Acupuncture Dosage and Frequency

© 2017 by Dr. David Buscher, D.Ac.

When people ask how often they will need acupuncture treatments in order to make a difference in their symptoms, I usually answer four to six weekly treatments would be a good start. Acupuncture is a cumulative therapy, and regularity is key to getting results.

But the other main consideration, especially at first, is frequency. Once the condition seems to settle down, the appointments are spaced out more on a maintenance schedule.

It’s important to “front load” acupuncture – have more treatments early on – because it’s a natural medicine. It is not injecting anything into the body; it’s “convincing” your body to do something different than it has been doing. If the symptom is especially intense or long-lasting, the body will need more convincing to turn the tide.

All of this is to say that the “dosage” of acupuncture is as important as it is in any other medicine, and I’m becoming more convinced lately that weekly treatments may not be enough at first. There is often a dramatic change right away, but keeping the momentum of that change is trickier if there is only one hour of treatment versus the other 167 hours a week of the symptom trying to reassert itself. It usually works out in the long run, but it might work faster and more thoroughly if the treatments were closer together in the first few weeks, especially in tougher cases.