Acupuncturist Questions Acupuncture

How long does the effect of acupuncture last?

I am having PCOD and tried acupuncture but after 2 years the problem is recurring. How long does the effect of acupuncture last?

56 Answers

Acupuncture is a natural treatment. The effect of acupuncture lasts depending on your symptoms.

Dr. Hui (Grace) Gao LAc., TCMD
I'm sorry to say that needs continue, for chronic problem does FU longer.
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It is not a solution in and of itself. A good practitioner should be coaching you in ways to look after yourself and support your own healing. Any treatment should be viewed as a team effort between the practitioner and the patient to affect long lasting change.
As with any kind of treatment, it needs to be maintained for optimal results. Meaning, you don't just get a few acupuncture sessions and never have to come back again. Maintenance is necessary to keep yourself in balance. Some patients only need one visit every couple of months for wellness - others opt for once a month visits.
Hope this helps.
PCOD is a difficult diagnosis to treat. If you are not seeing progress with your current acupuncturist then please see someone else. You will see results quicker if your acupuncturist uses herbs.
The duration of the acupuncture treatment effect depends on the disease.
Acupuncture helps your body to return to a balanced stage. If you get PCOD again after 2 years, acupuncture might help in your case.
For many conditions you may need to be on maintenance or get tuneups on a regular basis.
Well, in order to answer this questions more information is needed. From my experience with patients, if the treatment was well planned, it should subside (if not removed completely) for at least few years (if we talking about healthy individuals). The effect could be permanent if certain rules are abided by (lifestyle, diet modification, sufficient amount of sleep, and such). Also, previous medical history cannot be ignored. The definite answer to your question cannot be given at present due to lacking important peaces of information. Acupuncture is a holistic approach to health, so a doctor needs to see the whole picture in order to help you.
That is a good question, but realistically there are too many factors involved to give an accurate answer. Even if a condition is improved through acupuncture, there are so many contributing causes to a reoccurrence. In the case of PCOS, it may be helpful to run some labs and try to get a better idea about what is going on. Supplements may also be necessary to ensure that your body is healthy in order to prevent future manifestations.
This is a chronic condition and you might have to continue to treat it to prevent it from getting worse.
Acupuncture therapy, when applied on an as needed bases can last a lifetime.
After patient's conditions are resolved, they come in once a month for tuneups and any previous symptoms are warded off. It's important to maintain healthy habits that may be introduced during your series of acupuncture treatments.
Well, each acupuncture treatment moves your Qi (vital energy) and Blood for approx. 3 days. Do you frequently and vigorously exercise to maintain homeostasis (balance) in all your body's cells? Thwarting Pre-Diabetes or Diabetes is Key!!!!!!!! Cut out Sugar, Whites: Flour & granulated sugars....
Ask an Endocrinologist to order a comprehensive Hormone Panel on you to see what is out of range: too elevated or insufficient. Get that squared away, a.s.a.p. We Rx. Chinese herbs to build blood, to invigorate blood and qi and to resolve (Excess:Pain and Blood Stasis).

There are a few reasons that will recur your PCOD. It also depends on how frequently you are having acupuncture treatments. I would suggest to discuss with your acupuncture your treatment plan. They will explain in more detail.

Without knowing your history, this is a difficult question to answer. Hope you understand.

Have a great day,

Huan Wen Fang
So you had results with acupuncture but the symptoms came back after 2 years?
Maybe the root cause of the symptoms have not been completely treated, your body has not got into balance, or maybe there are other things which you need to take into consideration, like lifestyle or emotional life.
It is also recommended that you continue care even after the symptoms disappear. You should go for a an energy check up or reboost at least once a season (there are changes in the body caused by the change of season), the treatment will not only prevent your POCD but will help you maintain a good health.
I suggest you go back to your acupuncturist and discuss the situation and find what is the best approach for you.
A 2-year relief is not bad for chronic symptoms, especially if there have been no lifestyle changes to prevent the problem.
It depends on each individual's general health condition and lifestyle. There is no way of telling how long it will last or cure it.
Acupuncture is an energetic medicine and depending on the body's imbalance and resistance to change determines how long between treatment are required. Generally acute conditions require frequent treatments and chronic conditions require treatment over time combined with herbal formulas to benefit condition between treatment.
I suggest you schedule a consultation with an acupuncturist in your area.
Although women's health issues are not my area of expertise, I can say in general that the lasting success and effectiveness of acupuncture treatments on a person's body depends on many different factors, both internal and external.

