Awareness of Healing Cycles:
Many patients expect that when treatment is effective, they should feel better and better each day. In actuality, you will experience good days and bad days as the body begins to heal itself. This is why your practitioner will recommend a course of treatment, and it is important to complete the recommended course. In this way, you will start to experience more and more good days, and your bad days will become less intense.
Allowing Time to Heal:
The time it takes your body to heal varies depending on your condition, constitution, and energetic healing stages. The more committed you are to seeing your treatment through to the end, the better results you will have. As in life, we often experience what feels like setback or disappointment. It is at this point that many people give up, just short of attaining their goals. In medicine, these periods of despair sometimes include an increase in unpleasant symptoms, and are referred to as a “healing crisis”. Most often, they indicate a breakthrough is just around the corner.
Appreciating the Complexity of Your Body:
You may notice your practitioner uses varying numbers of needles for each treatment, and often may use very few. It is not the number of needles that determines the result, but the accuracy and selection of effective points. It is actually possible to achieve a dramatic result with just one needle! You should also know that our bodies are quite complex. Your practitioner will likely choose to focus on one condition at a time to achieve the most effective result. This may be your chief complaint, or another condition that is underlying it. As such, untreated conditions may continue to produce symptoms while other areas are progressing. Furthermore, variables like the weather, your diet, your emotional state, and your activity may impact your sense of well-being from day to day.
Actively Participate in Your Health:
You are an equal partner in your quest for optimal health. Your role is to make steady improvements in conditions that substantially impact your health and that are beyond your practitioner’s control. Factors such as proper diet and hydration, adequate rest, stress management, emotional outlet, suitable exercise for your condition, dressing appropriately for the weather, and regularity of treatment (and herbs, if prescribed) are the foundation of your healing platform. You should maintain open communication with your practitioner about these factors.
Decide on the Value of Your Health:
While it is possible to insert needles with little or no sensation, and to render care without the use of either acupuncture or herbal medicine, your practitioner knows best! If they are suggesting that you tolerate a bit of discomfort on a particular point, or that you include an herbal formula in your daily routine, understand that this is because they are seeking to maximize your treatment results with minimal time commitment and cost to you. You will likely find the taste of the herbal medicine bitter and unpleasant, but the results will more than justify your distaste.