Sauna Before or After Acupuncture? (What About Infrared Sauna?)

Acupuncture is a great way to alleviate pain, reduce stress, improve sleep, boost immunity, and treat various conditions. It can be combined with other wellness treatments for better results.

You should use the sauna after the acupuncture treatment because the sauna enhances blood circulation, promotes relaxation, and aids in the detoxification process. Using the sauna before the treatment could cause heart palpitation, dehydration, and dizziness. It also opens your skin pours which can cause bleeding during the treatment.

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Keep on reading to learn more about infrared saunas and the things you should do before and after acupuncture treatment.

Table of Contents

Should You Sauna Before or After Acupuncture?

If you peruse several professional acupuncturist websites, most of them agree: never use a sauna after acupuncture. This is because it will mess with the energy reset instigated by the session. Your pores will widen greatly in a sauna and, if there was bleeding, will allow all those icky toxins to leech in.

The inherent nature of acupuncture is to release, remove and clear away toxins while also realigning energy within the body. The sauna will add to this effect and it may be too overpowering for you to handle. There’s a lot of activity going on at the moment to consider a sauna a safe aftercare solution.

The most pressing concern here is dizziness, heart palpitations, and faintness. This is especially true if it’s your first time going into acupuncture. Therefore, if you’re going to use a sauna in conjunction with it, do it about two to three hours before. Make sure you follow this with a shower too.

What About an Infrared Sauna? Can You Use it Before or After Acupuncture?

woman sitting inside a sauna wearing towel
It’s best to use the infrared sauna after acupuncture treatment (Image source)

Infrared saunas are no exception to what not to do after acupuncture. The light can actually increase your risk of experiencing things like faintness, dizziness, and issues with a racing heart. It can also make you feel worse and counteract the wonderful healing effects of acupuncture.

Ergo, no matter what kind of sauna you choose to use, do it long before your acupuncture appointment. Truly, give yourself at least two to three hours beforehand, but a long stretch is better. This is because you want to ensure your body is cool enough and that your pores are at a normal size.

Some Concerns & Exceptions

If your pores are too big when you go to acupuncture, then you will encounter more bleeding and increase the potential for pain. While acupuncture isn’t painful in and of itself, doing any hot treatment prior to the session will increase a sensation of heat or nerve sensitivity.

However, it stands to note that some people will do an infrared sauna directly before going into an acupuncture session. But, this is on the strict advice of a doctor or other qualified medical professional. People who do this are healthy and fit for such an intense detoxification experience.

Things to do Before & After Acupuncture (A Guide)

Acupuncture is a great healing therapy. But, because of the involvement of needles, there are things you should and should not do before and after a session. The ones mentioned below are standard. However, your therapist should provide you with all the information you require.

Before Acupuncture

First and foremost, always contact your doctor before engaging in therapy like this. When cleared, the next step is to relax prior to going to acupuncture. At the very least, take a few deep breaths in the nose and out of the mouth. Do this on your way to the appointment and while in the waiting room to release stress and tension.

Also, make sure your skin is clean so that you get the most benefit from the needling. However, like with a sauna, ensure you cool down if you prefer hot showers/baths. So, do this about an hour or two before going to your appointment.


When getting ready for acupuncture, wear loose-fitting clothing. This will make it easier for the therapist to roll up clothing and gain access to certain areas of the body as required. Avoid skin-squeezing elastic or any other garment that will cut off blood pressure.

Food & Drink

Also, don’t arrive at your appointment hungry or thirsty. Avoid greasy, fatty, and heavy foods like French fries, gravy, and pasta. Don’t consume stimulants and depressants for at least 12 hours, but 24 hours is better. It simply will not jive with the acupuncture in ways you’ll like and it won’t benefit your body the right way.

acupuncturist inserting needles into shoulder
Follow your acupuncturist’s instructions on the things to do before & after the treatment (Image source)

After Acupuncture

When finished with your acupuncture session, it’s imperative you continue to rest and relax while consuming plenty of water. Ensure you remain comfortable and help rid your body of the residual surfaced toxins. At this point, it is when many people want to do a sauna, but it’s highly advisable you don’t.

The moment your appointment ends, note how your body feels and what sensations are rising up. Report any pain, discomfort, or other concerns you have. This also means calling the office if you notice anything strange within the following few days.

Other Avoidances

For the next few hours, do not engage in physical activity, argue with people on social media, or rush around to do errands. Avoid ice packs along with cold baths and showers. The only thing you should do is go home and take a nap, meditate, read, color, or play cards.

Also, consume lots of water and other hydrating beverages like coconut water, aloe juice, or cactus juice. As with before going to acupuncture, don’t eat any heavy, greasy meals for a few hours. If you must have some food at this point, eat something light such as yogurt, salad, cottage cheese, light sandwiches and etc.


It is not advisable to use any kind of sauna prior to going to acupuncture. There’s too much potential for things like fainting and dizziness to occur. However, in rare cases, some doctors will clear people for such a treatment. So, check with them first if this is what you want to do.

Therefore, the best route is to go into an infrared sauna long before your acupuncture appointment. This means you should do it two to three hours ahead. If you can’t make it, skip the sauna until tomorrow.

While your acupuncturist will give you a list of things you should and shouldn’t do before and after your session, there are some basic things you must understand. The most important of these is to keep yourself calm and relaxed while avoiding heavy foods, stimulants, and depressants.

(Featured image by Antoni Shkraba from Pexels)

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