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Preparing for Your Acupuncture Treatment – The DOs and DON’Ts

A mainstay of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of conditions. This holistic health treatment offers many benefits, including pain relief, stress relief, improvements in cognitive functioning and even the potential to aid in weight loss. Acupuncture, as well as other forms of alternative medicine, such as massage, have also been shown to improve overall mental health.

Given these many benefits, acupuncture has become an increasingly popular treatment as part of a holistic health regimen. If you’ve decided to tap into these amazing benefits, keep these tips in mind when preparing for your acupuncture appointment.


  • When running an online search for an Acupuncturist in Columbus or Acupuncture Near Me, be certain to look for an acupuncturist who is qualified, licensed, and experienced to treat the health issue that you are experiencing.
  • Avoid scheduling your acupuncture appointment before or after something really strenuous. You don’t need to be sedentary on either side of an appointment, but nor should you be going nuts at the gym or suffering through an extremely stressful meeting. Also avoid sandwiching — squeezing in acupuncture immediately between two other events — as this has a tendency to make you either late for or stressed out during your treatment.
  • Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing to your appointment. This allows the acupuncturist to easily access the places where s/he needs to place the needles.
  • Eat an appropriate amount before your appointment. We recommend that you eat something approximately two hours prior to your treatment. However, make sure this isn’t a large meal, and try to avoid heavy, fried or spicy foods all of which may cause discomfort during your appointment. The other extreme should be avoided as well. You risk feeling lightheaded if you go to your appointment on an empty stomach.
  • Come hydrated but use the restroom before your acupuncture session.
  • Bring a list of all your current medications and supplements. MAOI’s and blood thinning medications can have harmful effects.
  • Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment.
  • Turn off your cellphone before your appointment. Do it before your appointment actually starts, to avoid forgetting and/or getting distracted by a call or message immediately before you’re about to begin. This is your time and no one else’s. Make it count. Also, the EMF produced by cell phones has been proven to increase stress hormones.
  • Notice the effect and give your acupuncturist feedback. This can help your future appointments and give valuable feedback for your acupuncturist to adjust your treatment and gauge progress and effectiveness.


  • Don’t rush. Arriving at your appointment amped-up is counter productive. When you rush into an appointment, your pulse is higher than normal, your mind is spinning, and you’re tense with worry about the prospect of being late. Planning to arrive 15 minutes early should help you to avoid this.
  • Do not brush your tongue before your appointment. This might seem like a strange request, but the color, coating, and texture of your tongue can help with your acupuncturist’s diagnosis.
  • Avoid caffeine before your acupuncture treatment. Caffeine is a stimulant and evokes the fight-or-flight response in the body. Acupuncture works to shift you away from that sympathetic (fight-or-flight) state and toward a parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) one, so coffee inhibits the process. It also makes it difficult for the acupuncturist to get accurate readings on your pulse and tongue, since coffee increases your heart rate and stains your tongue. Therefore, you should not drink coffee and other caffeinated beverages prior to your acupuncture appointment. You need to be relaxed mentally and physically before you have a session.
  • Avoid alcohol before your appointment. One goal of acupuncture is to bring more awareness to how we feel. Alcohol numbs us, takes the edge off and impairing the senses is not helpful, and something we wish to avoid during acupuncture.
  • Do not smoke after the session because it will slow down the healing power of your body.
  • Avoid soaking your body, and/or swimming for at least 1 hour after your treatment to avoid infecting the microscopic holes that have been pierced into your body.

Some of the suggestions that we have listed allow practitioners to get to accurate diagnoses. For example drinking a cup of coffee before the treatment will not only trigger your nervous system and increasing your heart rate, but will also stain your tongue and add a coat on top of it.

This could lead to inaccurate diagnoses as practitioners rely on the tongue and pulse when doing the diagnosis, which is why avoiding it before a treatment is recommended. Moreover, caffeine increases “firing of cortisol” that leads to feeling greater levels of pain.

Simply by doing and avoiding the tips mentioned above will allow you to gain the maximum benefits from your acupuncture session!

If you are looking for a reliable acupuncture practice near you, contact Pleij Salon, Spa & Wellness. Our expert acupuncturist will work with you to meet your wellness goals.

Click below to book your acupuncture therapy session, or give us a call at 614.547.2566 and our helpful staff will find a time that works for you.

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