I can’t tell you how often I have had this conversation, once someone finds out I’m an acupunk:
“Yeah, I’ve tried acupuncture.” (Non-committal look.)
Me: “Oh yeah? How did you find it?”
Them: “It didn’t really work for me. I don’t think acupuncture is all that good.”
Me: “How many times did you get treatment?”
Them: “Just the once.”
As my father used to say, “If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, I’d be a millionaire!” It’s true! Well, maybe not a millionaire, but I’d certainly be dining out a lot more often than I do now.
And why do I hear this so often? I’ll tell you. It’s not something generally made common knowledge. It’s not even something I was taught at school, but it’s something that is very well acknowledged in Asia where acupuncture has a much higher success rate. Acupuncture, like going to the gym or changing a bad habit, takes time. It takes time and it takes some commitment from the person seeking to get better. In my experience, those people who commit to two or more treatments a week for the first two or three weeks are those who can say emphatically, “acupuncture works!”
Think how ridiculous that same conversation would sound if we were talking about exercise: “Yeah, I tried the gym once. I didn’t lose any weight so exercise didn’t work for me.”
If you want change, real change and real healing, you’re going to have to get ready to commit to the process of getting well. Oh sure, I have had ‘miraculous’ treatments where years of chronic pain melted away after just a treatment or two. It happens from time to time. By and large, though, healing through acupuncture and Chinese medicine is a process, and one that can often take some time before the results can be seen. As one of my favourite teachers said, “Chinese medicine is like gardening; you must prepare the conditions for life, then after that nothing may happen for some time. Then one day you wake up, and the little shoots have come through the soil, reaching for the sun.”
Make that commitment, and start reaching for the sun.