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How often should I come in for acupuncture?

A little something I read in the Circle Community Acupuncture newsletter:

This is a question that we hear from almost every patient at Circle CA, and it is not necessarily and easy one to answer.  My quick and easy reply is “Until symptoms calm down and don’t come back.”  This answer is true, but if you examine the question a little closer, it is a little more complicated.  It might be better to say, “Well, it depends on what type of patient you are.”

Our friend, Macey Webb at Working Class Acupuncture in Portland, Oregon, recently observed that patients have different ways of using acupuncture.  She divided them into three major types:

1) Dedicated “regulars” — these are the folks that come in for acupuncture once or twice a week like clockwork for months and years.  To quote Macey: “They know that acu is a great health tool, and they come to us first when new problems arise.  They advocate to their friends, to strangers, and these people are the life-blood of our clinics… they stand as singular proof of how effective acupuncture can be to incur life-altering change of one kind or another.  These people are often chronic pain sufferers, or have a chronic disease diagnosis like fibromyalgia, [or, arthritis, hypertension, etc].  And they love us for being there.  That’s all: they love that our clinics exist and they fight to keep us in business.”

2) “Irregulars” — these are the people that understand that acupuncture can be great for taking care of problems as they arise.  Many people come to our clinic for the first time because of a new pain.  They come in for a round of treatments a few times a week until the problem resolves.  This is a great approach for back and neck strain, headaches, stressful times, etc.  “Irregulars” often come in for a few weeks, and then we don’t see them for months until a new problem arises.  We are very happy to be part of their health care and a tool for helping them find relief.

3) “Seasonal” — these patients are very similar to the irregulars.  They know that they have a complaint that only bugs them at certain times of the year and that acupuncture is helpful with treating it.  Seasonal allergies, SAD, exam time stress, etc.  Once again, we are very happy to be a beneficial part of your life.

So, the answer to the question — is use us in the way that is best for you.  Community Acupuncture was created to make acupuncture accessible to a wide variety of people and health issues.  Of course we would love it if everyone was a dedicated “regular”, but we love our “irregulars” and “seasonals” just as much.

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