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"Acupuncture Just Doesn’t Work for Me”

I get a lot of people tell me that acupuncture doesn’t work for them. I always ask, how many sessions did you do?

The answer: one or two sessions.

Acupuncture— although seemingly magical in some cases— is not a quick fix. Let’s say you are suffering from an autoimmune disease. Any disfunction that leads to autoimmune disease has usually been decades (if not, lifetimes) in the making and one or two acupuncture treatments will not undo all this damage overnight.

Let me tell you a personal story of when I was living in Medellín. I began suffering migraines that would stick around for three or four days, invading my ability to focus, work, and leave the house. This pain + being away from my family + losing a close family member to cancer lead me to search for help. I was told about an acupuncturist who lived 10 minutes away from my house and so, I took a leap and knocked on her door. She told me that I had to come for three therapies in a row if I wanted to continue with her. After the first three, she recommended I continue to go once a week.

After those first three therapies, my migraines had gone away completely and the anxiety I had felt dissipated. Even though I was feeling so much better, I still wanted to receive treatment. I asked, “can I do acupuncture if I feel good? Like if there are no problems, does this still serve me?”

She smiled and said,

“Acupuncture is preventative medicine. You don’t need to have something wrong with you to come for treatment. Acupuncture exists to keep you healthy.”

It has been two years and I go weekly to receive treatment and stay healthy. Health issues have come and gone—Eczema, IBS, hormonal imbalances, mood issues—and I know that if I continue going to acupuncture, I will get better and have an easier time maintaining homeostasis.

If you have tried acupuncture and have concluded that it “doesn’t work for me,” I would encourage you to stick with it a bit longer. My migraines went away after three sessions and still, I continued to go because I wanted to support my healthy body rather than run to acupuncture for a fixer-upper.

I have seen that I inevitably get better with the support of acupuncture, but I have to go consistently. Remember, any illness or pain took time to get here and will take time to go.

I know from personal experience that pain and illness are uncomfortable to live with and it is easy to lose hope when we do not see immediate results. Whether you choose acupuncture or yoga or tapping, stick with it, find a consistent time for treatment, prioritize this healing time, and watch how you change over time not overnight.

Remember, with purpose, perseverance, and pain as our teacher, we can heal. -Sofía

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