This is a contentious and tricky issue. We have evolved out of an era where the norms for treatment were subject to protocols; including a set number of sessions based on what is wrong (the diagnosis).
The reality is that we all heal differently, consider a 15-year-old who would heal faster and more predictably than a 65-year-old. A well-nourished 60-year-old who exercises and has taken care of their stress and mental health may heal faster than a 30-year-old who does none of those things. Someone who has consistent sleeping habits is likely to recover from pain quicker than an insomniac. And someone who suffers from depression would heal differently to someone who is optimistic and engaged in a meaningful life. The various anatomical structures of the body have different timelines for healing; an inflamed tendon has a different rate of healing to a muscle strain. Add into the mix that there are no singular ubiquitous causes of pain- Pain is complex, nuanced and multifaceted.
A deep personal concern of the past-era of protocol based and wellness-based care is the disempowerment that can happen there. If your health is in someone else’s hands such as a miraculous healer, doctor or device… does your health even belong to you?
To be fair, I can think of many clients who have needed and desired a deep and pervasive change in their lives, health and wellbeing, and who over a protracted period of time; with a sense of deep personal responsibility; have created profound shifts in their health. There are also some modalities which rely on regular treatments to drive a “deep wedge” into the client’s disease, pathology, physical or emotional state in order to facilitate lasting changes.
After each consultation, each person should leave with a clear idea of what is going on with themselves (their condition) and an understanding of how they can and need to address the issue. Many people report significant physical and mental benefits with weekly, monthly, 6 weekly or even bi-annual sessions.
All the above factors need to be weighed up, along with the financial implications of treatments and then communicated between practitioner and client, so that a unique and appropriate treatment plan can be created.