You do it with your dentist, car mechanic, and doctor. Pet owners do it for their animal companions. And around the house, many people do it for their furnace, roof, and even their pool. You should be doing it with your acupuncturist, too. What is it? Regular maintenance visits.
Why should you be having regular health maintenance visits for acupuncture? Once your symptoms are gone, aren’t you good to go? Well, yes and no. Yes, once your symptoms have gotten better, you’re in good shape for now, but there are a number of benefits to having a couple of acupuncture maintenance sessions each year.
1) Prevention. Your acupuncturist can see any problems you may be having before they become serious and cause you symptoms. Maybe you’re not sleeping very well lately, seem to have a little less energy, or feel like you’re running hot. While this may not seem like much to you, in Chinese medicine, these are signs that your body is beginning to get out of balance. The solution: a session or two of acupuncture as a preventative tune-up, which should head off any major problems that might have otherwise been brewing.
2) Maintenance treatments are a way to be proactive. This is a little different than prevention, in that you’re trying to head off a known health problem. For example, if you know that you suffer from spring allergies, a couple of sessions in February or March can help you get through allergy season symptom-free or with greatly reduced symptoms.
3) Improved energy. At Acupuncture in the Park, we have found that after a few maintenance sessions, many of our patients report having improved energy and the ability to do the things they have been putting off lately due to fatigue.
4) Strengthened immunity. If you seem to be catching every cold, flu, or stomach virus going around, it’s time for an acupuncture boost. A few acupuncture treatments can be aimed at beefing up your protective energy to stay healthier, especially during the winter months.
5) Keep your body systems moving. Acupuncture is all about movement and smooth flow. Whether it’s your digestive system, menstrual cycle, emotions, or achy muscles and joints, a couple of sessions can keep things moving nicely.
6) Stress relief. I’ve been saving the best for last. Many people are surprised at how relaxing acupuncture is, and the relaxing effects can last days and even weeks after a treatment. If your loved ones are beginning to describe you as irritable or overwhelmed, …um, it’s time for some acupuncture.
How many sessions do you need and how often? Generally, booking a couple of sessions every six months is recommended. However, everyone is different in their needs. Some patients come in for one treatment every six months, and they’re good to go. Other patients wait longer, but come in for a series of two or three health maintenance treatments. If you wait until symptoms become unmanageable, it usually will take a few more sessions to get things under control.