For millions living with pain, acupuncture is no longer an exotic curiosity. It’s now a widely accepted treatment among the medical community and pretty popular with patients as well. However, there are still numerous unanswered questions regarding this approach. So, keep reading to find out more about acupuncture and how long you’ll have to wait to experience its benefits.

What Is Acupuncture and How Does It Work?

Acupuncture is a method of traditional Chinese medicine employed to relieve pain and promote general wellness. Traditional Chinese medicine believes the human body has around 2,000 acupuncture points linked by channels. They allow energy (called Qi), which is responsible for overall health, to flow through the body.

According to TCM a disruption of this energy can lead to many diseases. Hence, acupuncture activates the muscles and sensory nerves by inserting tiny steel needles into the skin. As a result, it causes the body to release its existing painkillers and feel-good chemicals while also relaxing the nervous system. And before you click away, there are needleless options for those who are not so fond of needles.

Overall, acupuncture is a painless, relaxing, and therapeutic experience for many patients. It is an ideal approach for reducing stress and improving blood flow. This technique has several therapeutic benefits, and depending on the health concern you want to treat, there are several options to choose from.

Here at the American Institute of Alternative Medicine (AIAM), acupuncture is used to treat pain and other bodily issues, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Smoking cessation
  • Migraines
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Stress
  • Knee pain or osteoarthritis
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain, etc.

How Long Does It Take for Acupuncture To Work?


Several factors contribute to how effective your treatment is and how long it takes to work. These factors include your condition, symptoms, treatment, and pain level. If you have been suffering from pain for a long time, your neuropathways are probably conditioned to function in a particular way. Therefore, it could take longer to recondition your neural pathways and create new ‘memories’ for your brain.

While ideal, a quick fix is not always the wisest choice for pain. Hence, acupuncture may require numerous sessions for you to see results. Usually, one can notice acupuncture’s effects in around 3-4 days. However, this process is different for each person; therefore, the number of sessions and time required to see results can differ. Some people only need one or two sessions, while others may need more sessions to overcome pain, stress, and other symptoms. So, you shouldn’t be surprised if your first acupuncture session does not make you feel better instantly.

Your acupuncturist at AIAM will inform you of the best possible treatment plan. Just keep in mind that the result of acupuncture on the body accumulates over time. So, the most crucial step to keep the acupuncture effect long-lasting is the consistency of sessions which ensures continuing pain relief.

Factors That Affect the Length of Time for Acupuncture To Work

For people with chronic health issues or female fertility problems, it can take a few months of regular treatment to see the physical benefits of acupuncture. Because the body has been functioning incorrectly for a long time, it takes a while to correct itself.

For female fertility, we work with a monthly cycle; therefore, significant changes can’t be seen throughout one cycle only. Hence, this treatment usually spans at least three months before one can notice improvement. Additionally, younger people may respond quicker to acupuncture treatment; nonetheless, that depends on each individual’s situation.

One thing is for sure; acupuncture works best when you have weekly or fortnightly sessions for a longer period of time. If you have six acupuncture sessions in the span of 5 or 6 months, you might see less improvement than someone who has had six sessions over six weeks.

Individual Variations in Response to Acupuncture

Upon your first visit, you will be recommended a course of treatment based on your diagnosis. Generally speaking, six sessions is considered a course of treatment. However, some people will need fewer sessions, while others with a chronic condition will need more.

For example, people suffering from pain or anxiety will typically notice a reduction in their symptoms after the first or second session. Treatment may take several months for chronic conditions such as skin issues, chronic pain, or infertility. To help it work quicker, you can optimize your lifestyle and diet and take supplements after the procedure.

Benefits of Acupuncture


Since acupuncture is a process, you need to find indicators that the treatment is working. Again, this is different for everybody. Some typical indicators may include the following:

  • Improvements in your sleep
  • Increased appetite and digestion
  • Balanced emotions and mood
  • Reduced stress
  • Reduced back and joint pain
  • Headache relief
  • Improved eye health
  • Enhanced mental clarity
  • Improved immunity
  • Increased energy
  • Relief from allergies
  • Enhanced fertility, etc.

The Bottom Line

Acupuncture has proven to be an effective procedure to help relieve body pain and treat many health issues. If you’re here because you are interested in starting acupuncture but are hesitant to take the first step, we are more than happy to answer any of your questions. And if you want to schedule an appointment, you can do so here.