You just had an acupuncture treatment, and you can’t remember what you’re supposed to do for post-treatment care. Read up for a refresher!
Q: This was my first acupuncture appointment. What should I do now?
A: Give yourself a restful 24 hours, or rest as much as possible. The most important things to remember are to:
- Drink plenty of water, as water helps the lymphatic system flush out toxins in your body and also helps moisten the connective tissue spaces where the acupuncture points were applied.
- Eat a good meal. Go for warm, cooked foods instead of raw, cold foods, as warm meals are easier for your GI tract to digest. Leafy greens, grains and healthy protein are all good options.
- Get plenty of rest. Most people sleep better the night after they receive acupuncture. Make sure the time you spend in bed is at least 7 hours, or ideally 8-9 hours.
Q: My muscles are really sore from the trigger point therapy we did. What can I do for the soreness?
A: Try applying heat to the area, like a warm towel or heating pad. Epsom salts are also wonderful to use, as they have lots of magnesium, which is great for sore muscles. Keep in mind that the soreness is a natural reaction, and is just from the release of lactic acid and other biochemicals from your muscles. The soreness usually subsides within 24 hours.
Q: I’m supposed to do foam rolling for my area we worked on. How do I use the foam roller for the specific area?
A: A general rule of thumb is to roll along the direction of your muscles. For example, if your quads are tight, use the foam roller up and down the quads. If your back is achy, foam roll up and down, vertically to your spine. For hard to reach areas, such as the hip flexors (yes cyclists and runners, that’s you!), grab a lacrosse ball and get in those tight areas. Foam rolling should be intense but not incredibly painful.
Q: When should I come back in for treatment?
A: It depends on what we’re working on. For new injuries, I need to see you once a week for 4-6 weeks so we can get a routine going for your rehab. If it’s a chronic injury, it’s usually once a week for 2-3 weeks, and then every other week for 2-3 weeks. If you’re coming in for maintenance, that frequency is up to you. Most of my clients come in every two or three weeks for maintenance. The most important thing is to remember that acupuncture is preventative. I need to see you before your symptoms flare up (whether that be allergies, pain and constriction, insomnia, digestive issues, etc.).
If you have any specific questions, you can always reach me via email or text! I will always respond at my earliest convenience.