Things you should and shouldn’t do after an acupuncture treatment

Traditional Chinese and Western medicine diverge over the idea of what acupuncture accomplishes. Eastern medicine sees acupuncture as a way of balancing life energy or life force, otherwise known as qi, by inserting needles into specific points along “pathways” called meridians. Western acupuncturists, on the other hand, see the procedure as a way to “stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue” in a way that fires up your natural painkillers, as noted by Mayo Clinic.

But no matter how pain-free or amazing you feel after your treatment, remember that things have been done to your body, whether you choose to see it as a rebalancing of your qi or the stimulation of your nervous system. In any case, HuffPost says you need to give your body a chance to rest and rejuvenate. Resting also allows your body to deal with whatever feelings the session might have caused, whether it is soreness, tiredness, itching, or bruising. Along with resting, you should consider giving any strenuous or difficult workouts a hard pass and should scale down your exercise plans until your body has had a chance to fully recover.

Use heat and avoid specific foods after an acupuncture treatment

Traditional Chinese medicine doctors aren’t fond of anything cold — this includes eating anything cold like ice cream and smoothies, taking a cold shower, and even using an ice pack in parts of your body that might feel sore or tender after a session. Indigo Healing Acupuncture says cold temperatures could actually undo the positive effects of acupuncture because it impedes both your energy flow and the healing process. Instead, soothe yourself with a warm bath and a hot pad on any part of the body that might need a bit of TLC after a session.

Because acupuncture helps your body get rid of toxins, it would be counterproductive to reintroduce other types of toxins into your body in the form of sugar or processed food; instead, pick healthy options that might allow your body to continue healing after your sessions. Also, if your system has been reset so that everything is in equilibrium, it may be a good idea to avoid anything that could trigger you and make you excited, and, because of this, HuffPost recommends you avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea. Another reason to avoid caffeine — at least for a while — is that your body needs to stay hydrated, which is something that caffeine, which is a diuretic, cannot help you do as well as, say, water.

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