“Acupuncture needling is the most powerful and direct method that releases tense, constricted muscles and fascia, improves blood flow, stops release of inflammatory chemicals, and relaxes the mind at the same time.”, Michele Arnold, D.A.C.M., L.Ac.
Acupuncture should be the first line of care to reduce pain because pain reduction is necessary to improve mobility and strength. It is a therapy that gives a cumulative effect to the body, and the best results are obtained by having a schedule of treatments.
Acupuncture enhances outcomes of other therapies like physical therapy, massage, and chiropractic.
So, how do you know how many acupuncture treatments will it take to get rid of your pain or health problems?
The efficacy of acupuncture is measured by the number treatments needed for maximum pain relief, and the duration of pain relief.
- It depends on the interaction between a patient’s self-healing potential,
- the severity and nature of the symptoms, or
- whether the symptoms or disease is healable. (1).
The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month to see significant changes.
*Following the right treatment plan along with keeping reasonable expectations of results will push you in the right direction of healing. This is so important that I can’t say enough about it!
Developing A Treatment Plan
Treatment frequency, heal ability of the disease, and self-healing potential depends on a variety of factors:
• Your constitution, strong or weak.
• Current physical health status and emotional stress related issues,
- Health problems, and emotional stress related issues over the past year.
• Past surgeries, injuries, and illnesses that may alter neuroanatomical structures.
• Medications, in particular aspirin, blood thinners, statins, steroids, opioids, and Gabapentin/Neurontin that block the body’s natural healing abilities.
• How long you’ve had the problem and the severity.
• Weather the problem is a mechanical, structural, or chronic systemic nervous system dysfunction.
An acupuncturist may suggest 1-3 treatments per week, daily visits for several days, or monthly visits for health maintenance and seasonal “tune ups”.
- One course of Acupuncture Therapy per one condition generally can be between 10-15 treatments for chronic conditions that are moderate, or severe in nature.
- Newer milder cases may need 6-8 treatments. After a 1–3-week break, this could be followed by another course of therapy if necessary.
- For more comprehensive and lasting effects follow a Corrective Care plan to address underlying organ-meridian imbalances over the course of months or a year. The corrective care plan usually includes dietary, herbal, exercise, and meditation practices as well as the acupuncture therapy.
- This treatment plan table below works for the average person, not considering nature of specific disease, or the patient’s general health and self-healing potential.
- This is also assuming that both the practitioner and the patient have availability to meet the timeframe. If not, try and get as close as possible so that the appointments are not spread too far apart. Otherwise, you are prolonging resolution of the problem. This treatment plan table works well.
- 1st Month 3-5x per week for chronic/severe
- 1st Month 2-3x per week for moderate problem
- 1st Month 1-2x per week for mild problem
- 2nd Month 2-3x per week for chronic/severe problem
- 2nd Month 1-2x per week for moderate problem
- 2nd Month 1x per week for mild problem
Or within a given total quantity needed per condition.
Mild 3-6 Tx; Moderate 6-12; Severe, long-standing 10+
Measuring Progress with reasonable expectations
- Consider problem resolved if No pain or symptoms return for at least 14 days.
- Considering whether or not there is something you are doing or not doing that is getting in the way of healing.
- Chronic problems, and those with nervous system dysfunction the symptoms may return,
- Then another course visits will be needed to keep the pain under control for another 4 to 6 months.
- To understand why healthy management of daily life stressors, mental outlook, belief systems, and lifestyle contribute to health or disease see Part 1-“What is the Real Source of My Pain or Disease?”
- Healing is a process, and different tissues have different healing timelines. This is very important to understand so that you can have the right expectations, and not become too impatient when you think your body isn’t healing quick enough. This will be explained in an upcoming blog post, “How Do I Know Whether the Acupuncture Treatments are Helping Me or Not?”
Why Frequent Acupuncture?
With a treatment plan at twice weekly for 3-5 weeks versus once per week or every other week, the resolution of the disorder is accomplished in 10-20 days, rather than 10-15 weeks or months.
Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon, writes in his article, “Restructuring American Acupuncture Practices”, “The ideal frequency for acupuncture therapy depends on one’s concept of the function of acupuncture therapy (1).” I have loosely paraphrased his ideas with a few of my own modifications.
This is assuming both patients and practitioners have the availability for scheduling appointments. Both parties need to be available to commit to the benefits of optimal care.
If you were to begin a new exercise regime you would do it at a minimum of three times weekly.
If you were to begin any other therapy like physical therapy, or chiropractic, you would follow a treatment plan very similar to acupuncture.
In all cases, it doesn’t work if you don’t do it just as medicine won’t work if you don’t take it.
Consider a few examples of other therapies. Would it be recommended that a patient:
- Take nutritional supplements (such as a vitamin/mineral) once per week or once per day?
- Take a course of antibiotics, one dose per week for ten weeks or one dose per day for ten days?
- Take a decongestant once per week during allergy season, or every day during allergy season?
- Exercise, 20-30 minutes once per week, or 20-30 minutes at least three to five days per week?
- Take an herbal tea or other herb preparation once per week, or every day?
- Sleep well once per week, or every night?
- Eat a healthy diet once per week or every day (or most days)?
Once per week doesn’t cut it for any of these things. Diet, exercise, sleep, herbs, vitamins, and common drug therapies are more like acupuncture treatments in their regulatory and recuperative effects, and a person should be doing them daily or almost every day. (1).
Now that you understand some general guidelines around acupuncture care, consider whether your pain is acute or chronic, and its severity.
Together we can come up with a treatment plan to help give you the best possible results in the shortest amount of time.
Give us a call today at (858) 613-0702 or Text preferred (858) 613-0793 to set up your appointments.
Best in Health,
Dr. Michele Arnold
- Ma, Yun-tao; Cho, Zang Hee. Biomedical Acupuncture for Pain Management – E-Book. 2005. Elsevier Health Sciences. Kindle Edition.
- Dharmananda, Subhuti, “Restructuring American Acupuncture Practices”, May 2003. http://www.itmonline.org/arts/restructure.htm
- Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business. Random House. 2012. NY.
- Hanscom, David. Do You Really Need Spine Surgery? Take Control with a Surgeon’s Advice. 2019. Vertus Press: Oakland, CA.
- Bernard, Rick. Orthopedic Electroacupuncture. eBook edition.
- Wong, Joseph Y. A Manual of Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture, Vol I: Musculo-Skeletal Disorders. 1999. The Toronto Pain and Stress Clinic, Inc. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Have you wanted to start doing meditation? Do you find it difficult to do it? Do you think it’s required to have a blank mind or empty mind?
Try using a vibrational tuning fork.
- Protect your Qi: Mastering the skill of energetic boundaries
- Benefits of PEMF
- Somato Energetic Integration
- 5 Steps of the Energy Alignment Method
- Life Wave Patches (aka Acu Patches)
- Live in-tune Frequency Magic with South + Oils
- Theta Healing
- Flower Essences and Five Elements
- 5 Element Planetary Gem Elixirs
- Gemstones & Crystals
- You are the Medicine
- Breathwork and the Mind-Body Alignment Method
- Spirit of the Plants: Essential Oils for the Energy Body
- Come out of the closet: Incorporating Subtle Energy Modalities into Your Practice
- Imagetic Therapy (non-local acu treatments)
- Develop Your Intuition using Oracle Cards
- Face Reading
- NLP and Timeline Therapy
- Everything Psychedelic & Plant Medicine
- Subtle Energy Embodiment
- Medical Astrology
- Your Five Element Personality Type
- Nutrition For High-Frequency Living
- Xponetntial Intelligence: Change Your Frequency
- Understanding and Applying the benefits of intuition for patient and Practitioners
- Tao Calligraphy
- Dr. Jaz Roemer
- Dr. Riz Lakhani
- Dr. January
- Yvette Taylor
- Dr. Lindsey Miuccio
- Dr. Michele Arnold
- Dr. Sharleen Lawrence
- Dr. Allison Snowden
- Lindsay Fauntleroy
- Sandra Biskind
- Mary Elizabeth Wakefield
- Najah Abdus-Salaam
- Dr. Cass Naumann
- Kai Van Bodhi
- Jim Rohr
- Dr. East
- Daniel Luz
- Dr. Natalie Vail
- Dierdre Courtney
- Dr. Chloe Banales
- Dr. Maryna Smolnikava
- Drisana Carey
- Dr. Jaime Rabin
- Alli Suter
- Mas Sajady
- Jackie Besinger
- Christi Mendoza
Part 2 of the series:
How To Get the Best and Quickest
Results out of Your Acupuncture Treatments?
