Acupuncture is an ancient Eastern treatment system that has gained incredible respect from the Western medical community. Alone or in tandem with Western medicine, acupuncture can treat a surprisingly extensive list of ailments from stress to headaches to infertility. Yet like many collaborative treatment protocols, the more proactive you are, the more you will get out of the experience. Here are 7 tips for getting the most out of acupuncture therapy.
The best way to get your acupuncture treatment off to the best start is to be prepared for your first appointment. Make a detailed list of all underlying health conditions, current symptoms, and recent major life stressors, as well as a brief summary of previous life events and health challenges. Also create a complete list of all your medications and supplements. Eastern medicine is holistic, and your acupuncturist will want to understand everything that is going on with you rather than just the symptoms that brought you in for treatment. In addition, many acupuncturists prescribe herbal remedies. Just like medications, different herbs can react with different medications and supplements, and may be inappropriate for those with specific health conditions.
Dress the Part
Your acupuncturist must be able to easily access various acupuncture points on your body. In addition, tight or uncomfortable clothing can be distracting and can even block the flow of qi, or energy. Wear loose, comfortable clothes that make you feel relaxed.
It is important to give your body some fuel for healing, but a heavy meal will only weigh you down. Both before and after treatment, choose light, minimally processed foods such as veggies and rice. Minimize the amount of fat, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol you ingest for a few hours before and after your acupuncture treatment. Warm foods are better than cold around your appointment time unless the weather is very hot.
Remove Technological Distractions
You don’t need to avoid technology before or after treatment, but while you are having an acupuncture session, give yourself a break. Turn off your phone and tablet and turn your attention inward, allowing your body, mind, and soul to recharge.
In today’s busy world, it may be impossible to block out a full 12 hours post-treatment to rejuvenate. However, to make the most of your treatment, keep it light. Choose a short, easy stroll rather than a big hike, work from home rather than in a stressful office, or simply take some time to binge watch your favorite show. Your body needs some time to fully assimilate the effects of treatment, so relax as much as you can.
Follow Your Recommended Treatment Schedule
Some people who are going through acute situations need acupuncture frequently for a few weeks, perhaps as often as every other day. Once a week is common protocol for treating many issues. Some people, especially those who are not currently dealing with anything acute, need only an occasional “tune-up” visit. Ask your practitioner what schedule is best for you.
Ask for Specifics
No matter what you are in treatment for, there are always home measures that can further enhance the benefits of acupuncture. Ask your acupuncturist for specific suggestions for your unique situation.
Located in Pacific Palisades, with satellite clinics in Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, and Beverly Hills, Thumos Health Center offers patients exceptional personalized care. If you are ready to take the first steps toward a more integrative approach to your health care, we invite you to phone 310-428-1215 to schedule an appointment at any of our Los Angeles locations. Our highly knowledgeable and friendly staff will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have.