Internally, we can look to stress, trauma, diet, aging, hormone balance, etc., that can have effects on the lasting duration of the acupuncture treatments. Externally, we can look to trauma, diet, exercise, environmental pollutants, work stress, family stress, etc., that can have effects on the lasting duration of the acupuncture treatments.

You can see what I'm getting at here.

It's hard to say for each person just how long their acupuncture treatments will last. Typically, the first to the last acupuncture treatment builds a wave a relief from pain and discomfort, while creating a balancing effect on the bodies operating systems. And as long as there are no factors that will cause further injury or recurrence of symptoms, the body will stay in balance longer. Possibly for the rest of their lives.

In my clinical experience, I have seen some clients whom have had lifelong lasting relief from their health issues within the first few acupuncture treatments. All complaints they came in for were gone for the rest of their natural lives. Other clients have had relief and success after months of treatments and then had the complaint(s) come back, usually less severely, after several months, and some after many years. In most of those recurring cases, those clients were having some factor(s) in their lives causing the recurrence of the complaint(s).

So, I recommend that you go back to getting acupuncture treatments and have the practitioner add Chinese herbal medicine into the healing equation to help maintain the balance that the acupuncture treatments will bring back to your body. The Chinese herbs will be something that you can take and do for yourself to prolong those positive effects that you first experienced with the acupuncture treatments. You can also think about working with a nutritionist to help your body through your dietary regimen.

Good luck,

Jeffrey W. Beimler, L.Ac. MsTCM
PCOS problems are caused by hormone changes hormonal imbalance. If you continue take hormone drugs, PCOS will come back certainly. Acupuncture helps your balance of hormone, but more hormone drug will make your hormone unbalanced.
The length of time acupuncture effects can persist varies from patient to patient. Sometimes we can get complete remission of an issue and sometimes there's a transition to maintenance that has to occur. The maintenance window can vary from weeks to months to years - there really isn't any good way to predict what maintenance is going to look like for any given individual.

The good news is you received what sounds like excellent results and those results persisted for somewhere around 2 years. You might need a few sessions in a row to reestablish a healthy pattern for you and then you could probably go to twice a year or yearly "tune ups" to maintain.
It depends on one's health condition and the number of acupuncture sessions. In the treatment of acute problems, a complete recovery can be expected. In chronic conditions, the goal is to achieve a long remission. For example, our asthma patients have reported over 20 years of complete recovery.
The effects of acupuncture treatments vary depending on many different factors. PCOD requires constant maintenance, and acupuncture treatment is recommended twice a week initially and then at least once a month when the symptoms subside.

Warm regards,

Aleksandra Dianova, L.Ac.
It’s different with each patient. A good guideline is if acupuncture has helped resolve or improve a condition, at the first sign of recurrence, seek treatment immediately. 

Good luck. 
It is wonderful to hear that you had positive results for a couple of years. Our recommendation for any type of hormonal imbalance is not to discontinue therapy. When all symptoms are resolved, it is important to attend therapy at least once month or every two months, and then slowly space that time out.

Alexandre Hillairet, DAOM.
The state of one's health and balance is a combination of factors-how well we care for the body currently and whatever our inherited weaknesses or past insults to one's health happen to be...

That being said, two years, symptom free, without doing things to keep yourself in balance seems like a pretty good outcome to me. If life is throwing you out of balance, something is always going to come back eventually. This medicine can correct that imbalance, but had you engaged with it as it is designed (to also keep you in balance) by doing regular maintenance treatments after your symptoms went away, they wouldn't be coming back in all likelihood.

So, you have two options... keep engaging the medicine as you are, or only use it when you are feeling "bad" or out of balance, or keep going when you are feeling well to avoid getting out of balance.

Your specific question was how long does it last though... and that is a challenging question to answer. Imagine we went to the beach and where the surf/waves break, we were trying to put a post into the sand. The first time, we drive the post in about 3-6 inches into the looser sand... and the post will stay perfectly vertical for about 3-7 days, but eventually, the waves and shifting sand will push the post over... so a week later, we go back to the beach and push it in a bit further... 2-3 more inches into more packed sand.... but the waves, they never stop. Some days, they are calmer than others... some days, the waves are very rigorous, even overwhelming to the most strongly inserted post...

The waves are stress, eating foods that make you sick, not sleeping enough, etc. I like this analogy because those things never stop... And the times we set the post are when you come in to get put back in balance via a treatment. It also indicates that when there is a lot of destabilizing activity in your life, you may need to come in more to offset that.

