In this blog post, I want to share with you the best ways to get the maximum benefit out of your acupuncture treatments, along with common mistakes to avoid. Acupuncture is not just getting stuck with needles, it is a whole experience - the calming environment, cozy treatment rooms, warm treatment tables, soft lighting and relaxing music. Your acupuncture time is your time to truly unwind, heal, and forget about the stressors in your world.
Because I want you to get the absolute most out of your acupuncture experience, I present to you the top 3 most common mistakes to avoid when getting acupuncture:
1) Forgetting to turn your phone on silent.
To get the most out of your acupuncture treatment and to leave feeling stress-free and refreshed, don’t forget to silence your phone. (And please, don't talk on the phone during your treatment!) This is YOUR time! Acupuncture gets your body into a relaxing parasympathetic state that often allows you to easily fall asleep during your treatment. Hearing your cell phone ringing or dinging causes stress and interrupts your (and other patients) crucial relaxation time – exactly the opposite of the treatment goal! We are connected to our electronic devices non-stop, so this is a perfect excuse to put it down and be in the present moment.
2) Drinking coffee (or caffeinated beverages) before or after acupuncture.
Studies have shown that drinking coffee can negate some of acupuncture’s beneficial effects, especially when it comes to pain relief. Even a small amount of caffeine has been shown to block the analgesic (pain-relieving) effects of acupuncture. Caffeine also causes an elevation in your body’s major stress hormone, cortisol, so it makes it more difficult for your body to get into that relaxed parasympathetic state acupuncture produces. So if you want to get the best results from your acupuncture treatment, avoid the bean and swap it out for caffeine-free herbal tea instead.
3) Getting acupuncture on an empty stomach.
Acupuncture increases blood flow and oxygen to all of your body’s organs, so sometimes this moving effect you can cause you to feel slightly dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous when getting a treatment on a completely empty stomach. Not to worry, this is easily avoidable. Just be sure to have a little something to eat before your appointment and avoid skipping meals.