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. During this phase a higher frequency of visits is essential to promote healing and support the body.
Maintenance Care isn’t required for everyone. With chronic issues, I find that maintenance care is essential and is often described as the tapering down of treatment. Some people will feel they should wait until their symptoms have come back completely before returning. Though waiting is one approach, in practice we see that in the long run it doesn’t decrease the number of visits and may actually increase them because we start each treatment at the original base line.
Acupuncture at it’s core, is about keeping people well. Wellness and Preventative Care is about helping people stay well. I also have a number of patients with high stress roles or an aggressive fitness routine that use Wellness Care as a proactive way to prevent stress, be it physical, mental or emotional, from hindering performance.
With certain conditions such as spinal stenosis or pain due to loss of cartilage in the joints, patients may remain in Maintenance Care indefinitely. Acupuncture won’t cure these types of conditions. However it can be a critical in living vibrantly with the condition, preventing the condition from getting worse and managing pain naturally without the side affects of medications.