Priorites: YOU! What are your Health Goals?

As a patient, you must think about the end result you desire, including both short and long term health goals. The next step is to find a practitioner that you feel is willing to support you in achieving these goals.

Depending on your health concerns and your health condition, the number and frequency of acupuncture treatments can vary widely. In the case of acute conditions, sometimes one to five treatments might be required to resolve the problem. However, if your health constitution is not optimal, 5 to 10 treatments may be required to resolve the problem.

Chronic conditions require a minimum of 5 to 10 treatments to be able to assess the effect of acupuncture on your given condition. This first course of treatments may then be followed up by multiple courses spaced over months to bring about lasting changes.

Your practitioner should discuss treatment options, explain the strategy for resolving the problem, and give an estimate of the number of treatments required to obtain results. Whether it is one course, or multiple courses of treatment, acupuncture is a process that will help to stimulate positive and healthful changes in your system.

Okay, So now you have your Health Goals in Mind, Who do you go to?

Once you have a clear idea of your health goals, finding a practitioner will be a process that includes assessing the type of practitioner you want, a practitioner that comes with good referrals, and one that does not hesitate to answer your questions in a professional and knowledgeable manner that you can understand clearly. Everyone wants to be heard, so why not voice your opinion. Ultimately, it is YOU that is in control of your own health! 🙂 Here are a list of qualities to consider when choosing the right practitioner for you:

  1. The Practitioner’s Training:
    There are a number of levels of training in acupuncture, or acupuncture-like techniques, from focused training of a physiotherapist to the comprehensive training of a TCM Practitioner.  Your experience and results may vary depending on the level of knowledge brought by the practitioner to your health condition.
  2. The Practitioner’s Way of Communication/Language:
    As a patient, you should always ensure that you are able to communicate clearly with your practitioner, or have on hand a translator who can effectively translate your health information and your questions.
  3. The Practitioner’s Referrals and Testimonies of Patient’s Experience:
    While results from acupuncture can be at times miraculous, most results come from repeated treatments over a set period of time. When you hear of exceptional results from one practitioner or from one particular style of acupuncture, please bear in mind that acupuncture results vary from patient to patient. While your practitioner may have produced excellent results in many patients, results cannot be guaranteed 100% of the time.
  4. The Practitioner’s Sytle of Developing Treatment Plans For Their Patients:
    Your practitioner, after an initial assessment, should have a treatment plan that is tailored to your unique needs for achieving a mutually agreed upon goal. This plan may include a variety of treatment strategies. Your practitioner should explain each one, and obtain your consent for treatment. It is normal during a course of treatment for the practitioner to adjust their treatment strategy according to changes that occur while treatments are progressing.

The key to successfully integrating TCM into your healthcare routine is through communication. Ask questions, share ideas, learn more. Ultimately what matters is what works, and being “right” should never be more important than finding out what therapies really contribute to your health and well being.