What to Wear to an Acupuncture Appointment

What to wear to an acupuncture appointment: the basics If you’re new to acupuncture, you might be wondering what kind of clothes you should wear for your first appointment. Here’s a quick rundown of what we recommend. Your best effort at yoga pants and a tank top. Or sweatpants and a t-shirt—whatever makes you feel comfortable! You want to be able to move around freely while your acupuncturist works on your body, so get into something that feels loose and allows your body freedom of movement. Slippers or flip flops. This is the one exception to “clothing should be comfortable.” We want you to have easy access to all parts of your body when we work on it, so flip flops or slippers will give us more room for movement as well as keeping your feet warm (if they’re cold).

What to Wear to an Acupuncture Appointment

When it comes to getting acupuncture, you have a lot of options. You can go to a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) clinic and get treated by a licensed TCM practitioner, or you can find an acupuncturist who is licensed by the state in which they practice. Many states require medical doctors to have additional training in order to be able to practice acupuncture.

But what about when you’re looking for a non-Western option? Some people don’t want to go through the current Western medical system because they feel like it doesn’t meet their needs. If you’re looking for other ways to get treatment for your chronic pain or other symptoms, then here are some suggestions about what to wear when going in for an acupuncture appointment!

When it comes to acupuncture, you’re going to be a little nervous. And that’s ok!

But don’t worry—you don’t have to let your nerves get the best of you. We’ve got some tips on what to wear and how to prepare for your first acupuncture appointment so that you can feel as confident as possible when it comes time for your treatment.

When it comes to acupuncture, you want to be as comfortable as possible. After all, you’re going in for a treatment that might help with pain or other symptoms—you don’t want anything getting in the way of that!

That’s why we’ve rounded up some of our favorite clothing options for your next acupuncture appointment. Whether you’re going for a relaxing massage or a more intense treatment like cupping or moxibustion, you can find something here that will fit your style and make you feel fabulous.

Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of medicine. It’s been used in China for thousands of years, and it’s recently been gaining popularity in the United States as a way to treat pain and other symptoms without using medication or surgery.

If you’re thinking about trying acupuncture, there are a few things to consider before your appointment. You’ll be lying on a table while the acupuncturist inserts very fine needles into specific points around your body. If you’re nervous about getting pricked, here are some tips on what to wear when going in for your first treatment.

For the most comfortable acupuncture therapy session, it’s best to wear loose clothing. You should be able to roll or roll-up pants to above your knees or wear a shirt that folds over your elbows. Since you will most likely be barefoot, it is also helpful to wear shoes that are easy to remove.
You want to be comfortable when going to acupuncture that’s why it’s important to wear loose clothing such as sweats or leggings.
Acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It’s a combination of several other disciplines. They relieve pain in the body as well as mental health issues or nervousness. TCM includes:

Tuina massage
Energy exercises
Acupuncture consists of the stimulation of specific areas of the skin. The acupuncture points are on the meridians. The meridians are channels of vital energy. They are present in each individual and that everyone can feel. Chinese medicine practitioners call this energy “qi” or “chi”.

For the most comfortable acupuncture therapy session, it’s best to wear loose clothing. You should be able to roll or roll-up pants to above your knees or wear a shirt that folds over your elbows. Since you will most likely be barefoot, it is also helpful to wear shoes that are easy to remove. Read on for more tips on what you should wear to acupuncture.

Wearing loose clothing such as leggings or sweats can help you feel comfortable during acupuncture.
What should I wear to acupuncture?

For both private and community acupuncture sessions, the patient can wear regular clothes. If there are any limitations in mobility, it is possible to switch to a different outfit. Clothing that is too tight can indeed reduce the quality of your session. But the practitioner will inform you so that this situation does not occur. Also, remember that reputable acupuncturists never sting through clothing. As a guideline, wear comfortable clothing that you can roll up to your knees and elbows. You may need to remove your socks to access your feet.

A large number of acupuncture points get accessed during this holistic health treatment:

Lower leg

Wearing loose things will allow you to remain clothed during your appointment. It will also help access these areas. The doctor may ask you to undress down to your underwear to access specific points. If this makes you uncomfortable, you should not be afraid to talk about it. The acupuncturist will be able to offer you other options in the room.

Recommended clothes for an acupuncture session

Dr. Ann Marie Nguyen is an expert in alternative medicine, health, and pain relief. She recommends wearing loose, flowing clothing. These should be adjustable to access the necessary body parts during treatment. Consider:

Yoga pants
Oversize T-shirts
Bikini tops

It is advisable to wear comfortable underwear. Avoid sports bras. They restrict access to the back. Depending on where you are, you can wear blouses that open in the back or front or drape a sheet over your body.

