Help your patient manage their expectations of the Acupuncture treatment
Sometimes, it’s not Acupuncture that doesn’t work, it’s practitioners and patients who do not understand how to manage each other’s expectations of how Acupuncture works.
As I mentioned before, Acupuncture is not a one size fits all deal. When someone get a treatment, their response to it will be unique.
Of course we often generalize that the effects can be immediate or that can improves over the next couple of days, both of these are true based on the history of patient reactions to an Acupuncture treatment.
It get’s a little more complex if a patient has a positive response but for only a couple of days before they lapse back to the state they came to see you with.
I like to say, relief is relief. Whether it’s for a day or for months, that’s your reaction to a treatment. What needs to be said is let’s do another treatment in effort to build up on the effects of the first. This is true whether the response is one day, a week or a month.
At that point, there could become issues with appointment availabilities, cost to the patient, whether insurance covers treatment, and even other scheduled treatments by another practitioner of another type of therapy. But the principle remains, be advised to follow up with another treatment within the time there is relief to build more margin into the effects of the treatment, whether it’s a reduction in inflammation, an reduction in compression from tightness, an improvement in blood flow or whatever.
Some practitioners like to establish a 5 or 10 treatment protocol, and that’s fine, and is a general prescription in many of the TCM manuals, but the details of how you manage those treatments is important.
Just to be real, Acupuncture itself, and this could vary from practitioner to practitioner, may have little effect on certain patients. Just saying. But tell me a discipline of medicine that always has 100% rates of solving a patient problem.
Last but not least, as a Licensed Acupuncturist, it is often the case that with a first time Acupuncture patient, we by general nature, do not like to give the newbie the full monty, with the exception of perhaps a person coming in with a We would like to help the patient adjust to a new discipline or treatment an not overwhelm them.
So patient expectations are a very big aspect of how effective a series of treatments can be.
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