Acupuncture is like going to the gym. You can’t go once and say ‘I’m in shape’,” says Lisa Alvarez, a licensed and board certified acupuncturist and master level Reiki practitioner in Chicago. “It requires a commitment and builds over time. The longer you do it, the longer the results will last and the less you’ll need to come in.” If you’re rehabbing an injury, you’ll go frequently (one to two times a week) at first and then taper off as your healing progresses. If you’re using alternative medicine to boost your race-day performance, “the best thing to do is to have a couple of weekly treatments before the event and then come in right after the event,” says Alvarez.