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I have had 8 sessions of accupuncture for IBS and the menopause and as yet have felt no benefit. Can you suggest when I should start to feel benefits, the cost is adding up.

There are no set rules for how long it may take for treatment to show benefits, and most practitioners have lived to regret promising change within a set number of treatments. From a Chinese medicine perspective the symptoms are often less important than the underlying patterns to which the diagnostic systems relate, and this can sometimes lead to confusing anomalies - a serious condition based on a relatively simple imbalance can sometimes clear as if by magic, whereas a minor condition based on a complex chronic imbalance can be almost intractable. All that a practitioner can do is to ensure that they review the situation on a regular basis with the patient. We don't make any stipulations, but most members have often drawn a line at four or five sessions, sometimes a few more, and discussed with a patient how well things are going. Even where the main condition may not have changed at all, there may be changes to diagnostic signs which indicate that there will be progress. If there aren't then the practitioner should acknowledge that there are some people for who acupuncture doesn't work, and work with you to see what other alternatives there may be which suit you better.

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