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How to Prepare
1. Wear comfortable clothing.
We’ll need access to your lower arms, legs, and torso for point application.
2. Eat a light meal or snack, about two hours prior
Acupuncture on an empty stomach can leave you tired. To help you refuel after your treatment, we offer filtered water, tea, and nourishing snacks.
3. Don’t drink alcohol or use tobacco, about two hours prior.
We may need to read your pulse, so please avoid substances that affect your heart rate.
4. Skip any food or drinks that color your tongue, like coffee, immediately prior.
Your tongue’s appearance tells us a lot about your health.
How to take care of yourself after an Acupuncture treatment
You don’t have to literally lie down or take a nap (although, bonus if you can). By rest, I mean, go easy. Don’t help your friend move into a six-floor walkup apartment. Don’t babysit for your sister’s colicky baby and 2-month-old puppy. Don’t stay up really late that night. Some people get a jolt of energy after acupuncture, but better to savor the boost — chances are, you need it. Resting allows the physical and emotional restoration that acupuncture sets in motion to continue.
A lot of people ask whether they can work out after acupuncture. Exercise is fine — light, gradual movement can be a nice adjunct to an acupuncture treatment — but be gentle. If you’re a runner, try walking on the day you have acupuncture. If you normally take advanced yoga classes, give a beginner or intermediate class a whirl. If you’ve never hiked to the top of that mountain, acupuncture day probably isn’t the best day to try.
One of the most common questions I get from people who are going to acupuncture for pain relief is, “Should I use heat or ice?” Heat is the answer almost every time. From an acupuncture perspective, many pain conditions are caused by stagnation. Things are not moving smoothly through the channels, causing blockages that lead to pain. Acupuncture restores flow, helping to eliminate these blockages. (Watch this cool videoto better understand this concept.) Looking at pain in this way, ice is counterproductive — it causes things to remain stagnant and slows down the healing process. After acupuncture, choose heat.
This is for two reasons: 1) It’s important to stay hydrated after acupuncture because it can cause toxins to be released into your system. Staying appropriately hydrated helps flush out these toxins. Since alcohol and coffee both cause dehydrating effects on the body, they should be avoided after acupuncture.
2) Alcohol and coffee mess with your bodily awareness. One of the main goals of acupuncture is to bring greater clarity and awareness to how we really feel. Since alcohol impairs the senses and coffee falsely heightens them, both can potentially counteract or mask the effects of acupuncture. You don’t have to eliminate these things from you life, but steer clear for a day or two after acupuncture.
Acupuncture helps bring you into a place of balance, where your sympathetic nervous system (fight-or-flight response) is no longer in overdrive. Your mind is calmer and clearer, enjoying a respite from the overstimulating world in which we live. As soon as you click on that TV, it all comes flooding back — incessant advertising, screaming pundits, news flashes, noise and more noise. Keep the TV off and you’ll extend your state of acu-bliss.
Acupuncture helps bring the toxins out. Don’t knowingly put them back in by eating poor-quality food. Avoid processed foods and sugar. Go for foods with proven healing properties (curcumin, which comes from the Turmeric plant, is a great example). Think about food as sustenance and eating as an opportunity to continue healing your body after acupuncture. When we conceive of food in this way, fast food and other junk become less appealing. After acupuncture, imagine the foods that would make you feel nourished and healthy, then go eat them.
Now you know how to take care of yourself before and after an acupuncture treatment. The only thing left to do is make an appointment.
Is this your first time?
If this is your first time at Kang’s Family Acupuncture your initial consultation will take up to 90 minutes. This comprehensive health evaluation will cover all aspects of your health, including body, mind, and spirit.
Subsequent sessions take about 40-60 minutes in a serene, private room.
Treatments include gentle acupuncture and, when applicable, infrared heat therapy, electro-stim therapy, cupping or gua sha (lightly scraping the skin). We may recommend herbal medicine and dietary supplements to support your clinic treatments.