The frequency and total length of treatment depend on a variety of factors: age of patient, intensity and complexity of symptoms, goals of treatment (i.e. relief of acute symptoms vs. long-term health management), individual response to treatment, style of practice, and training of TCM practitioner.
The de Qi (arrival of Qi) sensation upon insertion of acupuncture may be felt by the patient as numbness, heaviness, tingling, and may radiate along the meridian.
It is essential for therapeutic effect. The level of response or discomfort is variable, depending on location of the point, type of needle and stimulation used, and state of health and sensitivity of the patient.
For those who are intolerant to acupuncture, other methods can be applied. Progress of the patient is monitored during each treatment, and regular treatments are important in coordinating physiological functions, protecting productivity, and preventing early deterioration.
Patients must understand that the more chronic and complicated the condition, the longer it takes to resolve.
The exception may be smoking addictions, which usually can consist of three consecutive treatments and weekly treatments for one month.