Acupuncture needling is the most powerful and direct method that releases tense, constricted muscles and fascia, improves blood flow, stops release of inflammatory chemicals from nerve endings, relaxes the mind, and heals the spirit at the same time. ~ Michele Arnold, D.A.C.M., L.Ac.
Acupuncture therapy is superior in that it can treat a mechanical Musculo-skeletal condition or a chronic systemic imbalance. A chronic system problem is a nervous system dysfunction stemming from a constitutional-spiritual imbalance.
- The goal of acupuncture treatment is to support the spiritual constitution.
- and restore function in the Musculo-skeletal system. The present condition.
- This is treating the present condition, and the person’s constitution at the same time.
How Do We Know if the Condition is Mechanical or Chronic Systemic?
We will take a history of your problem to determine whether it is a mechanical, or a chronic systemic imbalance.
A mechanical condition is a Musculo-skeletal problem of recent and known cause. It is the present condition.
- The problem has been occurring for less than 60 days up to about 6 months.
- There may be weakness, and motor inhibition is more one-sided.
- It has happened without an emotional-spiritual component.
- The problem will resolve over a normal time frame for the expected tissue healing.
A chronic systemic problem is from a dysfunctional nervous system. The emotional-mental-spiritual aspects are affected.
- The condition appears or is worsened by emotional-spiritual influences.
- Usually, the pain or problem has been ongoing for 6 months or more.
- There may be multiple conditions and symptoms.
- Hypersensitivity in tissue
- Increased neurogenic inflammation. Can cause adhesions, maladaptation.
- Occurs in unsettled nervous system. Often can occur after one small usually innocuous event or stimuli.
- Person not taking care of themselves, not sleeping, not eating well, not moving, anxious, nervous, depressed.
How does a problem become chronic, and why does it affect the emotional-mental-spiritual aspects of a person?
- The nervous system and your brain memorize the pain impulses.
- The brain moves the memory into the part of brain responsible for emotions and memory, the limbic system.
- This explains why intense feelings of anger, sadness, or fear can trigger, amplify, or create pain sensation even without a physical cause, or long after the injury has healed.
- When in fight-or-flight mode it tends to amplify the pain where it doesn’t match up to any real diagnosis or structural abnormality.
How is the Mechanical Musculo-Skeletal Condition Treated with Acupuncture Therapy?
If it is a mechanical problem, we will use a method called Exstore. Exstore means examine and restore. The exam is to locate the tissue involved in your pain. We have found that even in cases when x-rays, MRI or other imaging reveal some pathology such as degenerative disc disease, bulging disc, osteoarthritis, etc., the source of pain can usually be traced to tension, or imbalance in the muscular system. The doctor tests the strength of the muscles to find which ones are neurologically inhibited (weak). This will tell us the motor inhibition (when a muscle works sub optimally) that is responsible for movement and stability of the scapular and pelvic skeletal girdles. The weak or flawed muscle often forms a knot called a ‘trigger point” that is involved in your pain. Next, we restore by using electro-acupuncture. It creates a “healing response” where the body goes into “repair” mode and there is an acceleration of healing time for many injuries.
The doctor will place 2-4 needles into the inhibited motor point of the muscle. Then the needles are connected to an electrical device, which will make the needle gently vibrate. This vibration has an anti-spasmodic effect and will work to undo the tension in this taut muscle, while also inducing the release of endogenous opiates to help mediate the discomfort.
How is a Chronic Systemic Condition Treated with Acupuncture Therapy?
The idea is to use Acupuncture to Restore the Spiritual-Constitutional Nature.
