How Often Should You Get Acupuncture

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Acupuncture

Looking to figure out how many acupuncture sessions you need? We get this question a lot at Family Wellness Acupuncture. Ryoko Takayama and our team in Irvine, CA, are here to guide you.

Acupuncture is an old Chinese method that balances your body’s energy. This can help with chronic pain or stress. Everyone is different, so the number of treatments changes from person to person.

We’re ready to help find the right schedule for your acupuncture visits.

Let’s dive right in.

We know health paths differ for everyone; thus, there’s not one answer for all. Here at our clinic in Irvine, Orange County, we focus on what works best for each patient dealing with conditions like chronic pain or just looking for some stress relief.

Acupuncture involves placing tiny needles at specific points on your body. These spots are called acupoints and they play a big role in traditional Chinese medicine – aiming to fix imbalances and bring back health.

Our approach combines ancient practices with modern understanding—making sure you receive care tailored just right for your needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Acupuncture frequency starts with once a week or every 3 – 4 days, then moves to monthly for maintenance.
  • It helps with chronic pain, stress relief, and improving overall well – being but may have some risks like bruising or soreness.
  • Before an acupuncture session, wear loose clothing and avoid caffeine or vigorous exercise.

Understanding Acupuncture

An acupuncture studio with calm ambiance and minimalist interior design.

Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to restore balance and promote healing. The practice is based on the concept of energy flow, known as “Qi,” within the body.

What is Acupuncture?

We use thin steel needles, putting them into special spots on the body. This method comes from Eastern medicine. It aims to fix the body’s energy balance. We do this for various health problems and symptoms.

Experts with licenses handle these steps with care. They know just where to place each needle for good outcomes. The goal is pain relief, less stress, or better overall health. It’s a different way of looking at healthcare than what we see in Western medicine practices.

How does Acupuncture work?

Acupuncture uses small, clean needles. We put them at special spots called acupuncture points on the body’s energy paths, or meridians. This helps balance our energy and makes our body heal itself.

When we place these needles, they make the body release natural stuff like endorphins. These boost our central nervous system. Our immune system also gets stronger, ready to fight off sickness and pain better.

This method is good for beating pain and stress among other health issues. It’s like having an internal team ready to protect and heal us from various problems.

Benefits and Risks of Acupuncture

Woman relaxing after acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture can help manage chronic pain, relieve stress, and improve overall well-being. However, it may involve some risks like soreness at needle sites or bruising – Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine CA “Ryoko Takayama”.

Benefits of Acupuncture

We know acupuncture can do great things for health. It uses old Chinese medicine techniques to help where new methods might not work as well. Here’s what it does:

  • Helps with long-term pain: It’s good at making chronic pains like arthritis and headaches better. Small needles hit special spots, lowering pain.
  • Makes you more fit: If you’re hurt from sports or want to get stronger, acupuncture helps muscles relax and heal faster.
  • Boosts fertility: Couples who have trouble having a baby use acupuncture. It could make ovaries work better and increase blood flow to the ovaries and uterus.
  • Improves mood: Feeling stressed, anxious, or down can be tough. Going to acupuncture releases body chemicals that make you feel calm and happier.
  • Better sleep: Can’t sleep? Acupuncture might fix that by calming your mind for deeper rest.
  • Helps with cancer treatment side effects: For those getting cancer treatments, it eases symptoms like nausea without extra pills.
  • Eases menstrual cramps: Women with painful periods often choose acupuncture. It changes the body’s energy flow to ease pain.
  • Fixes digestion issues: Works well against digestive problems like IBS, making stomach health better.

Risks and Complications of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is usually safe with trained experts. But, it has some side effects.

  • Infection: We use needles only once to stop infection. The FDA checks these needles are clean and safe.
  • Bruising: Needles can cause small bruises where they enter the skin. These go away soon.
  • Nausea and Dizziness: Sometimes, people might feel sick or light-headed during or after acupuncture. This doesn’t last long.
  • Soreness: Places where needles were can be sore for a little while after treatment.
  • Bleeding: If you have a bleeding disorder or take blood thinners, you might bleed a bit at the needle points.
  • Punctured Organ: There’s a rare chance a needle could go too deep and hurt an organ like the lung, but this is very rare with skilled acupuncturists.
  • Worsening Symptoms: For some, symptoms may get worse before getting better.

Frequency of Acupuncture Treatments

A tranquil acupuncture treatment room with soothing decor and nature photography.

Wondering how often you should get acupuncture? Let’s delve into the optimal frequency of acupuncture treatments and transitioning to “maintenance mode”, guiding you through your wellness journey.

Ready to learn more about the ideal treatment schedule at Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine, CA with Ryoko Takayama?

Regularity and Consistency of Treatments

Acupuncture treatments are typically regular at first, often once a week or every 3-4 days for acute problems. This frequency can help effectively address the issue. After 6-8 sessions, the frequency may reduce to monthly maintenance appointments to keep the symptoms in check and sustain overall well-being.

