Acupuncture Frequency and the Value of Community Clinics

Recently, a patient and potential POCAtech student, Beth Ott, posted on the POCA forums about her experience at Ad Astra Acupuncture in Kansas. She decided to increase her frequency of treatments and noticed a big difference. She wrote:

I am 52 years old and have been coming to community acupuncture 2-3 times per week for low energy level, mild depression, and joint pain. Recently, I decided to try coming 4-5 times per week. I am amazed at how different the experience is with the extra session on a regular basis. I have been able to recognize in my body such a difference. Instead of “rescue” treatment (just getting my energy put back together enough to get through another day or week), I recognize that the Qi flows more strongly. While it is always a challenge to describe the experience of acupuncture, it seems to me that the Qi has more purpose; it seems to pool in specific areas and then moves to other places—with a mind of its own. I definitely plan to continue coming more regularly. It isn’t always easy to work in the time, but the benefits of treatment have multiplied with a visit or two extra each week.

It is always enlightening for practitioners to hear how patients respond to treatments; it helps us become better at what we do. I have learned more about the value of frequent acupuncture working in this clinic for almost a year and after over 2000 treatments. My patients have taught me this.

Just last month someone who had been coming to LBCA about three times a week, joined POCA and took advantage of the $10 treatments for members that we featured as our monthly special. That person was able to increase treatments to five days a week and did so for about two weeks. The difference was noticeable for both of us but it was the patient who really emphasized the changes acupuncture brought about and how they had greater impact.

I rarely tell people to come five days a week, mostly because I know that fitting in self-care or any kind of treatment into our already busy lives poses challenges for most people. Often patients are receiving multiple therapies and arranging them into a daily schedule gets complicated. In October 2013 a study was published revealing that acupuncture is more effective when done more frequently: “Increased number of needles and more sessions tend to be associated with better outcomes when comparing acupuncture to non-acupuncture controls.”

If you’ve been to LBCA, then we’ve talked about “dosing” your acupuncture treatments based on what health issue you’re working on. Like any other medication, acupuncture needs to be given in the right amount to bring about the greatest benefit. Sometimes it’s tricky to get the amount just right and most often it is helpful to begin with at least two treatments per week. One of the valuable things about community clinics is our regular business hours and our low fees—both of which allow people to use acupuncture as frequently as possible.

Curious about increasing your acupuncture dosage? This month we happen to have great special going: 5 treatments for $65. It’s a perfect time to increase your treatments for a great value.