Many of my patients ask me how they can help support their healing in between acupuncture appointments. I always recommend that they focus on inflammation: keeping inflammation down can greatly help maintain the changes and shifts occurring during your acupuncture sessions.
First, it is important to understand what inflammation is and how it impacts your body. Inflammation is a natural process in the body that takes place when the body is in need of protection. This process sends chemical messengers and white blood cells to areas of the body where healing and protection are needed. Inflammation is a necessary and helpful process when things like viruses invade, or a cut occurs, or you sprain something; the body needs to heal that area. Those moments create acute inflammation, which should be a short term process.
Today’s unbalanced lifestyles and modern diets have sparked the body to think something is always wrong and it gets stuck in a state of chronic, long term inflammation. Chronic inflammation is linked to many harmful and debilitating diseases including but not limited to arthritis, chronic pain, migraines, infertility, fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer's, diabetes and cancer.
Your acupuncture treatments help to reduce inflammation when needed. Here are a few tips we put together for you to do on your own to keep inflammation down in between your acupuncture sessions.
An Acupuncturist's Recommendations for Reducing Inflammation
- Drink plenty of water. Keeping hydrated ensures your body has the fluid resources needed for proper cellular activity.
- Follow any dietary guidance from your Acupuncturist. When inflammation levels are noticeably high, you may be recommended a diet low in gluten, dairy, sugar and fried and processed foods. It is important to try your best to follow these recommendations. Diets that are high inflammatory foods could slow down your healing process. Not sure if this applies to you? Talk to your Acupuncturist at your next treatment.
- Keep your stress levels down. Did you know that stress can increase inflammation? Try incorporating little things throughout your day to keep your stress low…short walks, deep breathing exercises, listening to your favorite music, get creative and try something new and artistic whether it's painting or baking. Utilize your creative energy! Talk to a counselor as needed for help managing any personal, social or work related issues that may contribute to higher stress loads.
- Utilize supplements, herbs or teas that your Acupuncturist recommends. Always remember to ask about our supplements, herbs and teas that help reduce stress and anxiety or for tips on other stress reduction techniques. There are multiple techniques and products we can prescribe to help you feel better faster.
- Reduce alcohol consumption. Alcohol greatly contributes to inflammation.
- Quit smoking- not much to be said here. You know this one.
- Increase physical activity and manage weight. Exercise decreases inflammation immediately! Keeping your weight in a healthy range thru diet and exercise helps to decrease that chronic inflammation in the long run. We know that this one can be challenging. We are here to support you and help you reach your goals!
Doing your best at home in between treatments can greatly increase your Acupuncture treatments efficiency as we work together to decrease your inflammation and increase your health and well-being. We are here for you during this healing time!
Care Consideration: Just a reminder that the above information is not a substitute for medical care and is not a substitute for medical advice or recommendations from a healthcare provider. This information is not intended to treat, mitigate or cure any disease. That said, we encourage you to connect with an Acupuncturist in your community to learn more about this and other Traditional Chinese Medicine options. If you’ve got questions about Chinese herbal medicine or getting started with an Acupuncturist, feel free to connect with us on firstname.lastname@example.org.