Signs that acupuncture is working can be quite simple: you start feeling better! However, it’s not always easy to pinpoint the changes or know what to look for. Here are the most common indicators that your acupuncture treatment is indeed having an impact.
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Sign 1: Alleviation of Pain
If you sought acupuncture treatment for acute pain or a sports injury, you might notice the pain relief almost immediately after your first session. However, for chronic pain, it might take a few sessions (around 2 or 3) to start experiencing a decrease in pain. Sometimes, you may find that the pain seems to shift to other areas of your body. This happens because, as the most severe pain subsides, secondary pain sites become more noticeable.
In case you’ve undergone more than 2 weeks of treatment (around 4-6 sessions) without any noticeable improvements, acupuncture is unlikely to work for you. It’s important to note that pain relief resulting from acupuncture often progresses in a “three steps forward, two steps back” manner. Regular acupuncture sessions are necessary to maintain the momentum required for consistent pain relief. As a general guideline, daily acupuncture sessions are recommended for acute pain or injuries, whereas alternate-day sessions over 2-3 weeks are suitable for chronic pain management.
While many people are amazed by the pain-relieving effects of acupuncture, they are equally surprised by the positive changes they experience on physical, emotional, and psychological levels.
Sign 2: Improved Sleep Patterns
One of the most frequently reported benefits by patients is an improvement in sleep quality after their initial acupuncture session. They often find themselves feeling tired earlier in the evening and waking up more refreshed. However, it’s possible that you may still feel tired even after getting a full 8+ hours of sleep. This is because your body enters a “supercharge mode,” similar to fast-charging a switched-off battery.
Sign 3: Enhanced Appetite and Digestion
You may start noticing an increase in hunger and a newfound enjoyment of your meals. At the same time, you may find that you can eat a regular meal without craving sugar or feeling bloated afterward. Just remember not to overeat since your stomach may not be able to handle excessive amounts of food.
Sign 4: Improved Circulation
As your acupuncture treatment progresses, you may begin to experience increased warmth in your hands and feet, and a reduction in cold and clamminess. Your body’s ability to regulate temperature improves, making it easier for you to deal with hot weather and tolerate the cold. Initially, these changes may be subtle and difficult to notice on a daily basis, but after a few weeks, the differences will become apparent.
Sign 5: Regular Elimination
This aspect includes two main components. Firstly, you may notice that your bowel movements become regular and resemble a banana shape, happening at least once a day. This is especially significant for individuals with digestive issues such as IBS, constipation, Crohn’s disease, and diverticulosis. If you witness these changes, be sure to inform your acupuncturist as they indicate that your digestive system is functioning optimally again.
Secondly, you may experience more satisfactory urination with adequate pressure and a decent quantity of urine. If you previously struggled with frequent urination or leaking accidents, this newfound control will feel like a relief.
Sign 6: Improved Breathing
If you used to sigh frequently or feel out of breath, you might find yourself forgetting about your breath more often. Your breathing pattern becomes softer and deeper, making it easier to practice abdominal breathing if you pay attention to it.
Sign 7: Enhanced Emotional Wellbeing
Improved emotional wellbeing is another common response to acupuncture treatment. You’ll likely find that everyday stress bothers you less, and you can let things go more easily. Many patients have mentioned that their children are less annoying and that they can focus better at work.
Initially, this sense of wellbeing and peace may last for only a few minutes or hours. However, as you continue with consistent acupuncture sessions, the positive effects will gradually extend.
Sign 8: Smooth Menstruation
For women, one of the key signs that acupuncture is working is experiencing fewer cramps before or during their periods. PMS symptoms, such as mood swings and sugar cravings, also decrease. Eventually, having a period becomes as uneventful as men growing their beards.
Once these signs manifest, congratulations! Acupuncture treatment not only alleviates your symptoms but also helps improve your overall body constitution. If your goal is to maintain a state of wellbeing (including improved energy levels, illness prevention, and a robust immune system), it is recommended to receive 4 to 6 weekly acupuncture sessions.
Apart from acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments, there are self-help tools you can use to restore these healthy signs. “The Energy Book” offers simple and practical steps to help you live a healthy, energetic life.
You may also want to explore:
- What should you do after an acupuncture session?
- What can you expect following acupuncture treatment?
- How long does it take to see results from acupuncture?
- How can you prepare for your first acupuncture session?
Remember, the aforementioned signs indicate that acupuncture is working effectively, bringing you one step closer to improved well-being.