How often should you have acupuncture treatment?
The number of treatments needed will depend upon your medical conditions and any other underlying health issues. Generally speaking, 6 sessions is considered a course of treatment. However, some people will need less sessions whilst others with chronic condition more.
The period of time traditional acupuncture lasts for is around 3-4 days. If you are having it only and your problem isn't chronic, you can have it once a week. For acute problems and if your budget allows, you would benefit from having treatment two times a week. Your acupuncturist will advise you of the best possible treatment plan.
Will it work if I have it less often?
If you have it less than once a week you are less likely to feel the benefits of the treatment. Frequent treatments have better results. Acupuncture is not a substitute for professional medical treatment.
Can I get acupuncture on the NHS?
You maybe able to be referred by your GP to a physiotherapist who will perform 'acupuncture' on you. However, most physiotherapists have only done a short course in acupuncture, as acupuncture is unregulated in the UK.
In my opinion, acupuncture is less likely to work if performed by a poorly trained physiotherapist, which makes people believe that it doesn't work, when often it does.
How often should I have maintenance sessions?
Once your symptoms has reduced in intensity and you feel better, you can have maintenance sessions every 1-2 months depending upon your condition. If it's one of a chronic conditions you may need maintenance sessions more frequently.
I'm a member of the British Acupuncture Council and am bound by the professional standards authority. There is no statutory regulation of acupuncture so most healthcare practitioners can use it after a weekend course. Always see a properly qualified acupuncturist and follow professional medical advice.