First of all, it is entirely up to you how long you choose to continue to get treatments. Of course, like any other healthy habit, the longer you maintain it, the better your quality of life. But just to clear up some confusion, let's look at the process of a comprehensive schedule of acupuncture care in another light.
Perhaps the most apt analogy for continuing care for the meridian system is reconstructive orthodontics for your teeth. Both disciplines consist of an initial phase of care that usually involves overcoming a weakness, followed by a reconstructive or rehabilitative phase of care, and finally culminating in wellness or maintenance.
The initial phase of your care usually consists of the highest visit frequency. In cases of chronic imbalances within the meridian system it is common to initially require treatments a few days per week until your body's energy is properly balanced and restored, and physical complaints are resolved.
Using our orthodontic analogy, this would be the point at which the brackets and wires are put on your teeth and you are seen for check-ups every couple weeks. Since there is no wire affixed within your meridian system, your acupuncture visits occur more frequently than orthodontic appointments, and are instead "wired together" by specific exercises, herbal prescriptions, self-care recommendations, etc.
As balance returns to your body, your visit frequency is diminished. This is the phase in which the orthodontist would also begin spacing out his visits and begin to "tweak" the wires to make fine adjustments to your teeth and allow them to settle into their new structural pattern. In both cases, this is a critical phase of care in that it is setting the stage for lifelong wellness or maintenance.
In regard to orthodontics, this is when you would be fitted for a retainer to be worn at least nightly for the rest of your life, or for as long as you wish to maintain healthy teeth.
As for acupuncture, this marks the transition to a schedule of wellness or maintenance care to ensure a lifelong abundance of health and well-being.
The maintenance or wellness phase of care is without a doubt the most important. What is sickness, but a lack of wellness? The whole objective of everything leading up to your wellness care is to get your body back to its natural state of balance. Once there, staying well is simply a matter of sustaining that balance.
Wear your retainer and maintain a life of health and wellness. Or neglect your maintenance and have the braces put back on? The choice is clear.