Nothing lasts forever... all things are impermanent. My advice is get back into your acupuncturist's office asap. Hope that was adequately explained and do let me know if you have any further questions.
Thank you for your question.

Unfortunately, your answer has no definitive answer and is very relative. There are no set times, it varies depending upon the imbalances and types of treatments, the response, etc.

If you've worked with an acupuncturist before whom you felt comfortable with, then I would suggest speaking with them and to work with a medical doctor and/or a Naturopath who can integrate your treatments for, I believe you may mean, PCOS.

Be well,

PCOD has a strong dietary causation. Acupuncture helps a lot to balance hormonal imbalances and reduce symptoms, but patients should continue with dietary changes; if not, eventually, it comes back. I recommend the keto diet for any patient suffering from hormonal imbalances. Sugar and carbohydrates should be minimal.

In health and light,

Alejandra, LAc.
Yes. Acupuncture has success at regulating the Hypothalamic, Pituitary Ovarian Axis that is disrupted with PCOD. I highly suggest you give it a try
Acupuncture plus herbal tea can cure forever, but you have to watch your diet.
Take a look at a blog post we wrote about acupuncture and PCOS:

Zen Tuan, L.Ac.
It depends the patient's conditions.
It sounds like your problem has not been resolved. My question would be if you followed through on the treatment protocol? Two years is a long time, the condition should have changed with a proper assessment and plan.


Amy Gendron, AP
It depends on the patient's condition.
Thank you for the inquiry! For certain conditions, Acupuncture can very effective in helping to correct the imbalance and the symptoms will lessen or even resolve completely. In the case of PCOD though, Acupuncture is most effective as a management tool, along with diet, and lifestyle changes, to keep this chronic condition symptomatically at bay for you. The chances of PCOD completely resolving, without management tools, are slim to none. I hope this helps!

Sorry to here about your reoccurrence. Every person with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome presents differently and obtains variable levels of relief from acupuncture. That’s great that it lasted two years without symptoms. I usually recommend a maintenance treatment every three months after symptoms have subsided. No symptom is synonymous to no disease, as we are taught. Hopefully, you can obtain great results again with just a few “tune up” treatments. Give it a try again, good luck to you.

David G. Hanley, Dipl. OM
I recently received a question as to how long acupuncture treatment lasts. If I understand the question correctly, you had problems that improved with treatment and recurred after 2 years. There are many reasons for this, diet, stress, age, toxic exposure, to name a few. I would return to your acupuncturist to be re-evaluated. You can return to good health again.

Best wishes,

Dr. David Bole
Hello, typically the effect of acupuncture varies from patient to patient depending on the condition the patient is experiencing. Initially, I complete an intake with the patient where I ask them many detailed questions regarding the symptoms they are having. On the basis of these responses and other diagnostic methods, I develop a Traditional Medicine diagnosis from all the symptoms. In addition, to acupuncture, I provide the patient with functional medicine perspective including specific nutritional supplements and herbal formulas. If you live in a different state I can complete the diagnosis online through Skype or telephone, and then refer you to a local acupuncturist for the acupuncture portion of the treatment. You can schedule an intake on my website at on the Contact Us page. Let me know if you have other specific questions as well. Be well, Dr. Al
Acupuncture has a lasting effect only if you have corrected the underlying problem that is causing your symptoms to begin with. The body will move back if things aren't corrected. Herbal formulas are another way that can get deeper and can have a better, sometimes, longer lasting effect. But, again, only if the underlying issues are being addressed. Everyone is unique and not all have the same cause or effect. That is how Chinese Medicine shines, it treats you as an individual. Sometimes, the frequency of acupuncture and length of treatments can play into it as well. If there is a chronic condition to address it takes time to help the body to correct itself. But, without your history and doing an exam, I'm not sure what the cause of re-occurrence is for you specifically. I can only speculate. I hope my answer helps. I would recommend talking with your acupuncturist or getting a second opinion. Thanks!
Chronic issues require more treatment then acute problems like catching a cold. Herbs are also great. Make sure your Acupuncturist knows gynecological points.
Acupuncture is used to restore balance to the body. If symptoms improve with the acupuncture but return then we have to look at other things that may be contributing to the symptoms such as foods or other things that may be causing inflammation in the body. Eliminating certain foods or adding supplements to help strengthen the immune system or reduce inflammation can help prevent symptoms from coming back.
According to the NIH (National Institutes of Health), the cause of PCOS/PCOD is still unknown. We only know that genetic and environmental factors can contribute to release higher-than-normal androgen.
How long have you had acupuncture treatments for PCOS? If PCOS was completely treated at that time, it should not reoccur. But aforementioned genetic and environmental factors play big roles. Therefore, your PCOS was not completely treated at that time, or this could be another sign of new symptom. I advise you to speak to your previous acupuncture physician and discuss your case.
This will depend on the severity of the issue, frequency of the acupuncture, the type of acupuncture treatment performed, and adjusted (or not) lifestyle of the patient.

