What are the factors that influence dose when using acupuncture and Chinese medicine?

This is a fundamental question! One that speaks about how much time, effort, and money is involved in getting better when adding acupuncture and Chinese medicine to your healthcare plan.

Please note that the following general comments are based on my studies and clinical observations. They are supported by millennia of the theory that have developed to explain how acupuncture and Chinese medicine influence us but, in many cases, are yet to be confirmed by modern research.

Factors that influence dose

The truth is many factors influence dose. I have thought about this issue a lot over the last 20 years.

I have concluded that the following list represents some of the most critical factors influencing dose when using interventions such as acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

The patient’s age and general health

The younger and healthier you are, the faster you are likely to respond to acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Young people in good health generally require a lower overall dose than older people in poor general health.

The patient’s constitution

Constitution refers to your genetic and acquired health-related strengths and weaknesses.

Everyone is different. You can be generally robust or generally fragile. You can also be vital in one area of your health and weak in another. Your particular strengths and weaknesses will determine how you respond to acupuncture and Chinese medicine and directly impact the number of consultations required to affect your specific problem.

The stronger and healthier you are, the faster you are likely to respond to acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

The nature and history of the complaint

The more serious a complaint and the longer it has been around, the longer it will take to get better.

It is also important to note that long-term and serious complaints usually require higher consultation frequencies. Anecdotally, it is said that one month of treatment is necessary for every year a patient has experienced criticism.

The patient’s preparedness to make appropriate lifestyle changes

Following the advice of your practitioner is a great way to ensure that results occur as quickly as humanly possible. This includes diet, lifestyle, and exercise advice. Not following this advice will generally result in slower recovery periods.

Other medical interventions (including medication)

At the Australian Acupuncture Centre (AAC), we are skilled at cooperating with various medical interventions. We do it every single day.

That said, patients must report any interventions they include in their treatment plan so that appropriate adjustments to their acupuncture and Chinese medicine plan (including frequency of dose) can be made.

The phase of the disease that the patient is currently experiencing

At AAC, we recognise that managing any condition can be broken down into three steps; the symptomatic phase, the asymptomatic phase, and the resolution phase.

Each stage requires a different consultation dose. You can read more about the different phases of treatment here.

If you want to learn more about factors that influence dose when using acupuncture and Chinese medicine, please get in touch with the clinic on 03 5298 1213. Alternatively, please email us at office@australianacupuncturecentre.com.au or pop into Shop 3 / 153 Shannon Ave, Manifold Heights, VIC 3218 for a chat.

Thanks for reading,


MPET; B. A. (Hons); B. H. Sc. (Acu); Ad. Dip. App. Sc. (Acu); Dip. Rem. Mass.; Dip. Rem. Therapy; Member AACMA 1332; Registered Acupuncturist (AHPRA) Paul McLeod is an AHPRA registered acupuncturist in Geelong, Victoria, offering drug-free management for a wide variety of medical conditions.

Paul has been studying and practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine for more than 22 years and has a wealth of experience with many forms of pain, including muscular-skeletal pain, nerve pain, digestive pain, and gynecological pain. Paul is a very experienced teacher passionate about sharing his knowledge of Chinese medicine with the community.