If your pain is found to be a chronic systemic nervous system imbalance, we will use the Meridian feedback system to determine your unique five-element constitutional factor. At the same time each person may have at any moment their present illness or condition. There is a connection between the condition and the constitution. Both the present condition, and the constitution need treatment.
The constitution is in essence your spirit you were born with. The spirit is the electro-magnetic spark of life that is infused within our mind, eyes, tissues, and physical body. That is why when our spirit is out of alignment the body tells us through physical signs and symptoms. The spirit is also manifested through our thought patterns, emotions, belief systems, behaviors, actions, and how we deal with daily activities of our lives.
Everyone is born with a unique constitution comprising of both strengths and weaknesses. The spirit is encoded from the five-elements found in nature at birth. This innate state is balanced and healthy with the capacity to heal physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. In the state of being human, we experience life, and are always moving towards our natural state. The constitution is both our physical and non-physical nature.
The spirit of the five-elements manifests through one of our meridian-organ systems. All humans experience and express main emotions and their derivatives of:
- Anger, frustration, irritability, resentment. Wood-the Liver/Gallbladder system.
- Joy, exhilaration, mania, apathy, shyness, embarrassment, humiliation. The Fire I-heart/Small Intestine system.
- Over-thinking, worry, disgust, distaste. Earth-Spleen/Stomach system.
- Sad, grief, loneness, disappointment, loss of a dream, regret. Metal-Lungs/Large Intestine System.
- Fear, fright, shock. Water-Kidneys/Urinary Bladder System.
- Shame, guilt, desire, hate, personal and social boundaries. Fire II-Pericardium/Triple Warmer Fascia System.
How Does a Diseased Spirit Cause Disease and Pain?
- Thoughts affect our attitudes, actions, and personal behavior. How we react to stress, and our thoughts we tell ourselves are determined by our Root causative Factor, which is our spirit. This is our disposition toward a particular element in nature related to our 5 viscera and emotions. Anger, Love-Joy, Disgust-Preoccupation, Grief, fear-surprise. Each element has both positive and negative attributes. We are human. We all possess each emotion and express each when needed. When out of balance we tend to feel and express one predominate emotion inappropriately. We inherit our disposition or acquire it early on in childhood development.
- When under uncontrollable stress from outside pathogenic factors, or internal emotional-spiritual factors one may lose control over the functioning of one of the meridian-organ systems. To strengthen one’s spirit means to restore control over one’s meridian-organ systems.
- There is known to be a direct link between hormones, thoughts, and emotions. Each of our endocrine glands play a part in our autonomic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system on overdrive keeps us stuck in the fight-or-flight response with increased cortisol and stress hormone production. When continually stressed the rest and digest response from our parasympathetic nervous system is turned off. Parasympathetic stimulation is found at the cranial nerves III, VII, IX, and X-the Vagus nerve, cervical vertebrae C1-C8 and sacral nerves S2, 3, 4.
Five-Element Constitutional Diagnosis and Acupuncture Treatment
The diagnosis of the spiritual constitutional factor is attained by the doctor observing the patient’s expression of the spirit through the facial color, body odor, sound of the voice, and emotion. Other diagnostic methods may include observing the tongue, feeling the radial pulse on the wrists, kinesiology muscle testing, and palpation of the meridian-organ reflex points on the body. There may also be a questionnaire about how one deals with daily life stressors, and dramatic life experiences.
- The aim of the constitutional acupuncture treatment is to support and heal the spirit while transforming the present condition back to their original state of health.
- The acupuncture points chosen are based upon the imbalanced organ-meridian, as well as creating vibrational geometric patterns between the acupuncture points.
- The stainless-steel needle acts like an antenna.
- When needles are placed on the body in a specific order drawing a 3-dimensional geometric shape. Like a tetrahedron, sphere, triangle, square, or figure eight.
- This opens the spin fields of each acupuncture point creating vibration.
- The vibrational energy field connects to the energy fields of the universe and the cosmos.
- The connection assists us in discovering higher levels of consciousness where we can become aware of our higher selves.
- This leads to a more flowing, harmonious state of being.
