How to get the most out of your acupuncture treatment
You are about to get your acupuncture treatment. Read this blog to set yourself up for a relaxing experience and get the most out of your treatment.
Be open minded
Acupuncture is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine. Thus, the concept of healing or being healthy might not be exactly the same as what you have known for your entire life.
I am not asking you to ditch everything you know. Just give another perspective an opportunity.
After all, this is your body. You will be the one to feel the difference. You should be in control.
Wear loose fitting clothing
It is a frequently asked question on what to wear for acupuncture treatment. The general rule of thumb is to wear loose fitting clothing, which is easy to roll up to your elbows and knees.
For detailed discussion on clothing, please check out this blog.
Don’t brush your tongue
One way for a traditional Chinese doctor to know your health is to check your tongue and pulse from both wrists.
You don’t need to do anything for pulse checking. It is fine to brush your teeth as usual. You don't need to do anything special to clean your tongue. Leave it at its normal status for your acupuncturist to collect health information.
Eat two hours before you appointment
This is also a rule of thumb. Don’t be too full or too hungry for your acupuncture treatment. Since you know your body the best, plan your meal strategically. Too hungry, you might be prone to feel lightheaded. Too full, your blood is in the digestive system and not the best timing for acupuncture treatment.
Arrive a bit early
If this is your first treatment, you would need to fill out an intake form which asks about your health history.
If this is not your first treatment, it is still a good idea to arrive a bit early to settle in, take a deep breath, and relax for your treatment.
Be honest with your intake form
We will go a bit deeper on intake form here. Answer questions based on your own condition. No need to provide what you believe as the “right” answers.
It is your body and your health. There is no right answer or one size fits all solution. Share your condition and it will help your acupuncturist or Chinese doctor find the best fit solution to you.
Know your menstruation cycle
If you are female, be prepared to share your menstruation cycle information. Female’s menstruation cycle provides information about your health. Make sure you have this information handy.
Avoid stimulants (alcohol/caffeine)
Try to avoid stimulants, such as alcohol or caffeine two hours ahead of your treatment. These simulants might decrease the effectiveness of your acupuncture treatment.
If you want more details, please check out this article published by NIH.
Turn off your devices
This is the time for you to focus on health and relax. We have plenty of time to spend on our devices. Turn off your devices so it will not disturb your acupuncturist and yourself!
Relaxing is the most important thing you can do to help you get the most out of your treatment.
Once the needles are inserted, you will have a period of time to just sit back or lay back and relax.
As previously mentioned, you should turn off your devices already. Try not to overthink.
If you practice meditation, this is some time for you to do some meditation. Or simply take a nap. Relax.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
On very rare occasions, you might feel uncomfortable at certain acupuncture points. Please do not hesitate to tell your acupuncturist immediately. Tell him/her how you feel. Depending on how serious and how long it last, they might just take the needle out or make any adjustment.
Don’t bear with your uncomfortableness till the end of the session. Ask for help or change when you start to feel unwell.
If you have anything you want to know, please ask your acupuncturist or Chinese medicine practitioner.
If you have any questions about acupuncture or Chinese medicine’s way of thinking, don't’ be shy. Only you know more about the practice, the easier for you to follow the regimen and get better.
Avoid stimulants (alcohol/caffeine)
Avoiding stimulants is a tip before treatment. The same logic applies to after treatment. Give your body more room to heal. Less stimulants.
Avoid strenuous activities
If you are new to acupuncture, try to avoid strenuous activities after the treatment. You are the judge to what strenuous means to you.
If you run 10 miles a day, maybe you can keep doing so. If you did not even walk a mile for the past decade, it is not smart to do so right after your treatment.
Follow diet recommendation
Your acupuncturist might give you some suggestions on what to eat and what to avoid. To get the most out of your treatment, do you best to follow their recommendation.
Also, if you have questions, ask them directly. Ask why.
Once you understand, it is easier for you to follow the suggestions.
Get ample sleep
There is plenty of information on how sleep affects our health. If you are unwell, good quality of sleep will help you get recovery soon. The same applies to acupuncture.
Schedule the next appointment
Follow the same note as being realistic, you would most likely need a few treatments to get well. Thus, before leaving the clinic, schedule your next appointment. So you can get the best out of your treatment.
Acupuncture works. At the same time, it depends on how long you have been unwell and how fast you seek for help.
Acupuncture is not a silver bullet and solves all problems within one treatment. Having a conversation with your acupuncturist will help you have realistic expectations on how fast you will recover.
Let’s start the healing journey together.