicular phase - day 5, 6, 7 or 8 of your menstrual cycle (day 1 being the first day of heavy flow) The day before, day of or day after ovulation (as indicated by your LH surge)

Is it enough to get acupuncture twice a month? ›

According to Dr. Shari Auth, a cofounder of the studio, acupuncture is great for both averting and treating pain. “We want to see patients once a month, ideally once a week. The reality is somewhere in between,” she says.

What happens if acupuncture hits a nerve? ›

If a needle hits a small nerve, muscle, or blood vessel, you may feel some pain or a more intense sensation. A single sensation is OK as long as it's brief. Points on the extremities are more likely to produce stronger reactions in the form of dull aches or tingling sensations.

How long is too long for acupuncture? ›

Sometimes you notice your pain is moved to other areas of the body because when the worst pain is calmer, the secondary pain site will grab the attention. If you have tried more than 2 weeks (4-6 sessions) and there have not been any noticeable improvements, most likely acupuncture won't work for you.

How often should you get acupuncture for chronic pain? ›

Some people only need a single treatment, while others need a series. You can expect an average of 4-8 sessions to achieve substantial pain relief. For people with chronic conditions, relief can last 3-12 months, after which you can repeat the series.


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