- The acupuncture can guide the patient in discovering which ways they have allowed themselves to deviate from their original nature. From self-awareness they can now be in the position to change their thoughts and spirits so as to move into the direction of health. Changed thoughts and spirits go directly to the root causative factor of disease.
Problems likely to be due to a Five-Element Constitutional Imbalance
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), inflammatory arthritis
- Auto-immune disorders
- Chronic pain and tension
- Post-herpetic neuralgia
- Frozen Shoulder
- Sleep disorders
- Depressive and anxiety disorders
- Chron’s Disease and ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel disease, chronic constipation
- Obesity or anorexia.
- Emotional dysregulation
- Asymmetry, scoliosis.
- Thyroid disease
- Hormonal imbalance HPO-Axis.
- Migraines, Headaches
- Heart disease
- Everything not mechanical!
Where Does Acupuncture Fit in with All This?
All the healing power of the body is stored in the blood. Impaired blood circulation in any region of the body can result in pain and dysfunction. Acupuncture opens blockages and stimulates Blood and Qi-energy circulation.
Acupuncture is the only known therapy that can simultaneously…
- Assist one in releasing the emotionally charged energy that is unfavorably influencing them.
- Acupuncture can assist in creating the opportunity for awareness of self and mind-shen.
- Release constrictions in wound up shortened tense muscles
- Stimulate motor points of inhibited muscles.
- Neuromodulate the nerves bringing more blood flow, nerve function, and curbing the release of inflammatory chemicals while stimulating release of healthy chemicals, ions, and water.
- Improve Qi-energy and blood flow.
- Reduce pain.
When there is pain and dysfunction the first thing that needs to be done is to reduce the pain. Then, the range of motion can improve, and then flexibility along with strength. It generally goes in that order, but there may be overlap as you reduce pain, you start to move your body, more pain releases, there is more flexibility, then the weakened muscles become stronger and stronger.
Acupuncture should always be the first choice of therapy to reduce the pain and calm the mind.
Give us a call to schedule your appointment today! (858) 613-0792 or TEXT: (858) 613-0793.
In health and healing,
Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
We have your heart on top of mind this Valentine’s Day!
Acupuncture is known not only for relief of physical pain, and improvement of general health, but also for that of the mind-emotions and spirit. In Acupuncture medicine the mind-emotions and spirit are one. The heart is the emperor of the body, and it is in charge of the mind, thus it is considered the heart-mind or Shen.
The heart is responsible for the feelings of love, forgiveness, and joy.
The heart protector is the Pericardium that surrounds the heart. It protects the heart from emotional distress. It is the gate keeper allowing the heart to be open or closed. Sometimes we are out of balance, and our heart is too wide open to someone who may not be good for us, or it is too closed off not letting love inside.
The Pericardium meridian is used more often than the heart meridian to help balance the mental-emotional-spiritual aspects of ourselves. Taking care of the Mind-Heart-Shen can help with conditions of heart like heart palpitations, insomnia, vivid dreams, cardiac pain, broken heart syndrome, anxiety, manic behavior, fear of meeting people, shyness, poor memory, or clouded thinking.
For a day like Valentine’s Day, it is good practice to express and share our love with our loved ones and significant other. It can be a time to focus on healing our heart and moving forward.
Heal and Manifest all Things Related to the Heart
use the Pericardium Meridian.
Pericardium 2-Heavenly Spring. Located 2 inches below the axillary line (armpit) between the 2 heads of the biceps brachii.
Pericardium 3-Crooked Marsh. Located medial to the bicep tendon at the elbow.
Let me share a couple Acupuncture Points found along the Pericardium Meridian. These acupoints help to:
- Bring Harmony between a heart that is too wide open and one that is too closed.
- Balance the water (fear) and Fire of intimacy.
- Cleanse and release old emotional wounds and heartbreak.
- Invigorate the spirit of fire for warmth, connection, communication, and love.
Massage gently in a clockwise fashion for 30 seconds to one minute. Breath nice and slow bringing the air into your lower abdomen expanding your ribcage and exhaling slowly making the laughter sound of HA HA HA!
If you are feeling like you need a bit more help, come in for acupuncture to heal and manifest all things related to the heart!
With love and healing,
Dr. Michele Arnold-Pirtle