How often should I get Acupuncture?
The most frequently asked question at the end of the appointment is "when should I come back?" My answer is individual, based on things like:
- acute or long term chronic health challenge
- women's fertility issue
- how severe the symptoms are
- your time and budget
Acupuncture is an excellent option for wellness care. When you have a regularly scheduled appointment, you can address whatever is happening for you that day. If that is shoulder pain or allergies or headache or whatever, it's time set aside for you to relax and rebalance.
A few years ago, my friend came in for an appointment, she said "I just saw [practitioner] and she said I needed to do more self care. I thought that was what I was doing, but she said it's crisis care."
My client's previous appointments had been sporadic, only coming in during a bout of bad muscle pain.
Is this how you approach your self care?
When your headaches or indigestion just won't go away? When your abdomen is in a lot of pain and your bowel movements are really irregular? When your anxiety is peaking and you just aren't sleeping anymore and that's making the anxiety so much worse? When your shoulder is in so much pain you are uncomfortable doing basic household chores? Only when your body is screaming at you?
I understand this transition from crisis care to self care all too well. Two decades ago, in the beginning of my wellness career, I showed up and received the gift of physical massage/bodywork "when I needed it." This was my profession, I loved receiving all the care while I was in training, but once I graduated, I struggled to make that time. This was in part because I returned to finish my Bachelor's degree, so I was a full time University student as well as running a 20 hour/week massage practice. Time was limited and money was already spent on tuition. It was hard to make it happen "until I needed it." Which was always a crisis.
As time went by I began realizing that my body needed care more regularly, and not just care in person from a practitioner, but also more fine tuning was needed with my diet, exercise and thinking habits. I started getting regular massage and chiropractic care and trying out different energy healing forms. Surprisingly (not so surprisingly) the crisis became fewer and farther apart. Between appointments I felt more relaxed and connected with myself and the rest of what I was doing.
There are so many reasons that get in the way of us finding the time for self-care whether that is at home such as:
- The clothes need to be folded, I don't have time to rub lotion in my feet
- The kids are always interrupting me, I don't have time to stretch
or making time outside of your home for regular professional wellness care like Acupuncture:
- I work a lot
- have to run the kids to practices
- have yardwork/honey-do list to complete
- I have committees to attend
- I don't have extra money
From these short lists, I'm sure you are able to see an example that is you, or maybe you can hear your inner voice that keeps you from making time for your self care. What I have learned for myself and from my clients is that when you put yourself on the calendar, you can work other things around it. When you get regular Acupuncture, whether that's weekly or biweekly or monthly or quarterly, it gives you a place to pause and reconnect with yourself and let your body have a healing break for what it needs. And when we do this not in a crisis, we don't have a cascade of unwinding symptoms and we just feel more relaxed and able to cope with the rest of the stressors in our life easier. If we come during a crisis, it might take multiple appointments in a short succession to get us back to feeling like our normal selves.
I don't feel that "crisis care" is wrong and you shouldn't do it. By all means, please pause and get Acupuncture when you are in pain, your digestive health is off, anxiety/depression are taking a turn for the worse or any other health concern has gotten bad enough that you need holistic health support. But I do encourage you to begin the practice of making time for self-care.
To help you make time for your regular Acupuncture appointments, Inspired Balance has a few ways to make it convenient for you.
- Scheduling can be done online
- I have acupuncture appointment times available later in the evening Monday and Thursdays and earlier start times a couple other days of the week. If you don't see what you are looking for, don't be afraid to ask. If I can accommodate your request, I will.
- I also have acupuncture appointments open Saturday mornings once a month.
- Telehealth is available for Respiratory illness like allergies and viruses so you can keep your self care appointment even when you are having symptoms that could be Covid related and can't come into the office.
- Telehealth wellness appointments are available to design acupressure, TCM Nutritional and herbal self care plans for you to learn new effective ways of incorporating self care into your day to day practices.
- Coming soon, I will start teaching some classes via Zoom to share acupressure and holistic medicine cabinet tips for developing your home self care tools for wellness and illness recovery.
Inspired Balance, LLC Sarah Aiken-Felling, MAOM, LAc 715-831-8998 www.inspiredbalance.com