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Should I Switch Acupuncturist?



I was wondering if you can help me determine whether or not I should switch acupuncturist. I go for my chronic allergies and weak immune system. I have gone to 7 sessions. After each session, I would have cold/flu like symptoms (fatigue,malaise,loss of appetite, etc) for 2 - 3 days…I do notice that my nasal congestion is not there anymore which is great, but I still have my sinus pressure and headache, as well as becoming sick with cold/flu like symptoms due to allergies (as opposed to side effect of acupuncture). This is my first acupuncture experience, she mentioned that it would take about 11 sessions for my allergies to get better. I asked some technical questions, like, “what are we working on today”, she said that it’s the same thing as the previous sessions…I noticed that the placement of needles have been at the similar place for the past multiple sessions. I was wondering what are you thoughts on this? Should I go see another acupuncturist?

Thanks in advance for your time and help on this!



When you say:

how are your differentiating this from your post-treatment statement?

I’m assuming your appointments are only a week apart or so, so are you sure you are just not feeling lousy all of the time as you seem to indicate has been a a chronic issue?

Either way, 11 sessions would be extremely amazing to resolve someones allergies (in a person that describes them as chronic) - I would think more in the range of 4-16 months and that would be with herbal medicine and often significant dietary change as well.

As far as feeling a little run down after the treatment, within reason this is potentially normal. It does tend to ease up after the first couple, if it happens at all though, so if it is happening every time I would wonder about that. One way to feel this is being “over treated” - that is the treatment (point choices, techniques, etc.) is too aggressive for the person. Generally if this is happening then you might also describe painful acupuncture manipulations, etc. which you don’t seem to mention.

Your question about “what we are working on” - you already know the answer to that. What you are really asking is some version of I don’t know what is happening and I’m not sure I’m getting a good result - your practitioner knows this… Trying to describe what we are working on as practitioners is difficult even amongst practitioners let alone giving a good explanation to the patient. For some idea of what is happening I would suggest you read “My Lungs are What?” and “Self-Help for Seasonal Allergy Relief”.

It is not uncommon in the early stages of treatment particularly for the points to not be that different from treatment to treatment, particularly if the practitioner feels things are moving in the right direction. Very long story short, the acupuncture is reminding your body to behave one way and your diet, environment, seasonal influences, emotions, etc. are reminding it to behave another way. Eventually acupuncture retrains this leading in many cases to a permanent resolution of the allergic sensitivities, but it takes significant time and this is increased largely by how involved the patient is with other aspects, diet, etc.

The short answer to your question, is nothing stands out that is wrong with this practitioner particularly, but if you feel that you can’t communicate well with them or you have a lack of general trust with them, then, yes, I would find someone else.

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