How fast will I get better?
I want to cover in today's entry a question that I get asked often by patients or prospective patients. I get asked if I think acupuncture will help a certain condition and if so how many treatments it will take. This is a valid question because everyone wants to know what their prognosis is. I would really like to answer their question well. The problem is that it is really tough to give an accurate prognosis. There are so many factors involved: how long they have had the condition, how old they are, how good their general health is, how well they respond to acupuncture, how severe the condition is, what medications they are taking, how often they can come in, what other treatments they are doing concurrently, even their attitude. So I generally will say that I do not know and I suggest we do a few treatments and see how things go. This is why we offer the 3 treatment package because I have found that 3 treatments is a good test as to how things will go. If you are 0% better after 3 treatments, it's not that it will not ever fix the problem, but it might take a while. However, I have seen patients that 1 more treatment really moves things. If you are much better after 3, then we are on the right track and you might need no more treatments or just a couple more. Most people seem OK with this answer, because I am sincere about it, it's really the way it is. I also contend that no one can really give an accurate prognosis. A doctor doesn't ever 100 percent know how a procedure will turn out for any single patient. I think it is unethical to tell someone that this will fix you, 100 percent of the time. No one can accurately say that, so I think they shouldn't.
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Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond