Once you’ve successfully reached your goals for your health and relieved the symptoms within the Acute Care level of treatment, you will be able to move onto the next level of care.
Level Two: Transitional Care
If you’ve come in to heal an injury such as a sprained ankle or to help with that travelers’ diarrhea you acquired while on vacation and have found relief in the Acute Care level of treatment, your acupuncturist may let you know that you no longer need to come in for treatments. However, if you’re coming in to help to relieve a more chronic health issue or alleviate some of your symptoms, then you cannot just simply stop once you’ve finally found that relief you’ve been looking for.
And why not? Because although acupuncture treatments do help you with your symptoms on a long-term basis, the symptoms will come back if you don’t continue to maintain the treatments that helped you to rid you of your negative symptoms in the first place. Hence, the Transitional Care level of treatment.
Here, the appointments will start to spread further apart, but not too far so that your symptoms come back between visits. If that does happen, it means your body has yet to adjust to the new way your body functions after acupuncture visits on its own yet.
This is the phase where you and your acupuncturist work together to find your “sweet spot” so to speak, of how far apart you can go between treatments to still reap the benefits each time you go. You’ll be spacing your appointments further and further apart until you find that perfect amount of time you can go between appointments. Once you do this, you’ll be ready to enter the third level of care, Maintenance.
Level Three: Maintenance Care
This level of care is essentially the continued care you need, using your ‘sweet spot’ as the time between each appointment. It’s the time that your body can go between each appointment without getting out of balance, allowing your issues to resurface or your symptoms to return.
There isn’t one ‘sweet spot’ for everyone, some people need to come in once a month, others between 6-8 weeks, and even a few people can go every 3 months to continue to reap the benefits they’ve gotten from acupuncture.
If you look at it as an analogy to changing the oil in your car, it can make it a bit easier to visualize. You know you need to change your oil every 3,000 miles, so in the same way, your body needs its own tune-ups or maintenance as well. It’s a great way to keep you healthy, especially since acupuncture is also known to be a preventative medicine, allowing you to save time, energy, and pain in the long run if you’re good about making sure you give yourself the tune-ups you need to stay healthy and feeling great!