For most conditions, a combination of both acupuncture and herbs will be very effective. For example, a person with a facial twitch around the eyes might get immediate relief from an acupuncture treatment directed at that area. By following up with an herb formula that nourishes the liver and calms rising energy, a recurrence of the condition can be prevented. The most effective use of either herbal medicine or acupuncture occurs when there is an accurate diagnosis by a qualified practitioner. As the person goes through the healing process, the nature of their imbalance will change, so the herb formula and/or acupuncture treatment can also change along with them. Some herbs or points will be deleted when they are no longer needed, and others will be added to more closely follow the changing pattern.
Most practitioners in the United States use a combination of acupuncture and herbs. However, in some conditions, such as an acute bacterial infection, an herbal treatment is more likely to be effective. In other conditions, such as drug or smoking withdrawal, acupuncture is more likely to have a positive result. There are many practitioners who use only herbs or only acupuncture, and they all have satisfied clients. The ultimate choice is up to the patient, who may have a fear of needles or a dislike for herbs to contend with. The most important factor is to find a qualified practitioner with whom the patient feels comfortable and who practices the modalities preferred by the patient.