An acupuncture treatment rebalances the energy flow of the body and this shift has the potential to elicit reactions within the body that one may not be use to. There are typical patterns of reactions to a treatment but the specifics are unique to each individual and situation. Often I am asked the dos and don’ts of what to do after an acupuncture treatment and my recommendations generally consist of being good to yourself and listening to your body. Listed below are some easy ways to support your body after an acupuncture treatment.
In essence, take it easy. Do things that make you feel good and aren’t too demanding of your body. I am a big fan of exercise so if a stop at the gym is already planned, be sure to not overdue it. When chronic pain sufferers find themselves out of pain, they become warriors in the garden or around the house. This will often irritate the original problem and the pain can quickly come back. Post treatment is the perfect time to read a book, take a bath, go for an easy walk or just relax. This ease will allow the body and mind to benefit from the restorative effects of acupuncture.
Acupuncture can have a detoxing effect on the body and drinking plenty of water can help flush these toxins out. Not drinking enough water can often lead to headaches, fatigue, or an increase in pain so make sure to stay hydrated. Drink more than normal.
Avoid alcohol or caffeine
Both of these drinks have a dehydrating effect on the body which can counteract the effect of acupuncture. The goal is to stay hydrated and calm following a treatment to allow time for your body to adapt to the changes that have been made. Both of these drinks also interfere with your bodily awareness. Alcohol impairs the senses and judgement and caffeine can heighten the senses and occasionally make one feel edgy or shaky. It’s a good idea to avoid these drinks for just a day or two following a treatment, it’s not forever!
An acupuncture treatment helps to 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 vacation from the overstimulating world in which we live. Tapping back into your phone, computer or tv opens the gates to our busy and stressful lives. While some think watching tv is relaxing, the noise and flashing pictures can overstimulate the brain and does little in the way of relaxing. Challenge yourself to stay screen free for as long as possible after a treatment.
Enjoy nutritious food
As mentioned above, acupuncture helps bring the toxins out. Eating processed or fast foods lack the nutritional value your body needs. Also avoid overindulgence in sugar which can be extremely inflammatory for both the body and the mind. Remember, you are what you eat so take this opportunity to enjoy some nutrient rich food and do your body good.
Our society and lifestyles keep us on the go and most find themselves living a busy stressful life. Health and wellbeing is about balance so take the time to shift gears and slow down.