One day a new patient came for his very first acupuncture treatment. When I finished the needle insertions, he asked me with a puzzled look, "That's it?" I answered "Yes, that's it." Then I heard him give a big sigh of relief, and he said " I thought I would be like the Kung Fu Panda. If I had known you only used a few needles, I would have come much earlier."
I think the media has given people a wrong impression about acupuncture. Many people think acupuncture makes them into porcupines. As a matter of fact, I have never turned a patient into a porcupine or a Kung Fu Panda. Last year I treated an accountant who made a point of counting how many needles I inserted. For his first acupuncture session, I used 8 needles. For his second acupuncture session, I ended up using only 2 needles. Months later he stopped by to say hello and told me that he hadn't had gall bladder pain for six months after the 2-needle session.
The effect of acupuncture is not proportional to the number of needles. My goal is to use a minimal number of needles to achieve the optimal result. Lifelong study is the way I plan to reach my goal.