How many acupuncture treatments are needed to see results?

One of the first questions asked when considering acupuncture as a treatment option is ‘how many acupuncture treatments are needed for insomnia/sciatica/anxiety/etc.’

It is difficult to answer exactly how many acupuncture sessions are needed as it differs on a case by case basis. The full picture of one’s health and the nature of the issue must be taken in context to provide a personal treatment timeframe.

There are general guidelines for the number of acupuncture sessions needed, based on the experience of acupuncturists:

  • Acute cases: 3-6 treatments for a lasting resolution
  • Chronic cases: 6-10 treatments for positive changes, 10-20 sessions for consolidation of changes and more lasting changes

These infographics help to get an idea of the experience of acupuncturists in treating certain conditions

In a 2018 survey of over 180 acupuncturists, Katie Altneu asked how many treatments they found on average produces significant changes for their clients for a range of conditions. Her findings help to gain a loose expectation of average treatment timeframes.

Pain conditions

  • Acute back pain: 3-4 treatments
  • Acute injuries or pain: 3-4 treatments
  • Chronic back pain: 6-8 treatments
  • Chronic injuries or pain: 10-12 treatments
  • Headaches: 4-6 treatments
  • Migraines: 8-10 treatments

Internal Health Conditions

  • Insomnia: 8-10 treatments
  • Fatigue: 8-10 treatments
  • Digestive/Bloating/IBS Symptoms: 6-8 treatments
  • Allergies: 6-8 treatments
  • Anxiety/Depression: 8-10 treatments

Women’s Health

  • Menstrual Symptoms: 8-10 treatments
  • Menopausal Symptoms: 8-10 treatments
  • Subfertility: 4-5 months

These are loose guidelines. The data from this survey was informally gathered, but by no means is meant to be prescriptive.

How many acupuncture treatments you need is dependent on factors such as the length of time and severity of your health issues.

Also, the ability/willingness to make changes around aggravating factors play a part in this.

For more insight into your specific health issues and expectations for treatment timeframes, it is advisable to talk to a professional health practitioner.

I invite you to book a time to find out more about how Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture may be helpful for your health.

Obligation free, complimentary 15-min health evaluation


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