Acupuncture is not a one-shot deal. It works cumulatively, meaning one treatment builds on the next. Today we live in a fast-paced society, we desire quick results and want instant fulfilment. There are certainly instances of acupuncture producing immediate results. However, this is more an exception than the rule—and when it happens, the results tend to be short lived. Comparable to how medications are limited unless you take the prescribed dose if you don’t get acupuncture regularly and within an appropriate time frame it is unlikely to have the desired result. After your first treatment, an acupuncturist usually will provide an estimate for how many treatments you’re likely to need.
If you want lasting results from acupuncture, especially for a chronic condition, you must commit to the process.
This Eastern concept to healing can be unfamiliar for Westerners, who are acquainted with instant gratification in most aspects of life, including healthcare. Being forced to adopt a long-term, cumulative attitude can be confusing and frustrating. Although the technique may be old, the idea of a therapy involving needles in this way is brand new to most of us and can easily be intimidating.
Fortuitously, there are several signs that acupuncture is taking effect—even if your primary symptoms have not yet resolved. When these signs appear, symptom relief typically is not far behind.
Here are some signs that your acupuncture treatments are working:
You’re less stressed out
Acupuncture does take you to the land of unicorns and rainbows. It does not put you in a trance that makes you numb. It does, however, take the edge off and relaxes the body. Allowing the body to come out of flight or fight mode, also known as a hyper-vigilant state.
Acupuncture evens out our moods so that we are less affected by and better equipped to manage the stressful aspects of our lives. The stress won’t disappear, but if you find yourself feeling less bogged down by it, acupuncture is working for you.
You’re sleeping better
This is one of the most common signs that acupuncture is doing its thing. Many insomniacs who seek acupuncture for other reasons are surprised when their sleep problems resolve—often without ever having mentioned the issue to their acupuncturist. Even if you’re not someone who struggles with sleep, you still may notice yourself sleeping more deeply, waking less during the night, or feeling more rested upon waking.
You have more energy
Although receiving acupuncture is a relaxing, energy-grounding experience, your energy level may rise in the hours and days following a treatment. This means acupuncture has stirred the pot and stimulated movement throughout the meridians—and regular, steady movement throughout the meridians is ultimately what will resolve your chief complaint.
The surge in energy that acupuncture produces is different from the somewhat frenetic energy that surrounds daily life. It’s a kind of energy that makes you feel more awake and alive. You may notice that you’re less tired during the day, feeling more motivated to go out for a walk, or just sensing a little extra spring in your step.
Your aches and pains diminish
Acupuncture works as a holistic system. It has various effects on the body, ranging from affecting the lymphatic, nervous, and the endocrine(hormones) systems. Which is why it’s great at addressing overall inflammation.
It is inflammation that is key to illness, when your inflammation levels are high problems are round the corner. One of the fantastic by-products of acupuncture is that it has a dramatic effect on the reducing your cortisol and adrenal levels. These chemicals are your primary stressor hormones and long term these hormones in excessive levels cause inflammation all over the body. So no matter what you have come in with, whether it be back pain, stomach upset, hayfever or you are just stressed out. You can rest assured that your overall inflammation levels will be coming down.
If you recognise any of these signs, hang in there and stick with it. Acupuncture is working.