This is a very common question. Americans have become accustomed to taking drugs and having a set duration in which the treatment is to take place. Acupuncture, however, is a functional medicine. This means that it directly affects the functions of the systems, thus restoring hyper and hypo-functions to normalcy. Depending on the condition and each unique individual, a resolution can come about very quickly or slowly. It is because of this unique nature of acupuncture that you will often be asked to return for an evaluation to see how you are responding to the treatment.
It is often the case that a week after a treatment, the body systems will still be responding to the treatment and a second treatment at that time would be detrimental. This is quite different from many of the current treatment practices in which acupuncture is required three or more times per week in order to achieve results; we have found this unnecessary.
With Classical True Acupuncture, we see progressive results after treatments—effects increase over a week to a month's time, instead of the "typical" pattern where the effects may decrease soon after the treatment. Numerous needles used in other styles of acupuncture often move a large amount of energy in a short period of time and can mimic a "feeling good" response, but this effect may not last. It is for these reasons that a True Acupuncturist needs to re-evaluate patients on a regular basis, especially when treatments first begin. (An evaluation is not considered, nor charged as, a treatment). Your progress and how your body responds is carefully monitored; our goal is to do the LEAST number of treatments and maximize the effects of each treatment, while giving the body the appropriate time to respond. We have seen that a week between treatments is often the minimum time required for the body to respond appropriately to the needle; needling sooner is rarely beneficial and usually patients progress to being treated only monthly or less. Classical True Acupuncture is not about getting a patient to return as often as possible—it is about maximizing therapeutic effects with the patient's best interest in mind.