Coffee and Acupuncture

America runs on Dunkin’, Starbucks, McDonalds, 7-11 and all kinds of coffee. That’s one reason why we are probably the most exhausted Nations. Americans often work crazy hours and have such fast paced busy lives that we feel we need coffee and other stimulants to keep up. When it comes to Acupuncture, coffee does not seem to be a good thing to have before a treatment.

An NIH (National Institutes of Health) study shows that “even a low dose of caffeine blocks pain relief in Mice”. Right now you’re probably thinking, “I didn’t know mice drank coffee!” I had the same reaction. But in all seriousness, not only did a low dose of caffeine block pain relief, but a higher dose actually resulted in Acupuncture worsening the pain, even when several hours had gone by between consuming the coffee and receiving acupuncture.

There’s another reason not to drink coffee before acupuncture. It may interfere with the Acupuncturist’s reading of your pulse. Pulse assessment is a popular way for an Acupuncturist to assess the energy, health, and vitality of your body systems. This pulse assessment is a lot more thorough than a Western Medical pulse reading of rate and rhythm. In addition to rate and rhythm, Acupuncturists feel for dozens of qualities along 12 pulses chock full of findings that will inform their treatment for you.

When you consume caffeine your pulses pound with excessive energy. This will obstruct the real status of your health and lead to a false reading making it tricky for your practitioner to plan the most beneficial treatment for you.

Finally, caffeine can give you a false sense of energy and allow you to over exert and further deplete yourself. You may not have to give up coffee altogether, but consider this: After 3-4 days of withdrawal (headaches, fatigue, irritability), most people find their energy actually increases without coffee, especially if they’re getting acupuncture!

Posted in: Acupuncture

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