Patience with the Process

Posted on Sep 24, 2013

How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience would have achieved success.” -Elbert Hubbard

I have some bad news- acupuncture is not an overnight, one shot, miracle cure (I can hear your collective gasp through the computer). In fact, sometimes, acupuncture is not even a 10 treatment miracle or 20 treatment remedy. Acupuncture is a process.

One of the most beautiful things about acupuncture is that it treats the individual. But every individual is different (thankfully, because how boring would our lives be otherwise?) and so each patient responds to acupuncture in their own, unique way. For the lucky few, the healing from acupuncture is almost instantaneous. They come into our office barely walking or in horrific pain and leave dancing a jig. For most it takes a series, usually somewhere around 10, of treatments to experience relief. Then, there are the other patients that, it would seem, healing alludes. For these patients, I suggest patience.

More often than not, patients that are not experiencing great relief have a condition that has been troublesome for years. What has been building for years will not be gone in days. Sometimes, their bodies are just behind the curve; it takes longer for their system to accept the treatments and to begin to heal. Occasionally, a patient may engage in self sabotage, wittingly or unwittingly (i.e. “My back feels so much better, I’m going to go lift boulders!”). And sometimes (this may come as a shock), we are wrong. Maybe we have left out that one point a patient’s body absolutely needs. Maybe we have done too many needles or too few needles. Whatever the reason for delayed or slow progress, remain patient and do not give up hope. If the treatments you are getting are not resulting in progress, we can adjust. Maybe add more needles, take some away, use electrical stimulation, try point injection therapy, add herbs or homeopathics.

I heard a great analogy earlier today about progress and conditioning- when you decide to get in shape, you don’t work out once and be done, in shape for the rest of your life. It is a process, each work out building on the one before, making you stronger, faster, and healthier. Healing is also a process and acupuncture can play a vital role in improving your well being. Each treatment will build on the one before and sometimes adjustments are needed to help you feel your best.

So, don’t throw your hands up in despair if you feel like you’ve hit an impasse. Stay persistent, stay patient, and stay hopeful- healing is just around the corner. 

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