by Nine Life Land Acupuncture Clinic staffs
1. Eat about two hours before an acupuncture appointment. You don’t want to show up really full, or after having eaten something heavy, fried or spicy, but do not go for acupuncture on an empty stomach. It can leave you feeling lightheaded or physically depleted. Dizziness or fainting may happen particularly at the first acupuncture treatment resulting from hunger, nervousness, tiredness or weakness.
2. Coffee is not your friend before acupuncture. If you’re going for acupuncture later in the day, avoid coffee for at least two hours before. Coffee is a stimulant. It has been shown to increase sympathetic nerve activity, kicking your body into fight-or-flight mode. Acupuncture works to shift you away from that sympathetic (fight-or-flight) state and toward a parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) one, so coffee inhibits the process. It also makes it difficult for the acupuncturist to get accurate readings on your pulse and tongue, since coffee might increase your heart rate and stains your tongue.
3.Neither is alcohol. One of acupuncture’s greatest gifts is to help us see situations and our symptoms with more clarity. Alcohol does the opposite. It numbs us and takes the edge off, which during acupuncture is not a good thing. One goal of acupuncture is to bring more awareness to how we feel. Impairing the senses with alcohol is not helpful.
4. Wear loose clothing, so the acupuncturist can easily access the places where he or she wants to place needles. Loose clothing usually makes things easier for you and the practitioner.
5. Avoid scheduling acupuncture treatment before or after something really strenuous. You don’t need to be sedentary on either side of an appointment, but nor should you be going nuts at the gym or suffering through an extremely stressful meeting. Also avoid sandwiching — squeezing in acupuncture immediately between two other events — as this has a tendency to make you either late for, stressed out or tired during your treatment.
6. Even when we schedule wisely, there is still a tendency to leave at the last minute for appointments. This makes most appointments more stressful than they need to be, but especially with acupuncture, arriving at your appointment amped-up is counter-productive. When you rush into an appointment, your pulse is higher than normal, your mind is spinning, and you’re tense with worry about the prospect of being late. So schedule it a bit earlier in your calendar. And please sit for 10-15 minutes in a quiet waiting room before treatment if you are in a rush, or in a rage.
7. Before acupuncture, spend some time thinking about or even making a list, any significant medical events in your life. For example, family disease history, car accidents, broken bones, other serious injuries, long-term illnesses, surgeries, etc. Also make note of any medications you are taking currently as well as any that you took long-term in the past (e.g., birth control pills). We tend to forget these things, or assume they’re irrelevant, but from an acupuncture perspective they help contribute to your overall picture of health. When in doubt about whether to include something, it’s always better to mention it.
8. Please turn off your phone. Not on vibrate. Off. Do it before your appointment actually starts, to avoid forgetting and/or getting distracted by a call or message immediately before you’re about to begin. This helps you to be in a peaceful state of mind, to feel how your own body functions with acupuncture needles, as well as the effect of treatment.
9. Make sure you are not thirsty and have a desire to go to the loo before an acupuncture treatment as it often takes more than 40 minutes.