The 4 steps of the diagnosis

A traditional Chinese medical acupuncture session follows the 4 steps of diagnosis. Here’s an overview of the key stages of the first acupuncture treatment:


These steps allow practitioners to understand the energetic state of the patient. The first appointment is a meeting. The therapist must understand the connection between:

The patient’s visit
His or her troubles
Their origins

She must then create a treatment to rebalance the patient. The therapist must see the patient at least once to track the results. She analyzes the patient’s reaction and suggests a follow-up strategy in or out of the clinic.

Acupuncture can help rebalance a persons body and mind
As acupuncture focuses on the root of the problem and not on the symptoms. The therapist must have a complete vision of the patient’s history. She has to understand the patient’s traumas that he or she expresses through:


How acupuncture works is it begins with a rather long analysis. Especially if you’re doing this for the first time. This allows the doctor to point out the details by taking the pulse. There will be palpation and observation of the body in search for:

Blood vessels

You may have to get rid of your major clothing. It will give the doctor the opportunity to analyze you and make the right diagnosis.

How to dress for the first acupuncture session?

Choose an outfit that you feel comfortable in. Is this your first session? Your senses may be very much aroused by the effect of the acupuncture needles on your body. Any clothing that is tight or any adornments are not conducive to a comfortable rest.

The doctor will need access to your arms and legs. To make this experience more comfortable or if you do not wish to undress completely, it will be helpful if you can:

Roll up your sleeves/pants over your elbows/knees
Pull up your top to expose your abdomen
Pull down the waistband of your pants

Are you having acupuncture to treat a sports injury? The practitioner may ask you to bring some shorts to wear. If your outfit is inappropriate or you want to be comfortable, it is safe to undress. You are welcome to keep your underwear on. For women, the doctor may have to unhook your bra and lower your straps. Yet, it is not recommended to come with a sports bra. It is strong and difficult to pull apart or get around.

You will have access to Towels or sheets to ensure proper coverage when the needles are being used. The ultimate goal is for you to feel relaxed, comfortable, and safe.

A treatment strategy is beginning to emerge

The patient lies down on the table and there begins the observation and palpation. First, the radial pulses. A supreme art. One should receive the pulses of 600 patients before beginning to understand them. This ancestral tool brings such precise but subtle information. The therapist must use his posture of vacuity to receive them well. He does not go looking for information, he receives an expression of medical history. A precise but so particular image of the nature of each organ such as the kidney or the intestine.

To confirm all the details and make an energy assessment of the patient, the doctor will look at:

The tongue
The color of the complexion
The eyes
The lips
The pulse in different parts of the body
The palpation of certain areas

Here, there is no need to wear special clothes. But make sure you wear flexible clothing.

The treatment for acupuncture can begin when the doctor evaluates you
The progress of the therapy

After this point, the therapist will be able to recommend a treatment plan for this first session. She will also have some ideas for the next ones. She’s using the clean needle technique with specialized pharmacy gloves. A Guasha session could be also offered. Any pathology is rarely resolved in a single session. Even if in our society we are well accustomed to everything going fast, a flower needs light, water, and time to grow. No matter what the world around it.

Pathology has often been present for several years. Even if it seems to be recent, it has its origin in the person’s past. Treatments will depend on the energy balance and the strategy established. As for the cost, you can check the insurance coverage online plan.

Prescription following an acupuncture appointment

During a traditional acupuncture treatment, we work on the body’s energies. We activate a message and set up an energy movement. It is important to understand that a certain sensation can occur. Especially for people following the first acupuncture appointment.

It is also important to preserve this movement. Not hindering it or bringing in other strong energetic movements. These would disrupt the energy way. In the 1 to 2 days following treatment:

Don’t drink alcohol
Don’t have sexual relations
Don’t practice intense sports activities
These 3 elements lead to important energetic movements. The body may not be able to understand the different messages after the appointments.

Be calm, drink warm water, and enjoy the energy movements that are taking place. The action and the implementation of treatment are immediate and up to 2 weeks. Wear loose clothing for flexibility of movement. allow blood to flow through your body without congestion. Some patients might feel slight soreness for some patients. A constant, deep breath is important.

Any questions about the acupuncture sessions and holistic health in general? Do not hesitate to contact Dr. Ann Marie Nguyen.

Can you Wear Leggings to Acupuncture

If possible, avoid wearing tight pants to your acupuncture appointment. We generally suggest wearing shorts or loose-fitting pants to your appointment. You may find that tight pants, even if it’s a tight waistband, take away from your experience during your acupuncture appointment.

Don’t fret, attire choices aren’t anything to stress about before your appointment — we’ve got you covered with our top tips on what to wear and what not to wear.

Keep reading to learn our top tips on what to wear to acupuncture and why it actually matters.
Since acupuncture involves strategically placing needles on different points of your body to relieve pain, overcome injuries, and more, it is highly suggested that patients wear loose-fitting clothing to appointments.

