Acute pain: Acute pain is pain that has only recently occurred (within the last six months) and usually involves soft tissue damage. For these types of issues acupuncture works extremely well to reduce swelling, improve blood flow, release tight muscles and promote faster healing. Many times just a handful of acupuncture treatments will do the trick and long term maintenance often isn’t necessary.
Chronic Pain: Chronic pain is typically pain that lasts longer than 6 months and often involves some type of structural issue in the body. Chronic pain is one of my favorite things to treat because using the style of acupuncture I practice, pain reduction is immediate. The look of surprise on people’s faces when the pain they’ve had for years is melting away is priceless. Now, will the chronic pain stay away forever with just one acupuncture session? Not likely. I’m not a miracle worker, there is no magic even if it may seem magical! Acupuncture is creating physiological changes in the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and not just masking the pain, but working towards actually healing the source of pain. This often involves re-training the body. You would never expect to go to the gym or to physical therapy once or twice and experience lasting changes in your body. The same is true with Chinese Medicine. Whether internal, or external, physical or emotional, healing takes time, it’s as simple as that. The goal is to treat both the root of the issue and the symptoms at the same time. Acupuncture is cumulative, meaning the treatments build upon each other. Just because the pain comes back does not mean that it always will. Often the pain will decline in severity and frequency and taper off as the root cause is slowly fixed.
This is a general chart that describes a very common trend in pain, it goes up and down, but often after the 5th treatment, patients report a significant reduction in the intensity. I often meet people who have tried acupuncture once or twice without achieving the desired results. As I mentioned before, acupuncture is cumulative and takes commitment to a treatment plan. Research studies on a variety of conditions often show that a series of treatments (10-20), with a frequency of 1-3 times a week, are necessary for positive results. Patients with chronic degenerative illnesses might choose long-term maintenance treatment plans to reduce pain levels without side-effects. Because acupuncture works best as a series of treatments, we offer discounted packages to patients paying out-of-pocket for treatments.
If you are frustrated with the lack of results in treating your chronic pain with other treatment styles, give acupuncture a try. We are accepting new patients and look forward to helping improve your quality of life.