It’s time for another Austin Sports Medicine 101 class! Today we’re focusing on acupuncture and how to prepare for your appointment. There aren’t any strict rules for acupuncture, but there are some general rules to follow. Read on for our tips:
- Schedule appropriately. Avoid anything too strenuous or too sedentary before (or after) an appointment. Also try not to squeeze the acupuncture in among lots of other activities – keep the time before and after the appointment as stress-free as possible.
- Eat. While you don’t want to load up on fatty, fried or spicy foods, it’s important to not skip a meal before acupuncture. A good rule is to have a sensible meal about two hours before the appointment – without nourishment the treatment may leave you feeling depleted or lightheaded.
- Avoid coffee. Coffee is a stimulant, which increases your body’s sympathetic nerve activity. Acupuncture works to take you in the opposite direction, so coffee may inhibit the results of the treatment. Try not drinking coffee at least two hours before the appointment.
- Avoid alcohol. While acupuncture helps bring clarity, alcohol (like coffee) takes you in the opposite direction. It’s a numbing agent, which defeats the purpose of the awareness-building goal of acupuncture.
- Medical history. As with any medical professional, your acupuncturist will want to know if you’re on medication, if you’ve had any illnesses/surgeries, injuries, what your family medical history is, etc. Make a list ahead of time so you won’t leave out any important details.
- Choose loose clothing. If you’re attending a community appointment, acupuncture is performed in a group setting with clothes on. Even in private settings, loose clothing can make things easier for you and the practitioner.
- Remove distractions. For most of us, this means turning off our cell phones, but it could mean any number of things. Your appointment is your time, so make the most of it by embracing every moment of the treatment.