Acupuncture has become an accepted part of medical treatment even if it's still under the umbrella of complementary and alternative treatments. Having acupuncture done for issues like pain gives you a calmer path toward feeling better, without requiring the use of pills that could have side effects. When you have an acupuncture session, you need to take some steps to ensure the effects of the treatment have time to work and that you don't inadvertently cancel them out.
Take Care Not to Promote Pain
If you're undergoing acupuncture for headaches, you have to be careful not to do things that could promote the onset of new headaches. Remember that headaches have a bunch of different causes, and you might have treatment for one type only to develop another type through your own actions. That means you need to stay hydrated, ensure your pillow is suitable for your sleeping position, address stressful situations, and more. Acupuncture works, but if you create circumstances that only promote more pain, like letting yourself get dehydrated so you develop a dehydration headache, that's not going to help. Unfortunately, there's a tendency to assume treatments like acupuncture will solve everything, but it's important to know that your actions play a role, too.
Take the Day Off
Plan to take the rest of the day off after your acupuncture treatment for two reasons. One is that you can sometimes feel tired after the treatment. Trying to do too much afterward can be taxing and bring you out of balance. By getting out of balance (meaning energetic balance, which is a main point of acupuncture), you possibly set back your progress.
The other reason is that acupuncture sometimes includes burning small quantities of herbs in a process called moxibustion. The smell can cling to you and be bothersome to many, especially because some varieties of the herb used in moxibustion have a tendency to smell like marijuana. You may find it embarrassing to explain this odor to co-workers, people in stores, which may not help your stress levels.
Do not drink coffee, not an afternoon latte, not even tea, and definitely not soda. You need to drink water after an acupuncture appointment because that's the most neutral, non-caffeinated liquid available. Acupuncture gets your body moving internally, with energy rebalancing and "toxic" energy being pushed out. Water helps your body stay in balance on the whole, without sugars or caffeine that could once again unbalance your internal energy.
Contact a clinic for more information regarding acupuncture for pain management.