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What Should Clients Not Do Before Acupuncture?

Dr. Carl Clarkson • January 6, 2022

Acupuncture is a holistic treatment originating from Traditional Chinese Medicine. The treatment's purpose is to heal and promote well-being, and it has a long list of reported health benefits. However, in order to get the most out of the treatment, there are a few things your client should avoid beforehand.

So, what should clients not do before an acupuncture session? Your client should not consume heavy, spicy or fried meals, nor should they drink any caffeine or alcohol. Clients should also avoid arriving at the appointment feeling tense, and try not to withhold any necessary medical information.

To read more about how best to advise acupuncture clients prior to their appointment continue reading below.

What Should Clients Not Do Before Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a holistic treatment that aims to relieve stress and chronic pain (source) however, it is vital that your client has properly prepared ahead of time in order for the acupuncture treatment to be effective.

It’s for this reason there are a few guidelines which clients should follow prior to their appointment. This includes avoiding specific food and drink, such as spicy food and drinking caffeine or alcohol. They should also try to not feel agitated or tense prior to the treatment. We've gone into further depth below regarding the advice an acupuncturist should provide their clients with before their treatment.

It should be emphasised that if a client does not follow these recommendations they may leave the appointment feeling disatisfied.

5 Things Clients Should Not Do Before Acupuncture

In this article, we intend to further advise acupuncture professionals on how to effectively prepare their clients. We have gone into considerable depth about the five primary things your client should not do before an appointment.

Avoid Certain Foods

When it comes to the day of a client’s acupuncture session, one of the most crucial things they should follow is what not to eat. Before the treatment, a client should avoid heavy meals, spices, and fried foods. These foods generally cause bloating and general discomfort. By eating these meals, a client will be unable to relax during your acupuncture appointment, which may reduce the acupuncture health benefits.

No Coffee

Coffee is a neurological stimulant, and if your client intends to leave the acupuncture treatment feeling relaxed, they won't be able to do so if they consume coffee beforehand (source)

Because acupuncture shifts the body from the flight or fight state, and coffee has the effect of putting you in a fight or flight mode, it's likely that coffee will hinder the full effects of acupuncture. Furthermore, you can inform your client that drinking coffee up to two hours before the treatment will not impede its effectiveness.

No Alcohol

Something else that clients should avoid consuming before an acupuncture treatment is alcohol. The reason for this is that alcohol dehydrates the body and reduces blood volume. If a client attends an acupuncture treatment after drinking alcohol, they will change the flow of qi (the flow of energy created along the channels that connect the body's acupuncture points), limiting their body from healing.

Don’t Tense Up

If a client is attending an acupuncture session to unwind, they'll get even more out of it if they arrive relaxed. Advise your client to, where possible, relax before their appointment, suggest that they take the day to unwind, and arrange the appointment at a time that is convenient for them. Alternatively, if they can't spend the entire day relaxing, mention that they should set aside 15 minutes prior to the treatment to connect with their body and relax.

Don’t Withhold Medical Information Where Necessary

It is important that clients make you aware of any relevant medical history, as well as any current conditions that they have. Even if a client is feeling anxious about the treatment, it's imperative that they disclose such information. You might think this isn't important, but as a holistic treatment that focuses on the body, healing, and overall well-being, it could actually help you to gain a whole picture of the client’s health, allowing you to tailor treatments appropriately.

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