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DoctorGetWell's Monthly Column
Dr. Alex Tatevian has maintained a monthly acupuncture column in the health section of the Federal Hill Gazette since 1999.      
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  Federall Hill Gazette; October 2000
 

Question:
How many visits do I need before I know if acupuncture is working?

Answer:
   The effect may be immediate for simple acute conditions like a sore throat or muscle spasm. You can expect improvement with chronic conditions in about 6 sessions.
   My patients usually feel some relief after the first session. After the second session you may feel no improvement, or you may even feel temporarily worse for a day or two. Do not be discouraged! In fact, it is a good sign. It is a healing crisis, and once it is over you will have steady improvement. Most likely you will be 50% better after the sixth session, and then we have reason to proceed up to 15 sessions.
   In some complicated cases with advanced chronic conditions like chronic pain syndrome there may be need for "ground work", and this scenario will be delayed by two or three sessions. To give acupuncture a try expect to spend about 2-3 weeks and $300-400.
   Please remember that acupuncture has a cumulative effect. The beneficial effects accumulate over a number of sessions. Timing is very important, especially in the beginning of the course. The best pace to start treatments is three times a week with equal intervals. Keep your appointments; if the interval is too long you have to start everything "from scratch".
   The bottom line is that if you go for acupuncture treatments and do not feel better after ten sessions; don't waste your time and money.
 
 
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