Can You Exercise After Acupuncture: Everything You Need to Know
Everyone reacts differently to acupuncture, and for some, that means feeling instant relief and energy. You may be rearing to go and feel like it’s time to go for a good long workout, but is it a good idea to exercise after acupuncture? I’ll walk you through the steps to get ready for your session and the dos and don’ts for after as well. Like all treatments, it may take time, or you might be on top of the world sooner, but either way, you shouldn’t do anything excessive either way. Allowing the positive effects from any pain relief process to fully work in your body is essential to self-care. Relax a bit, and don’t go for a marathon run.
Can you exercise after acupuncture? After acupuncture, you should only do light exercise that day. If you are a physically active person, then taking it easy will help your body heal with the help of acupuncture treatment. Meanwhile, for those who are more sedentary by nature, a little light exercise is always good, but it wouldn’t make sense to go out of your way to overexert yourself. While exercise is good for blood flow and healing, overdoing it after treatment is ill-advised.
What Does Acupuncture Do For You
Acupuncture is an amazing traditional Chinese medicinal technique where long thin needles are inserted in the skin at strategic points to heal the body, reduce pain, and unblock your qi flow. Getting sweaty with a big exercise session is not a good idea right after acupuncture because those minuscule holes are still fresh. Not only will sweat possibly sting, but hard exercise runs counter to the relaxing effects of a good acupuncture session.
Although each body reacts differently to acupuncture, the overall effects are similar. Relief from arthritis pain and muscle tension, and more overall energy are common side effects. As a way to promote overall wellbeing, practitioners and patients alike swear by this incredible healing practice. Naturally, western medicine has been slower to accept or approve of the practice, but it is well worth trying if you have never had the pleasure.
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You can ask your acupuncturist for help with more than just muscle and joint pain. Allergies, migraines, cramps, and insomnia are all on the list of ways this practice helps people feel well. In fact, acupuncture may even help with more severe issues like stroke victim recovery and chronic depression.
Preparing for Acupuncture
Before you go for an acupuncture session, it helps to prepare yourself for the experience. Single-use acupuncture needles are several inches long and may seem startling at first. Still, the process isn’t typically very painful, and the needles don’t go in deeply, so this is minimally invasive. Moreover, acupuncture needles are regulated by the FDA and never get re-used for safety reasons.
Always shower and make sure your skin is clean. Doing this prevents harmful bacteria from sneaking into the tiny openings left by the needles. Make sure you take time to breathe, meditate, listen to music, or otherwise relax your mind and body before heading to your appointment. Tense muscles are harder to work on, though not impossible. Still, your acupuncturist will appreciate your efforts on your own behalf.
Additionally, it’s important to eat and avoid caffeine before you go for your visit. A moderate, healthy meal will help your body heal and prevent nausea but don’t overeat. According to Monarch Acupuncture, “… caffeine is a stimulant and evokes the fight-or-flight response in the body.” That certainly won’t help you relax.
Finally, you need to talk to your acupuncturist honestly about any medicines or preexisting health issues. While the needles don’t go in far and can be completely bloodless, people who are hemophiliacs or take blood thinners could have complications. Other health issues and even prescription drugs can affect how acupuncture works on you.
Is It Safe To Work Out After Acupuncture
Exercising after acupuncture is not a good idea. When you exercise, it’s a lot of stimulation and often causes sweating. You should never sweat into open wounds if you can avoid it. Though the tiny marks from an acupuncture session aren’t very noticeable, they are still open, and adding sweat and bacteria is a bad plan. Moreover, physical stress and stimulation are counterproductive.
After you go for an acupuncture session, or when treating yourself at home, it’s important to spend you8r time relaxing. However, a little bit of light exertion isn’t bad for you. Go for a walk in nature instead of lifting weights, running, or doing a cardio session.
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What To Expect After Acupuncture
You know why you shouldn’t exercise after acupuncture, but what should you expect? Will you feel immediate and total relief, or do you need to heal first? The answer is that everyone reacts differently. For some, the relaxation is noticeable immediately and lasts for half an hour or more. However, those seeking more in-depth and long term solutions or help in healing may need a few sessions before seeing the beginnings of the benefits.
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Your body, health, and the reasons you need acupuncture are all unique. Some people have more trouble relaxing than others or need more intervention to heal what ails them. Be patient and work with your acupuncture specialist to figure out what’s best for you and when you can expect to begin seeing tangible improvements.
Self Care After Acupuncture
Acupuncture helps to balance out your sympathetic nervous system, and taking proper care of yourself after your session is also essential. Plan to spend the rest of the day in a serene and calming environment free from excessive stress and toxins. Aftercare is always part of the package if you want to get the most out of your treatment.
Don’t watch television after acupuncture. Most TV has jump scares, emotional content, and other stimulating and enthralling content, but getting worked up emotionally is counter to the balance your acupuncture is trying to achieve. It’s probably okay to put on some relaxing music, or even one of those screen savers that shows a fish tank or some fire, but otherwise avoid TV.
Eat foods that are high in vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Avoid fats and sugars for a day to help promote better healing. Avoid alcohol, coffee, energy drinks, soda, and other stimulants. Also, remember to hydrate well with plain purified water. Offering your body what it needs to help remove toxins and aid in healing will increase your session’s positive effects.
Take the time to get rest. You need a full nights’ sleep at least, but if you’re tired, take a nap earlier in the day as well. You can apply heat to your acupuncture points. Especially if you are sore or uncomfortable, this can help promote healing, relax the muscles below and offer relief from your minor aches.
Please do no use lotions or other products on your acupuncture points unless you’ve discussed it with your practitioner first. You don’t want to cause any damage or make the pain worse, and products like icy hot can get into the tiny pinpricks and cause major stinging and burning. Pain causes stress, and stress will unbalance you again, undoing some of the work and making it harder to relax and heal.
Acupuncture is a wonderful way to promote bodily healing and relaxation. However, like any treatment, you should avoid overtaxing your body. Allow your muscles and joints to work with those acupuncture needles and give them time to heal for more than a few hours.
Many people opt to use an acupuncture day as a break from stress. This is a wise decision. Stay hydrated, and feel free to go for a stroll, but don’t plan to spend an hour or more at the gym when you’ve just gotten out of your session. Instead, get a good night’s sleep and start fresh in the morning.
Strenuous activity after acupuncture is counterproductive. Rather than undoing the positive effects, let your body increase them through a day of light activity in a soothing environment.