Yesterday I was admiring my hairstylist’s handiwork after my haircut on Monday afternoon. And at the end of the service, I scheduled my next haircut a few months out, as I usually visit her every 8 to 10 to 12 weeks, depending on her availability and my schedule.
Like a lot of people, I know when I need a haircut – the ends might be a bit damaged, or the cut has grown out to a point where it needs to be trimmed up, or know summer is coming, and I want to get ready for hotter weather preemptively. So I don’t hesitate to make regular appointments to cut my hair. I also have a regular date, weekly, for a semi-private Pilates session, which I know is good for my body and my back.
Have you had your health tuned up lately? Have you given your body a chance to relax, rest, reset, or release? Did you cancel your last acupuncture appointment because of a conflict and not remember to reschedule? Well here’s your friendly reminder. Your body will feel better, healthier, have less physical pain, and less physical and emotional damage from stress, if you give yourself regular acupuncture tune – ups.
I’m not a pushy practitioner and will recommend a when my patients should return for care, but ultimately it is up to you. And once your body is where you want it to be – less frequent colds, more energy, better sleep, less pain, improved digestion, let’s keep it that way. It doesn’t take that much on your part, just the willingness to continue care on a monthly or semi-monthly basis. It is easier to stay well than to get well – prevention is better than cure.
Sometimes people ask me if acupuncture is like chiropractic where “you have to keep going all the time?” I reframe that question, to help patients understand that unlike a pharmaceutical, acupuncture and Chinese medicine (and chiropractic for that matter) does not work in one session. In my opinion, that’s a good thing – because we are working at a deeper level which takes time. The results, though, are worth it. Because through a natural healing modality – like chiropractic or acupuncture – we are working to heal the body, not mask a symptom. That type of healing takes time – not that long, but it does require weekly treatment for a bit, usually four to six weeks, to get changes happening. And if you have had your health issue for a long time, weekly treatment may last longer. But your body will thank you, and you will feel better. I can’t say this strongly enough – I have seen acupuncture work for my patient’s and my health – but it does require patience in our “fix me immediately without me having to change anything” culture.
One comparison that makes sense to me is thinking about someone who wants to be in better athletic shape. To do this, one must exercise, either outdoors or at the gym, and probably modify one’s diet. You cannot get into better shape just by hoping, or taking a pill, or reading about it. You have actually to do something, which is exercise. It is the same with acupuncture treatment. You have to come for it to change your body, and you have to come frequently enough for long enough, based on your condition. But like getting in shape, the changes won’t happen if you don’t come in for treatment, take your herbs, or change your diet and lifestyle that are hindering your health. It may seem obvious or very elementary, but it bears saying.
Once you are feeling better, and experience relief, I want you to continue to enjoy this experience and not return to the issues you have had before. That’s when health maintenance becomes necessary. For some folks they come in every other week to keep their body happy, for others, it is every 4 to 5 weeks or even every few months. These are all great schedules. What’s important is that you continue to come and give your body the rest, relaxation, rejuvenation, it needs.