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How to Prepare for Your Acupuncture Visit


Tips for Before Your Acupuncture Treatment

These tips are to ensure you get the most out of your acupuncture treatments. Preparing your mind and body will help you feel relaxed, comfortable, and give you the full benefits of this amazing medicine that’s been working for thousands of years. If you have any questions about any of these tips, please feel free to reach out.


What to do before an acupuncture appointment?

It’s best to come to your treatments with a relaxed body and mind. Try to avoid scheduling anything strenuous immediately before or after your treatment. Please schedule tough workouts prior to and not after a treatment. One of the amazing ways that acupuncture works is that it gets your body into the parasympathetic or rest and digest nervous system mode. That’s the only place your body can heal. It’s great if you can stay in this state for as long as possible after your appointments. It’s also a good idea to make sure you buffer time around your acupuncture appointment so that you’re not rushing into or out of the appointment and you’re not stressed while you’re receiving the treatment.


What to wear to acupuncture?

Wear loose, comfortable clothing or bring gym clothes to change into. Often, Dr. Anne will need to access various body areas and will need you to roll up your pants or sleeves. For our patients who are unable to do this, (usually the culprit is skinny jeans) we provide soft blankets to ensure your comfort. 


Should you eat before acupuncture?

It’s best to eat something before your acupuncture appointment so you’re not hungry.


Why should you drink water before and after acupuncture?

Staying hydrated is important before and after acupuncture because it can trigger your body to detoxify itself. Drinking water before and after helps to flush out these toxins.


Is it ok to drink coffee before acupuncture?

Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks) for at least a couple of hours before your treatment. Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant, which can directly counteract the effects of acupuncture treatment. We recommend increasing your water intake the day of and the day after treatment.


Can you drink alcohol before acupuncture?

Do not drink alcohol in the 12 hours before an acupuncture treatment. Some people find that they are more sensitive to alcohol following acupuncture.


Tips for During Your Acupuncture Treatment

We try to make each patient’s acupuncture treatments as relaxing and rejuvenating as possible. Most of Dr. Anne’s patients even fall asleep during their treatments - it’s that relaxing!


What to expect during an acupuncture appointment?

Depending on the complexity of the treatment, new patients can expect to be with their acupuncturist between 30-50 minutes while returning patients will have about 15-30 minutes of face-to-face time. You can expect to rest on the table for 20-30 minutes.


Acupuncture uses needles that are about the size of a cat whisker. The needles are relatively painless, but you may feel itching, aching, pinching, or a number of other sensations at the location of the needles. Treatments could include other healing modalities like gua sha, cupping, Chinese herbs, or other supplements as needed.


You’ll be in a private room with calm and soothing environment with ambient music. Our patients say it’s the most relaxed they’ve ever felt.


How long does the first acupuncture treatment last?

Your first visit will last about 90 minutes. You’ll discuss your health history with Dr. Anne for about 25 minutes and then you’ll receive your treatment.


How long do return acupuncture treatments last?

Return visits will last about 60 minutes. Dr. Anne will want an update on how you’re feeling and how you responded to the prior treatment. The total time for the visit is between 50-60 minutes.


Tips for After Your Acupuncture Treatment

Each person is unique and can have different responses to acupuncture, however, there are a few common responses that many people seem to experience after treatments. See below for how acupuncture can impact your mood, emotions, and physical health. And please reach out if you have any questions about these effects.


What to expect after an acupuncture treatment

Relaxation: Many patients experience a deep sense of relaxation that can last hours. You may have difficulty focusing or concentrating because of this sensation. 


Modern medical research has demonstrated the body has higher endorphin levels after an acupuncture treatment, which can explain the “natural high” patients feel afterward. The best thing to do for yourself after an acupuncture treatment is to take things as easy as possible. 


Emotions: Patients may experience a heightened sense of emotion after their acupuncture treatment. They can become irritable, weepy, cry without reason, or express a number of different emotions. This is normal because sometimes humans just need to empty their bottled-up emotional bucket every so often and acupuncture helps to facilitate these emotional releases. Most patients feel emotionally lighter a few days after an acupuncture treatment. Your bottled emotions are stressing you below the surface and affecting your health and wellbeing. You want to release them and acupuncture can help.


Pain Relief - Pain Management is one of the fastest growing fields for acupuncture because of the excellent results the modality offers. Some patients may experience long-lasting pain relief after an acupuncture treatment, while others may need several treatments before they experience improvement.

Detoxification: It is common to have increased urination or changes in bowel movements after an acupuncture treatment. These signs indicate your body eliminating toxins and detoxifying your system. It’s important to keep your water intake up to keep flushing your system.


Dr. Anne is looking forward to helping you on your journey to feeling great.

The key things to remember in preparing for an acupuncture appointment are to give yourself plenty of time, drink plenty of water, and wear loose clothing. An acupuncture treatment can last between 60-90 minutes, and it is important to give yourself a time buffer to reduce your stress. We also recommend minimizing coffee intake before and after an acupuncture treatment, and avoiding alcohol prior to your treatment. Your body will thank you for taking these steps as acupuncture can reduce pain, reduce your stress levels, improve your sleep, aid your digestive system, rebalance hormones, balance emotions, and detoxify your system - among many other benefits.


Are you ready to try acupuncture? Make an appointment today!


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