How Many Acupuncture Sessions?

How many acupuncture sessions are enough

HeartFire Acupuncture Clinic

I am frequently asked how many acupuncture sessions I would recommend for various treatment conditions.

During my early acupuncture training that we were taught that acupuncture has a cumulative effect. This means that the more acupuncture sessions you have, the longer the treatment effects last. How many acupuncture sessions are enough?

If a person’s system is depleted of energy they may already be experiencing symptoms. Their energy stores would need to be balanced and then enhanced, before you could bring about a resolution of the symptoms affecting them.

In my experience over the years I have practiced acupuncture, I have seen some people who have responded immediately to a single session of acupuncture. Others with seemingly the same set of symptoms may take much longer to respond.

Once again, this reinforces my belief that ‘one size does not fit all’. We are each unique. We respond in our own way to our individual needs in our own individual set of circumstances.

While I remember these ‘rules’ clearly, I felt it would be both helpful and interesting to research some Journal articles on a few conditions that I work with. I wanted to know how many acupuncture sessions were completed during their research, and the frequency of the sessions. I have summarised a few articles below.

The first article [1] deals with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. This is the most common late complication of diabetes. These patients may experience loss of sensation and strength, prickling or pain.

A randomized controlled trial was performed where 42 patients participated in one  acupuncture session per day lasting 30 minutes, for 15 days. (Total of 15 sessions). The results of the trial suggest that acupuncture can delay the progressive deterioration of nerve function secondary to Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy, and could actually accelerate the nerve regenerative process. The treatment also appeared to significantly improve subjective symptom scores, particular numbness, pain, rigidity and alterations in temperature perception.

An Abstract from another article describes a long-term study of Acupuncture for the treatment of chronic peripheral diabetic neuropathy [2]. 46 patients were treated with acupuncture analgesia. The patients received up to 6 courses of classical acupuncture analgesia over a period of 10 weeks.

77% of the patients showed a significant improvement in their primary and / or secondary symptoms. These patients were followed up for a period of 18-52 weeks. Only 24% of the patients required further acupuncture sessions. 21% of the patients noted that their symptoms cleared completely.

The conclusion suggests that acupuncture is a safe and effective therapy for the long-term management of painful diabetic neuropathy.

Acupuncture in a Rheumatology Clinic [3] is the topic of the third article. An acupuncture clinic was established for a limited period within a rheumatology department of a hospital.

41 patients underwentprospective observational study in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment. Courses of 6-8 acupuncture sessions of traditional and trigger-point acupuncture were offered for a specified range of conditions. (Neck pain, Thoracic pain, Low back and leg pain, Knee pain, Ankle and foot pain, Shoulder pain).

Contrary to expectation, some patients with a long history of degenerative disease responded well.

In conclusion, 73% of rheumatology patients included in the study showed at least a 33% improvement in pain after acupuncture treatment. There was a considerable reduction in the intake of analgesic drugs.

A Pilot clinical study of 31 Frozen Shoulders [4] describes the symptoms as ‘severe aching in the shoulder and upper arm, with tenderness around the area. All glenohumeral movements become restricted to about 25% of normal expected movement’.

These patients commonly get little relief from conventional medical treatment or physiotherapy.

Of all the 31 patients treated, all but one (who withdrew after only 2 treatments) had beneficial responses. Some patients obtained therapeutic effect with only 4 acupuncture sessions. Others needed up to 15 acupuncture sessions for the same level of benefit.

“It appears to be individual response rather than a specific optimum number of treatment sessions that determines both the amount of benefit and the speed of recovery in acupuncture treatment”.

How many sessions of acupuncture would you, personally, benefit from? Let’s offer your body the chance to discover your optimal treatment response!

 

References:

  1. Fifteen-day Acupuncture Treatment Relieves Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Yanqing Tong, Hongyang Guo, Bing Han; J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2010; 3(2):95-103
  2. Acupuncture for the treatment of painful peripheral diabetic neuropathy: a long-term study; B. Abuaisha, J. B. Costanzi, A. J. M. Boulton; http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016882279700123X
  3. Acupuncture in a Rheumatology Clinic: Rosemary Alexander, Adrian White; Acupuncture in medicine Dec 2000 Vol 18 (2) p100-103
  4. Frozen Shoulder: A Comparison of Western and Traditional Chinese Approaches and a Clinical Study of its Acupuncture Treatment; Emad S Tukmachi. Acupuncture in Medicine June 1999 Vol 17 (1) p9-21
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Time to Grieve

Is taking time to grieve selfish? Is it a form of self-pity?

taking time to grieve

Taking time to grieve

I recently visited an elderly woman in her home, in my community therapy role. So much had been happening in her world. During the weeks since my last visit she had experienced some serious health challenges, and her brother had died.

