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How Long Should You Wait Between Acupuncture Appointments?

This is a common question my patients ask me, along with the number of treatments needed and how maintenance appointments work. So, let’s discuss the basics of this.

Acupuncturist giving acupuncture

Top line – it depends on your condition, how long you have had it, how severe it is, and how quickly your body responds to acupuncture.

But to be a bit more specific, it is usually best to have 1 to 2 acupuncture sessions per week for the first or second weeks. After this it can be weekly if you have responded well to treatment. Assessments are made at each appointment in terms of the benefits being gained, and therefore how many appointments are need when.

How Long Should You Wait Between Acupuncture Treatments?

Patients should ideally start with one or two acupuncture sessions in the first and second weeks. After this, weekly treatments are usually enough, unless the condition is very chronic or stubborn. Each patient will be assessed at a treatment and the best time for another appointment will be recommended. Once the condition is under control or resolved, patients may be recommended to have monthly or quarterly treatments, as required.

Is It Safe To Do Acupuncture Every Day?

It’s generally thought safe to have acupuncture every day, but it’s not usually necessary. For some acute conditions in the first week of treatment you may be recommended to have acupuncture every day or every other day to quickly reduce symptoms. But usually once or twice a week is enough.

How Many Treatments of Acupuncture Do You Need?

Generally, most patients will receive 6 to 8 treatments before the frequency is reduced to maintenance treatments. So, you will start with 1 to 2 sessions per week, and after about the third or fourth session you should notice a good reduction in symptoms, and by 6 to 8 treatments you will hopefully have only very minimal symptoms, or none at all. At this point it is then good to have maintenance acupuncture, which is one session every three to four weeks to help maintain the body in its better state. The above can be different depending on your condition and how severe your symptoms are.

How Often Should You Get Acupuncture for Maintenance?

As mentioned, once your symptoms have significantly reduced or disappeared, it’s a good idea to be in a maintenance programme of acupuncture treatments once or twice per month or even quarterly. This helps the body stay on track. You don’t want to waste all that time and money you’ve put into getting your body into a better space, only to find it regress again.

Is One Acupuncture Session Enough?

Acupuncture is an effective treatment, and you will likely feel benefit from the first treatment, however, rarely is one session enough. The body needs time to adjust to acupuncture, and so it is often not until after the second or third treatment that you will feel much better. To see significant reduction in symptoms and for this reduction to hold long-term, 6 to 8 sessions are likely needed, plus ongoing maintenance. This depends on how severe your condition is and your constitution.

Contact us if you’d like to discuss this in relation to your personal situation.


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