So you’ve decided to make the plunge and try some acupuncture. You’ve found a solid acupuncturist, booked an appointment and now you are wondering what to do next. Acupuncture doesn’t require a whole lot of prep work on the patient’s part, but there are 5 things to consider before your first acupuncture treatment.
1. Schedule Well.
Be mindful about when you schedule your appointment. Allow plenty of time after the treatment so you won’t feel rushed. Avoid scheduling your appointment before or after something strenuous like a stressful meeting or hard workout. Some people feel pretty relaxed and groggy after a treatment, so allow plenty of time after your treatment so you don’t feel rushed.
2. Arrive Nourished.
Everyone has different metabolisms, but it’s generally a good idea to eat at least 2 hours before your acupuncture visit. This is an important one; it’s not advised to show up to an acupuncture treatment with light-headedness, low blood sugar or a rumbling stomach.
3. Avoid Coffee 2 Hours Before your Appointment.
Coffee is a stimulant, which increases sympathetic nerve activity; kicking the body into fight or flight mode. Meanwhile, acupuncture does the opposite; shifting you away from that sympathetic fight or flight mode more towards parasympathetic mode, which encourages rest and digest. When utilizing natural medicinal modalities, its best to work with the process and not against it, as it may confuse the body.
4. Avoid Alcohol.
This seems obvious, but is worth mentioning. Acupuncture has a way of getting us more in touch with our physical bodies. Alcohol on the other hand, does just the opposite; numbing our physical experience down. Best to limit the alcohol before a treatment and really get in touch with your body during this deeply meditative experience.
5. Make a List.
Before you come into your appointment it’s best to sit down for a minute and make a couple lists. Sometimes by the time we sit down in front of a practitioner we can tend to get anxious and forget all those little physical details we wanted to share about our bodies. On another list, write down all the medication and supplements as well as dosages of each. As a primary care provider, Acupuncturists will want a current list of all medications, especially if they are making herbal or supplement recommendations to assure there aren’t any contraindications with their recommendations.
Acupuncture is amazing healing and relaxing modality and I hope these recommendations increase your ability to maximize the benefits of your treatments.