How could I be surprised that she had not managed to continue with the exercise and walking program we had started?

She was tired, heartbroken and wracked with guilt. She described herself as “full of self-pity” because she was mourning the loss of her dear brother. This had also reminded her of the grief she experienced when her sister died a year previously.

I sat and listened with my Whole Heart.

I was not there to offer solutions, to slap a band-aid over her aching heart, to make light of her feelings. I told her I believed it was good, right and proper to feel such acute loss and to express it. How else do we recover from our deep wounds?

She told me about her family, her ancestors who had migrated to New Zealand from an Eastern European country, just before the time of the Depression. She spoke of a grandfather who worked many menial jobs to provide for his family of seven children. Her parents also worked hard to raise her and her many siblings – a labour of love which she reflected on with great gratitude. She spoke of one of her sisters who had endured many trials and tribulations only to finally triumph – and she now lives overseas. She spoke with love of her own children – their successes and challenges.

In the telling, she called all of her Ancestors into that small lounge. I could feel them standing around her. I told her that I believed that talking about our Loved ones brings them close.

I can recognise the entrenched belief that being occupied fully, being accountable for every minute spent at the expense of any form of pure relaxation, has been ingrained in our psyches. No wonder, then, that this dear soul believed she was “full of self-pity” because her thoughts kept turning to those she loved dearly who were no longer here, in physical form. Because she could not do it for herself, I offered her the gift of my time, so that she could express what her heart was longing to share.

When it was time for me to leave, she hugged me tightly and thanked me for “just listening”. I feel I was the recipient of the greater gift. I heard her heart sing!

Do you feel taking time to grieve is selfish? Do you believe it is a form of self-pity?

I welcome your comments.

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Super Powers Define My Sweet Spot

My Super Powers define my Sweet Spot - HeartFire Therapy

My Super Powers define my Sweet Spot – HeartFire Therapy

Today’s challenge is to identify my Super Powers in order to find my Sweet Spot. The ‘sweet spot’ is the key to realising my Dream for Freedom because this is a combination of things I am good at, things I enjoy doing, and things that I could expect to be paid for doing / delivering.

The invitation was to ask those people close to me whom I trust, love and respect to provide me with a list of qualities they could identify as my Super Powers, as generally few of us are great at shining the light on our own attributes. I am humbled and grateful to those who responded so generously to provide their insights.

I am very aware that today is the 11th day of the 11th month – and according to numerology 11/11 provides a Portal of Light to align with the Divine. I believe this whole exercise serves to bring clarity and focus to my Work and is Divinely guided, and so I am conscious of bringing the finest in me to express through these words.

If I were to choose 2-3 Super Powers which could lead to my Sweet Spot, I choose those which are supported by so many others, but are more likely to bring me a source of income:

Healing and reconciliation

  • The capacity to love, care, and be heart centered
  • An ability to see things in balance, both physically and metaphysically
  • An intuitive ability to know exactly how to say the right thing at the right time
  • The ability to hone into the salient point of a problem
  • Allowing another to feel their pain without judgment, belittling or trying to say something “spiritually appropriate”
  • Intuitive acupuncture treatments and Energy Attunements
  • Great listener, listening without interrupting
  • Artistic ability – seeing possibility and beauty in a tangled mess

Sparkling Powerful Presence –

  • Wisdom
  • Precision in expression – economy of words leading to powerful, concise presentation of self
  • Professional
  • Reliable
  • Humour
  • Optimism
  • Courage
  • Patience

Teaching, Workshop or Group Facilitation

  • Fortitude; Endurance
  • Tenacity; Resilience
  • Stay true to my highest vision – I don’t give up on living as a spiritual being expressing in human form
  • Initiator – I am willing to take risks which are thoughtfully assessed
  • Emotional intelligence – I am willing to own the hurts in my heart yet not let these dominate my expression.

In offering these Super Powers through the forms of individual consultations, group workshops and seminars, public talks, written words (blogs, books) I will be able to serve those who are searching for what I have to offer, and in so doing, I will also be able to realise my Dream:

I help people to invoke their own unique energy to harmonise their mind, body, spirit and emotions – so that they can consciously align with whole body health.

 

What is YOUR sweet spot? Have you identified it yet? I would love to hear about it!

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