How to Get the Most Out Of Your Acupuncture Experience

Acupuncture has been proven effective in a number of health areas, particularly as a method for managing pain and as an alternative to opioid painkillers. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your sessions.

  • Have a realistic expectation of your treatments and realize that acupuncture is not an instant or one time therapy. Healing takes time and effort, and usually several sessions at least. However, your chosen practitioner should be able to answer your specific questions during your initial consultation and treatment. Do not be afraid to ask lots of question until you fully understand what to expect.
  • Prepare for your appointment by good scheduling. Arrive to your session on time. It is not a good idea to get acupuncture right after a long bicycle ride or just before an afternoon jog; do not plan for strenuous activities directly before or following acupuncture.
  • You should wear comfortable and loose clothing. This is so the practitioner can easily access the places where he or she wants to place needles. It is especially important if you are going for a community acupuncture appointment, because treatments are alternated between individuals in a group setting; patients do not disrobe. However, even for private acupuncture appointments, loose clothing usually makes things easier.
  • When your acupuncture session is over, take your time getting up and move gently as you gather your things to leave. Acupuncture can be a physically and emotionally intense experience, and sometimes our bodies are not recovered at the moment a treatment is finished. It is okay if you are relaxed and take a little extra time when leaving.
  • It is important to stay hydrated after you receive acupuncture because it can cause toxins to be released into your system. Staying hydrated helps flush out these toxins, so drink water before and after your session. Since alcohol and coffee both can cause dehydrating effects on the body, you should avoid them before and after acupuncture, at least for a day or two.
  • Acupuncture restores flow, helping to eliminate blockages, and stimulates the blood and qi (energy) flow to promote healing; it can also cause some achiness. Therefore, heat is often recommended for aches after acupuncture treatments, and a warm, soothing Epson salt bath is excellent way to help yourself feel better. It also helps to draw out toxins from the muscles and joints, and is a great way to complement your treatment.