By Danisha Bogue, L.Ac. - March 13, 2021
Categories: Acupuncture

I use acupuncture to treat a huge variety of physical and emotional health issues. Today, I’m sharing a list of tips to help you prepare for your clinic visits, so you get the maximum benefit from your acupuncture treatment. 

Be Honest with Your Acupuncturist

The best way for me to help you with acupuncture is to have a clear understanding of your health and your habits. No judgment here, I eat junk and skip workouts too! I’m a big fan of the “all things in moderation” approach. This holistic healer still loves her drive thru fries dipped in ice cream and her Wiley Roots Fruit Lady Smoothie Beers!

Before your initial consultation, I’ll send you a packet of paperwork via email. Please fill this out completely online a day or two before your first appointment. That way, I have time to review your medical history and symptoms before you come into the clinic. This helps me strategize and build an effective treatment plan for you and how to choose the right acupuncture point combinations for your treatments. Keep me updated on any changes in your eating, digestion, sleep, and other symptomatic patterns as we work through your treatment plan. 

Relax! During and After Your Appointment

Arrive at your appointment 10 minutes early, so you don’t come in rushing or feeling stressed. Clear your mind and turn your attention inward during your appointment. Turn off your phone. Focus on your breath. Notice how your body is feeling and how it changes throughout the appointment.

Once the needles are placed, I will leave the room and let you relax for 15 minutes. Don’t be afraid to shift your weight around or scratch an itch with needles in. It’s ok to move a little bit. Just be mindful of the needles. The most important thing is to be comfortable. Indulge in a real break from the stress and demands of the day. Promise yourself some “me time” and follow through. Your emails and texts will be there for you later. 

Try to avoid excessive physical labor or mentally intense work after your appointment. It’s best to let the body continue to rest and recharge. 

Don’t Come Hungry, Stay Hydrated

Acupuncture treatments get blood and energy moving in your body. Just like when you get blood drawn on an empty stomach, acupuncture on an empty stomach can leave you feeling queasy or dizzy. Eat a healthy, easy to digest snack before your appointment. Avoid heavy, greasy foods. Also make sure you’re drinking plenty of water before and after your treatment. 

Avoid using caffeine or other stimulants before your acupuncture treatment. The body should be in a relaxed state to encourage the flow of Qi (energy). Stimulants are counterproductive to this goal. They block the production of Adenosine, a neurotransmitter associated with feeling calm, rested, and relaxed. 

Don’t Brush Your Tongue 

I know this sounds really weird, but it is so important! The coating on your tongue tells me what is going on in your digestive tract. It shows things like the level of dampness in the body and how well your food is being processed and eliminated. For example, a thick coat on the tongue tells me there’s a block in your digestive digestive tract (like constipation or diarrhea). If I see a thick coating, and I know you’re experiencing pain after eating, I can safely assume that the issue is related to digestion.


How to get the maximum benefit from your acupuncture treatment.



Choose the Right Clothes

Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes. This helps with the relaxation part, and also gives me easyaccess to important acupuncture points on the body. Choose bottoms that easily roll above the knee, and tops with sleeves that can easily roll above the elbow. In some treatment plans, I will want to access points on the back and shoulders. Typically, this won’t be the case on the first visit and I will let you know if these points should be included in future visits. In that case, I provide blankets for the table to protect your privacy. Most of the time, I will needle the head, face, hands, arms, abdomen, legs and feet. 

Give Me Feedback

During the session, I want to know how you feel as needles are inserted. Acupuncture is essentially a pain free treatment. You’ll feel a sensation when the needles are inserted, but there shouldn’t be any burning, stinging, or lingering pain. The majority of patients fall asleep during their acupuncture session. 

In some instances, we may test your range of motion and assess your pain level, then insert needles and test again. I will guide your movements and ask how you’re feeling. This acupuncture technique is often used when the Master Tung theory is being applied during your healing process.

After the session, I will ask about any changes you notice. I see acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine as you and I working together to improve your quality of life. Communication is key.

Follow The Treatment Plan

Receiving acupuncture treatments on a regular basis is the best way to get results. Look over your schedule and come to the appointment prepared to commit time to improving your health and quality of life. Many of my patients feel some degree of relief from their symptoms after their first treatment, but most begin to see results after 1 to 2 weeks of treatments, if the treatment plan is followed as recommended. 

I carefully design treatment plans to suit each individual patient’s unique needs. Treatment plans often include more than just acupuncture. I also offer cupping, Chinese herb prescriptions, and injection therapy. Along with the schedule of clinic visits, I may make suggestions for dietary or habit changes to work on at home. 

Acupuncture treatments trigger and encourage the body’s natural healing abilities. The more focused and committed you are healing, the better your results. I’m honored at the chance to help you heal.

Be well.