Daily Therapeutic Limitations

A question that students often ask (rightfully so) is how many treatments should a patient receive in a single day. It is a very valid question and one that echos upon the age-old question – is more better?

In the instance of receiving any manual Chinese Medicine based treatment (Acupuncture or Tui Na), it is not advised to receive more than one treatment per day. There are exceptions to this rule which will be explained a little further down.

The information presented is working upon the basis of a patient booking in for one hour session of acupuncture and then a one hour session of Tui Na; it is both useful and therapeutic to combine both sessions into a single hour however two hours or two separate sessions in the same day may leave you drained.

Generally speaking, Tui Na (Traditional Chinese Remedial Massage) is a massage style that not only assists with external injuries (sore muscles etc) but in the hands of a properly trained practitioner – it is a way to assist a patient with internal health issues as well. As Tui Na is derived (or the precursor) to the Acupuncture system, one can indeed feel unwell if it is performed too closely together.

Both systems require the practitioner to use whatever energy the patient already has and as such doubling up can lead to light headed sensations or feelings of nausea. From a professional perspective – there is no therapeutic benefit from doubling up on such treatments either. Best to select one and allow the therapeutic effect to occur as both systems are essentially rerouting the body to balance itself.

It could perhaps be said that this advice may extend into the realm of other manual therapies too however my scope of practice and professional skill set are within the realm of Chinese Medicine and I cannot speak about the possible issues that occur from getting two different modalities performed in a single day.

As mentioned above there are times when it is beneficial to receive acupuncture treatments twice a day, these include:

1) Pre and Post IVF transfer, studies have shown the use of acupuncture before and after the fertilised egg is transferred produces a higher success rate of retention.

2) Stroke patients, twice daily treatment for stroke patients can improve recovery rate as well as overall post incident function.

Every situation is different as is every patient. If you have concerns about the therapeutic benefit or health hazard that may come from multiple treatments per day – speak with your practitioner and work together to formulate the best strategy for your recovery.

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