As a rule of thumb, acupuncture is extraordinarily forgiving, and so the answer to this question is usually, yes. In fact, the benefits of acupuncture treatments are often most apparent when they are done in tandem with other therapies like taking medications or receiving physical therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and beyond. For instance, we’ve heard many patients tell us that their chiropractors have commented how much easier their adjustments have been since they began receiving acupuncture. The same goes for people making faster gains in physical therapy or noticing a need for smaller amounts of medications (or no longer needing medications at all!) prescribed by their doctors.
This can go both ways, of course – a patient may be stalling in treatment progress with acupuncture alone, and a new medication, chiropractic adjustment, or even just loosening up the tension with massage therapy may help get progress moving forward again.
On the other hand, some activities may actually be aggravating the problem or condition for which you’re seeking acupuncture treatment. For example, Larry comes in looking for help with chronic foot pain that’s been more intense over the last two months. Recently, he finds himself limping most days, and has had to take medication to help deal with the pain. At his third visit, Larry also lets us know he’s been continuing to run five miles each day while coming for acupuncture, and he is frustrated with his progress thus far. In this situation it would be a good idea for Larry to take a break from running for a time and give his foot time to heal.
Although treatments can be quite helpful, you’ll have to work with them – just as they are working with your own abilities to sort out illness or injury. Acupuncture has a way of helping the body help itself. Its effects are like eating a good wholesome meal or getting an excellent night’s sleep. A man at our holistic health center recently described it like ‘quietly rebooting your own hard drive’.