When someone asks me, “Will acupuncture fix me?” I never lie and say that it will get you better right away. It takes some time. It really does. Sometimes, as few as a couple of treatments for one chief complaint will provide relief. However, the truth for most of us is that health is a consistent result of our habits. So, once you are feeling better, what’s next? What if you’re trying acupuncture for something like allergies, high blood pressure, stress, or chronic low back pain? You get to this crux, this fork in the road. Do you stop treatment once you’re feeling better or come in when your symptoms return? I see a ton of success with my patients who follow a maintenance program. They come in on a scheduled, routine basis to minimize symptoms from returning to full strength, or at all
Pre-coronavirus, I would give patients the option to do whatever they felt was best, both for their schedules and budgets. Post-coronavirus, I have learned some important lessons, both personally and professionally, about maintenance schedules. Practicing acupuncture is similar to dentistry, massage therapy, grooming, or playing music, where you spend enormous amounts of time with your head down, executing repetitive fine motor skills. So, for me, self-maintenance is vital to keeping myself healthy. I have a dual perspective after the stay-at-home order about the patient side and healthcare provider side of why maintenance and routine self-care are so important—more so than I ever realized.