By Katerina Pozzi Baratta, MSOM
Do your intake ahead of time.
Chinese medicine is a truly holistic approach to heath, which considers everything from your mood, your past, the weather outside, and everything in between to be a vital component of your overall health.
In order for your practitioner to get as much of the full picture as possible, it’s best to fill out your intake form ahead of time so you can really give the questions some thought and spend time on the answers.
While your practitioner might not directly address every item on your list right away, everything that’s treated will influence everything else in the big picture. The more information you can give your practitioner upfront, the better they can tailor the treatment to your needs.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
Tight pants and itchy sweaters won’t just be a distraction during the treatment, they can actually block the flow the needles are trying to induce. Loose clothing will also make it easier to reach some otherwise tricky acupuncture points.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugar, before and after treatment.
If you are a coffee addict, feel free to enjoy your morning cup-o-joe, but hold back on any more as your appointment draws near. The less influencing factors you have in your system when the needles go in, the better.
Unless it’s 95 degrees out, don’t go swimming in cold water, avoid drafts, wear a scarf, and eat warm food.
Wind can make you vulnerable to what we in Chinese medicine call “external invasions”, and cold can bring about stagnation and pain.
To get the most from acupuncture treatments, protect yourself from the elements, inside and out.
What you eat before and after treatment can affect how well the treatment works.
Make sure you’re not hungry going into treatment, but don’t gorge yourself on a heavy meal either.
Same applies to post-treatment protocol. As much as possible, eat light food like vegetables and rice and avoid overly processed and heavy foods.
Don’t make big plans for right after your treatment.
In fact, if at all possible, spend the next 12 hours relaxing.
Even if you are feeling great after your treatment and want to exercise, don’t go overboard. Your body needs some time to integrate the shifts that happened in the treatment.
If you absolutely must move, try going for a gentle stroll or take a yin yoga class. Save the cross-fit, hot yoga, and 5 hour hike for another day.
Ask your practitioner for lifestyle tips… and follow them!
No matter what’s going on with you, there are many steps you can take at home to enhance the healing effects of your treatment. Most acupuncturists are more than happy to show you some techniques specific for your situation, so don’t be shy!
Get regular treatments.
Ask your acupuncturist how often you should come in for best results. Some issues respond best to weekly treatments.
Other times you might just go in once every month or 6 weeks for “tune-up” sessions.
In acute situations you might even go in a few times in the same week.
Regardless of frequency, regularity is key to achieving optimal health and lasting effects with acupuncture.
Acupuncture and Fertility
Chinese medicine has been widely used to improve fertility, both as a stand-alone treatment as well as in conjunction with other fertility treatments like IVF.
If you’d like to improve your fertility, it’s ideal to come in for weekly treatments for about 3 months before trying to conceive. That way your body will have time to rebalance itself, increase blood flow to reproductive organs, restore endocrine balance, and improve ovarian and follicular function.
If there are physical barriers to pregnancy such as tubal adhesions, these should first be treated by your primary care physician, but acupuncture can help you and your body deal with and heal from any treatments that may be administered.
Acupuncture and Pregnancy
Acupuncture can be very useful in reducing pregnancy symptoms, improving the health of both the woman and the baby, as well as helping to reduce the chance of miscarriage. Moreover, when the time comes, acupuncture is one of the best ways to turn breech babies and promote a healthy birth process.
Acupuncture and Women’s Health
Your period isn’t supposed to hurt.
It isn’t supposed to be irregular.
It isn’t supposed to cause you stress.
It’s supposed to be an opportunity to rest, turn inward, let go of what is no longer needed, and embrace your more receptive aspects.
Unfortunately, most women don’t have this experience.
Instead, periods are dreaded as the most painful and disruptive part of a woman’s month, and if her cycle is irregular it adds extra stress to her already overburdened life.
Luckily, Chinese medicine can successfully help many women bring a healthy cycle back into their lives.
Because of its truly holistic approach to health, Chinese medicine is an excellent modality for treating menstrual irregularity, endocrine imbalances, PMS, anovulation, and a host of other women’s health issues.
By promoting stress reduction, increased energy and blood flow throughout the body, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other Chinese medicine modalities help bring the body into a natural state of increased balance.
After a series of regular treatments, most women enjoy improvements in their cycles as well as increased overall well-being within a few months.
Don’t let your period get in the way of your wellness!
Talk to our front desk today to set up an initial acupuncture appointment and find out if Chinese medicine is right for you.