The treatment plan should be personalized based on your condition and needs, maintaining consistency as per your practitioner’s guidance.

Transitioning to “Maintenance Mode”

Transitioning to “Maintenance Mode” occurs after the initial 2-4 weeks of treatment. At this stage, the client’s condition is reassessed to determine the frequency of further treatments.

Maintenance mode may involve tune-up treatments at a frequency of once a month, once a season, or as needed for specific situations like before traveling or to boost the immune system.

It’s important to understand that transitioning to maintenance mode is based on individual needs and may vary depending on the specific condition being treated. The goal is to ensure ongoing support and wellness tailored to each person’s unique situation.

Other Considerations for Acupuncture Treatment

Assorted herbal medicines and acupuncture needles in a traditional Chinese medicine apothecary.

In addition to acupuncture, herbal medicines may also be used to complement the treatment. Dry needling is another technique that differs from traditional acupuncture. You can learn more about these considerations at Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine CA, led by Ryoko Takayama.

Use of Herbal Medicines in Conjunction with Acupuncture

Herbal medicines may complement acupuncture by supporting the body’s natural healing processes. Some herbal remedies can address specific symptoms or conditions, enhancing the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments.

However, it is crucial to consult with a qualified practitioner who understands both acupuncture and herbal medicine to ensure safe and effective integration of these treatment approaches.

Importantly, some herbal supplements may interact with medications or impact pre-existing health conditions, making professional guidance essential for a holistic and beneficial treatment experience.

Dry Needling vs. Acupuncture

Acupuncture and dry needling are different in their origins and who performs them. Acupuncture is based on Eastern medicine and performed by licensed acupuncturists, while dry needling is based on Western medicine and performed by healthcare providers like physical therapists.

The approach and techniques used also differ; for example, acupuncture focuses on the flow of energy (qi) along traditional Chinese medicine meridians, while dry needling targets trigger points within muscles to relieve pain.

These distinctions are important to consider when seeking treatment and understanding which approach aligns with your needs or preferences. Understanding these differences can help you make informed decisions about your healthcare options related to acupuncture or dry needling.

Preparing for Your Acupuncture Session

Before going to your acupuncture session, choose loose and comfortable clothing. This helps the acupuncturist access points on your body easily. Prepare by having a light meal beforehand and avoiding caffeine or vigorous exercise right before the appointment.

What to Wear

Wear loose and comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points. Avoid using clothes that are tight or restrictive, as they can hinder the acupuncturist’s ability to place needles correctly.

Additionally, it’s advisable to refrain from wearing any strong perfumes or lotions, which can be distracting during the treatment session.

Avoid consuming foods and drinks that can stain your tongue before your acupuncture appointment. This will help with a more accurate Chinese medicine diagnosis by enabling the acupuncturist to examine your tongue clearly.

Dietary Considerations

During acupuncture treatment, dietary recommendations might be given to support the healing process. These recommendations can involve adjustments in eating habits or specific foods to either avoid or increase consumption of, depending on the individual’s condition and goals.

It’s essential to follow these recommendations as they play a significant role in maintaining overall health and wellness even after the treatment is completed.

Acupuncture may involve dietary guidelines that are tailored to an individual’s needs for effective results. This can include suggestions about food choices, meal timing, and hydration levels emphasizing their impact on the body’s energy flow and healing processes.


Ready to start feeling better? Acupuncture could be the answer. The frequency of treatments depends on your condition and its severity, which can vary from once a week to more frequent sessions.

Don’t wait to begin your journey toward better health today! Choosing us means we will help you find the healthy results you want. Book your first appointment with us right now by phone at (949) 836-2857 or online at


1. How often should I get acupuncture?

Depends on your condition. For acute issues, more frequent treatment—maybe even weekly—is common. For chronic conditions? It might spread out to every few weeks.

2. Is there a difference between acupuncture types in treatment frequency?

Yes, indeed! Modern acupuncture might suggest one schedule, while traditional Chinese or Japanese acupuncture could advise another. Your doctor will help figure out what’s best for you.

3./ Can acupuncture help with specific health problems?

Absolutely! From back pain to stress relief, menstrual cycle regulation, infertility treatments… the list goes on. Acupuncture aims at not just easing symptoms but possibly treating the root cause.

4./ What should I expect regarding needles and safety?

Acupuncture needles are sterile and used once—a key part of ensuring treatment is safe and clean whether it’s for physical therapy or integrating health practices like qi gong.

5./ Can everyone try acupuncture?

Mostly yes—but special considerations apply if you’re pregnant or have certain medical conditions. Always good to check with a healthcare provider first.

6./ Are other therapies combined with acupuncture?

Often, yes! Acupuncturists might mix in herbal pills, massage, or even chiropractic care depending on your needs—it’s all about tailoring the approach to fit you perfectly.



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