Human Body Engineers
Acupuncture can be a cure, or it can act as a palliative treatment; this depends on the condition that is being treated. If a chronically painful arthritic knee is treated with acupuncture then, on average, the improvement will last about six months and the knee will then require re-treatment. Some acupuncturists treat their patients every three months or so to avoid any deterioration in their condition. The traditional Chinese approach is to attempt to maintain the patient in a state of health and a regular three-monthly treatment pattern is therefore justified; however, many acupuncturists just treat patients when the symptoms recur. If the condition is self-limiting, such as the pain from an attack of shingles, then no further treatment is required after the pain is relieve.
Whole Body Therapy
In the West the vast majority of people look upon acupuncture as an alternative treatment for pain; therefore pain is the most frequently presented complaint at an acupuncture clinic. If the patient is approached from the traditional Chinese view point then the body is treated as an integrated system. People in pain frequently have other complaints, such as heartburn or depression, and if the body is treated as a complete system then these complaints will also be treated, and often resolve during the course of acupuncture. The patient may be quite surprised to find that some other problem has suddenly improved, as it was not realized it was amenable to acupuncture treatment and therefore not mentioned to their acupuncturist.