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Treatments for Pain and Illness: How Many Will You Need?

One of the most common questions I get is, “How many acupuncture treatments will I need?” Typically, pain patterns and many health issues fall into acute or chronic conditions, but there are also situations where people want a checkup or to help lower occasional stress.

If you’re interested in healing through Traditional Chinese Medicine and learning about how many treatments you will need, keep reading for information on acute injury, chronic injury and wellness treatments we offer. We also discuss how we use herbal medicine to heal you and details about Traditional Chinese Medicine in general.

Treatments for Acute Injury, Chronic Injury and Wellness Treatments

Acute Injury

According to Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy (TAPT), “Common acute injuries are sprains and strains of soft tissue, such as ligaments and muscles or bone fractures. If an injury is severe, surgery may be required. Otherwise, conservative treatment may be adequate. Treatment may include bracing or resting the area until it is healed. During this early phase of an injury, pain control and gentle exercise may be beneficial.”

When patients come in for acute injury treatments, I create an individualized plan to best treat and address the pain. Typically, acute injuries occur from playing sports; people who suffer these injuries can range from the young to the old. The injuries are commonly sprained ankles, strained backs and even broken bones.

Physicool notes that common signs of acute injury are:

  • Sudden, severe pain

  • Swelling

  • Inability to place weight on a lower limb

  • Extreme tenderness in an upper limb

  • Inability to move a joint through full range of motion

  • Extreme limb weakness

  • Visible dislocation or break of a bone

How Many Treatments Will You Need?

  • Acute injuries are generally easier to treat, the body often responds quicker.

  • As few as 1-3 treatments, but as many as 6 to 8 treatments; possibly more.

  • Frequency of visits: Ideally every 3 days, a minimum of once a week, to reduce inflammation and support healing factors.

Chronic Injury

What is a chronic injury? TAPT notes that:

“Chronic injuries can be the result of injuries that do not heal well and create muscle imbalances, such as weakness or tightness. These injuries can also be the result of poor habits over time, such as abnormal walking/running patterns, training errors, improper footwear, or poor lower extremity alignment.

Most chronic problems can be treated conservatively with appropriate physical therapy treatment and medical treatments. Identifying the cause of the problem and aggravating factors that can be changed or avoided, restoring motion where restricted, and rehabilitating weak muscles are important components in this process. In rare instances, a chronic injury may require surgery.”

Physicool also notes that:

“A chronic injury commonly results from overusing one body area or from a long-standing condition. Common chronic injuries include arthritis, tendonitis, tennis elbow and repetitive strain injury (RSI).

Some injuries require prompt medical treatment, while others can be self-treated. You should seek advice from a health professional if:

  • The injury causes severe pain, swelling, or numbness

  • You can’t tolerate weight on the area

  • The pain or dull ache of an old injury is accompanied by increased swelling or joint abnormality or instability”

How Many Treatments Will You Need?

  • The injuries generally can be more challenging to treat, but I still often see significant reduction in symptoms.

  • Sometimes we can get significant results in only a few treatments, but typically more are needed.

  • Commonly 8 to 12 treatments are needed, possibly more depending on the severity and duration of injury or illness.

  • Frequency of visits: Initially if the pain is intense, every 3-4 days for several treatments, then switch to weekly, bi-weekly and then monthly as needed.

Wellness Treatments

Along with pain and injury, acupuncture can address a variety of issues and ailments. The Herald Palladium reported, “There are many ailments for which a person can visit an acupuncturist...Pain caused by acute or chronic conditions such as arthritis; joint, knee, back, neck or shoulder pain; or headaches can be managed using acupuncture, as can neurological conditions such as neuropathy and Bell’s palsy caused by strokes, stress and anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies and fibromyalgia.” Though pain may seem like the most obvious reason to come in for an acupuncture treatment, there are so many mental and stress related reasons to come in for regular or periodic appointments.

How Many Treatments Will You Need?

  • Sometimes people just come in for a single treatment when they are feeling a little off.

  • We’ll often do a cluster of treatments (2 to 4) and then switch to bi-monthly or monthly tune ups as needed.

Herbal Treatments

Medicinal herbs are an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Herbal medicine focuses on achieving health and balance within an individual's body.

Medicinal herbs can strengthen, support and nourish the body in an effective, safe and natural way.

Did you know that an extremely wide range of objects fall into the category of Chinese herbs? The Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation describes herbal medicine as dirt, stones, bones, insects and a diverse selection of animal parts, as well as more common plant parts, such as leaves, blossoms, stems and roots. Chinese medicine recognizes that everything is energy, and so unique energies that can impact the human body and energy system are not limited to the plant kingdom.

Our medicinal herbs are made from fresh herbs that have been cultivated, dried and prepared as needed. Every formula is customized to suit each individual patient's current needs.

At Green Lake Natural Health, we only dispense herbal medicinals manufactured with the highest standards. All medicinals carried at Green Lake Natural Health have been strictly tested for the absence of pesticides, heavy metals and/or other contaminants.

We offer herbal consultations that typically last around 30 minutes. I start with a detailed intake of your current concerns and provide an individualized herbal prescription, taking into consideration any current medications you are currently on.

How Many Treatments Will You Need?

  • Acute injuries with no preexisting history of injury: typically, 2 - 6 weeks depending on the severity of the injury.

  • Acute injuries with preexisting history of injury: commonly 2 to 8 weeks, but likely towards 6 to 8-week mark.

  • Chronic injuries: there is a saying that herbs are taken for 1 month for every year the injury has been present; it can be several months or longer.

  • Wellness: maintenance formulas are usually taken as needed up to 3 months and then allow for a break before starting a new cycle.

Treatments for Pain and Illness Through Acupuncture and Herbs

Injuries and illness are fairly common; most of us will experience them at some point and can be treated. When patients come into our office, they often wonder how many treatments they will need. Depending on if it is an acute or chronic injury, or if you are coming in for a wellness treatment, the times and frequencies vary based on your needs. Along with acupuncture, we use herbal medicine to address pain and health issues.

I'm here to help you better manage your health. My specialty is pain management, however acupuncture and medicinal herbs can treat a variety of conditions that my practice focuses on such as stress, migraines, fatigue, anxiety, colds and flu, and women's health. Click here for more information about medical conditions Classical Chinese Medicine can help with.

About Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatments:

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a great way to treat the body and mind. Chinese Medicine is a comprehensive approach to healing and wellness developed over the past 2,500 years.

One of the most popular Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment methods is acupuncture. Acupuncture is a holistic system based upon twelve primary channels and eight extraordinary vessels in the body, in which Qi (vital-energy) circulates. When the balance within the body is disrupted, the flow of vital-energy can become blocked leading to pain, discomfort and illness. Acupuncture needles are used at specific points to stimulate the Qi along the channels to harmonize the body and bring balance (health) where there was once imbalance causing illness and pain.

About Green Lake Natural Health:

Green Lake Natural Health provides natural healing services and medicinal herb counseling to patients. The mission of Green Lake Natural Health is to provide customized care to patients to effectively treat their health concerns in a natural manner that restores harmony and healing in the body. Services include, but are not limited to, acupuncture, massage, medicinal herb counseling to treat conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain and more. Proudly serving the Seattle community since 2010.

#SeattleAcupuncture #ChronicPain #Stress #NaturalHealth

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