1. Attend appointments according to your treatment plan.
Acupuncture treatment gains momentum as you keep having it, much like a snowball effect. Most acupuncturists will let you know what the plan is for treating your health problem after the second consultation. The reason it isn’t done immediately after the first treatment is because it is often unclear how a patient will respond to the treatment, so the practitioner will wait to see what changes occur, and then devise a treatment plan. Some conditions, often acute, need several treatments close together to begin with, and these are spaced out as progress is made. Chronic conditions can also require intensive management programs.
2. Implement lifestyle changes.
Part of our job as Chinese medicine doctors is to give you holistic advice that relates to your health condition. “Holistic” relates to every part of your life and advice might range from finding new ways to manage stress – for example, meditation or yoga, to stretches relating to your pain condition, to modifying your diet and eliminating or adding certain foods. A large part of a Chinese medicine doctor’s job is to provide the tools that help empower patients to take control of their own health. Practitioners respect that between us, you are the one who knows yourself best, so tools and suggestions are provided based on your own assessment of their sustainability in your life. Some suggestions are open to negotiation, some are not.
3. Follow through.
People often get very good results very quickly with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. What can slow the journey to wellness, however, is giving up treatment before the treatment plan is complete. It’s common to assume that because symptoms are gone there is no need for further treatment and things can just go back to the way they were before the problem arose. This creates a pattern of sickness a bit like a feedback loop, and causes setbacks in healing, most commonly. A person may feel recovered, but return to the same behaviour or movements that caused the injury in the first place, causing the health issue to also return, sometimes worse than the initial case. Practitioners can do maintenance treatments that support and prevent flare-ups, as well as relieving acute issues. These are usually suggested following the final session in a treatment plan. They are suggested as a supporting aspect of an overall preventive health regime.