Hope this helps!
Dr. Bita Yadidi, L.Ac., DAOM
response. If you have been going to acupuncture for years for the same condition and you have some relief for a few weeks than you are doing the right thing. If you are getting relief for one week only, then once a week might be a wiser choice until your relief's time increases. Frequency is ultimately based on the patient's response!
Alexandre Hillairet, DAOM.
Caitria Thiele, LAc MSOM
One treatment per month is only for maintain and prevention, not for treatment.
Always consult your primary care physician before seeking other treatment. Having said that, yes if you have chronic pain you should go as often per treatment plan. See your local acupuncturist to see what causes your back pain. In TCM there is a pattern for everything.
For patient scoring between 5 and 7 or so, I like to get them in twice a week for two to three weeks. This lets us get the pain knocked down to below 5 and then we can back off to weekly until we're at a place where, again, we can start thinking about maintenance intervals.
For pain levels over 7, I try to get patients to come in three days in a row for two to three weeks. After this we evaluate the overall pain levels and decide if we can go to two days a week for a week or two or if the patient is ready to go to weekly treatments.
Studies of acupuncture in chronic pain almost always show a dose dependency. This means, to a point, more acupuncture sessions provide superior results. Of course, we have to balance this against the individual patient's financial situation/tolerances. But, in general, if your pain is severe, once a month probably isn't going to get you where you want to be.
You may be able to return to a once a month schedule after an intensive set of sessions brings your pain under control. This is the other big advantage to acupuncture: it's a front loaded process, but saves money in the long run - once we get things under control and start spreading treatments out to find the optimal maintenance interval for a given individual.
For the best results, you need to make sure you're seeing an NCCAOM board certified acupuncturist. To find one near you, go to NCCAOM.org and click their "Find a Practitioner" link. If your pain is fairly severe, probably best if you can find someone who specializes in pain management
Use your body's response and recovery time as a guide and discuss it with your practitioner.