"The Balance Method is a highly effective style of acupuncture wherein needles are placed at sites away from the location of the symptoms, and the patient feels immediate relief. Similar to flipping a switch on a wall, and having a light turn on across the room -- if I am getting the right points, you should feel at least 50% decrease in your symptoms (if you are experiencing them at the time of the appointment) right away. I almost always encourage patients to move the affected area during treatment, to get the circulation really going and test how well the acupuncture is working; thus if you are experiencing low back pain, I will have you twisting your back while the needles are in your arms and/or legs; for foot pain, you will often be asked to walk around the room with needles in your head and arms. Both patients and I love getting this immediate feedback.
In severe cases (such as problems that have existed 20 years, problems due to congenital or severe structural issues, or problems not presenting at the time of treatment) it may take up to three treatments to start to see the results. In any case, you should begin to see some changes (even if minor) by the end of the first three visits.
In China, people will often come in for DAILY acupuncture until their conditions resolve. Here we encourage beginning with 3 visits per week so that each treatment will build on the one before it incrementally until your body is healthy enough to take over. You always want your next treatment to be before your symptoms return to the level they were previously! As you get better, we start to wean you off of the treatment until you no longer need me.
In some instances, (good health, minor problem, acute situation) people can get better in as little as 2-3 treatments. In other instances (poor health, major problem, long-standing issue) people end up taking 2-3 courses of acupuncture (one course being 8-12 treatments) and then coming in for long-term maintenance. Most people fall in between these two extremes, needing 6-30 treatments before dropping to a preventative care plan."