Every one is an individual and responds uniquely to acupuncture- even though some generalities can be made. For example, the more treatments done closer together give the longest lasting results.

That being said, for acute and/or short term imbalances, issues could be resolved within a 5-10 treatment set. For chronic issues going on multiple years it could take upward of 50-70 treatments.

Additionally, if the patient is continuing activities which exacerbate the problem, or if the condition is deemed ‘uncurable’ from an allopathic/western standpoint, then treatment will be ‘working uphill’ and may need to be continual.

Please note, even once issues are resolved acupuncture should be continued on a preventative schedule once every 1-3 months as recommended by your acupuncture physician. Thank you for your question.
There is no precise time to determine how long you can be symptom free after receiving acupuncture treatments because it depends on your health status, your healing ability and the intensity of the damage.
Results will vary from person to person. Acupuncture can get rid of pain permanently, but some cases need regular treatment at least once a month for maintaining.
Every BODY is different, so some effects last longer than others. It may be beneficial for you to get a "maintenance" treatment every once in a while to keep up with the effects of the initial treatment.
In PCOD, we mainly need to have acupuncture for weight loss at the same time with ovarian hormonal balance to fundamentally help the issue. The duration of treatment varies by each patient.

Dr. Mehrdad Joukar DAOM, L.Ac.
It depends on the condition and the frequency of your acupuncture treatments. I've found it's more of an individual basis depending on how well that individual responds to acupuncture. Usually within 10 visits you get a really good idea and can begin to ween off visits down to 2x/mo or 1x/mo etc. Some conditions can be lifelong after so many treatments like stroke that has not been treated immediately.
Live Happy, Michael
You need follow-up treatment. Your fire element is low. Check your lower abdomen and periods. Also, try to hot pad your lower abdomen 4 times a week.
There really is no standard answer to this question because everyone is different and like any health modality or issue, recurrence can happen periodically, frequently or not at all.

The best thing to do is return to your practitioner for another treatment or series of treatments to see how your condition may have changed and what strategies need to be addressed now.
Acupuncture works best with a maintenance program to maintain the balance & harmony within the body. You have to consider that if you haven't done acupuncture for 2 years your body changes internally everyday and It's not possible to tell anyone how long the effects of the acupuncture treatments will last because the body changes on a daily basis considering aging, harmones, emotions, and lifestyle all has to do with the body functioning at its optimal level. I would suggest you do acupuncture again and discuss with your Acupuncture Physician an appropriate maintenance program for you. Good luck!
Acupuncture is sufficient to control the SX of PCOD. The right treatment can last for a prolonged period.
You are an ever changing being. Since PCOD is fundamentally linked to hormones, which are linked to our emotions, much could contribute to a recurrence of the condition. My approach includes spirit, mind and body as a way of helping individuals balance the stressors that impact daily living and how the body navigates life. There is no cookie cutter answer for your question about how long acupuncture lasts. In my 36 years experience, no two people are alike and no one person responds the same to any given treatment from session to session. That's why all treatments are customized for the person you are on the day you are in the office. Treating the whole person, spirit, mind and body, has proven to be the most effective way to help people resolve health concerns. Let me know if you'd like to explore that approach.
Acupuncture treatments can help greatly with pain related to PCOS. However, to address Polycystic ovarian syndrome long-term, a pulse, ear, and thermal diagnosis are needed to find the root cause creating the imbalance in the body. Herbal medicine is the best way to permanently address these imbalances.
Be well. I would be happy to assist you.
Each patient's response to acupuncture is different, based on age and condition. Also, if you received acupuncture in the past, the frequency of treatments may have not been often enough. With PCOS, it has taken your body a long time to develop this condition. It will take a number of treatments to reverse it. In addition to acupuncture, Chinese herbs and diet would be absolutely necessary to resolve PCOS. Chinese medicine is a cooperative.