Clothing – Of Any Type – Isn’t a Barrier to Acupuncture Treatment: You Have Options
Although loose-fitting clothing is ideal, what you wear to your acupuncture appointment isn’t something to be highly concerned about. There are several workarounds acupuncturists can use when it comes to “getting the job done right.”

Work Around Your Clothes
Don’t have time to change clothes on your way out the door to make your acupuncture appointment?

Don’t stress, most clothing can be pushed up or to the side to give your acupuncturist access to the areas they need to treat.

Remove Your Clothes
If clients are comfortable removing their clothes and being in their undergarments, it may be preferred over tight clothing that is hard to work around.

Your acupuncturist will have towels, sheets, robes, etc., readily available to be draped over and around you during your appointment.

If you are uncomfortable with the idea of removing any clothing, don’t be afraid to talk with your acupuncturist about your feelings. They’ll happily do what they can to find a workaround that makes you both feel comfortable.

what to wear to acupuncture appointment
General Recommendation for What to Wear to Acupuncture: Loose-Fitting Clothing
If your clothing is too tight to roll up or down to uncover areas we need, it can decrease the quality of your session. Since the most common areas for acupuncture points are those on the …

Lower legs
Lower arms
Back; and
… consider wearing clothing that can be rolled, lifted, and folded as necessary to reach the appropriate treatment areas. Loose-fitting clothing, like basketball shorts, or scrubs, are ideal for acupuncture.

If you’re coming from work, or an event, where your attire may not feel appropriate for acupuncture, consider bringing a change of clothing.

Occasionally, you may be asked to remove your footwear during treatment — because of this, we recommend wearing shoes that are easy to slip on and off.

At Cascade Spine and Injury Center our chiropractors care about your comfort during your chiropractic treatment.

Whether you prefer to wear loose fitting clothes or don’t have time to change after work, our chiropractors will find a way to provide you with the best care and experience.

what to wear to acupuncture
5 Types of Clothing That Might Create Minor Restrictions for Acupuncture Treatment

1: Tight Pants

If possible, avoid wearing tight pants to your acupuncture appointment. We generally suggest wearing shorts or loose-fitting pants to your appointment.

You may find that tight pants, even if it’s a tight waistband, take away from your experience during your acupuncture appointment.

No time to run and change before your appointment? We can help keep things discreet by covering up with sheets and towels — don’t feel as though you have to reschedule your appointment due to a wardrobe issue.

2: Long, Tight Sleeves

As we mentioned earlier regarding tight pants, long, tight sleeves also take away from your experience at your acupuncture appointment.

Loose-fitting tank tops, short sleeve shirts, or long sleeves that can be rolled above the elbow and comfortably lifted above your torso, are ideal for what to wear to acupuncture.

Plus, is anyone really comfortable lying down in a tight, form fitting shirt? We don’t think so.

3: Sports Bras

During your acupuncture appointment, unfastening your bra, or lowering the straps, may be necessary to access certain acupuncture points.

We do ask that you avoid wearing sports bras to your appointment. Since sports bras are not easily maneuvered, they can make it difficult to access areas of your back or upper chest.

4: High-Collared Shirts

High-collared shirts and turtlenecks are items we recommend you avoid wearing to your acupuncture appointment.

If any needles need to be placed in the area where your shoulders meet your neck, like our acupuncturists may need to do when treating whiplash and neck pain, a high-collared top will be difficult to maneuver — and keep it out of the way of the treatment area.

5: Accessories

When considering what to wear to acupuncture, consider removing the accessories you would normally wear. We find that most clients are so used to wearing their accessories daily, that they are thrown off when we ask them to remove a piece of jewelry.

Some of the most common accessories that may cause a minor issue during acupuncture include the following.

Although earrings rarely get in the way of your actual treatment, wearing them during a treatment where you are required to put your head to the side, or into a chair, for any period of time, can become uncomfortable and even painful.

Trigger finger is just one of the many examples of ailments that are treated through acupuncture between the fingers.

Wearing tight rings during your treatment, which may end up rubbing against your skin, may leave you feeling far from relaxed for the duration of your treatment.

Watches and Bracelets
Your acupuncturist will need easy access to your wrists for both pulse measurements and treatment points.

Watches, bracelets, or any other accessories that get in the way or put pressure on your wrists are not ideal to wear during an acupuncture appointment.

what to wear acupuncture
The Most Important Factor When Deciding What to Wear to Acupuncture Treatment: Your Comfort
Although we’ve made numerous suggestions about what not to wear to acupuncture treatment, we want to emphasize that our top priority is you — and that also means prioritizing your comfort.

When preparing for your acupuncture treatment, and deciding what to wear, consider the following:

Will you be comfortable disrobing during your appointment? If so, great! Come as you are!
If you don’t feel comfortable disrobing, is your clothing loose enough for your acupuncturist to access the appropriate areas?
Is the clothing you are wearing comfortable enough to wear during the entirety of your treatment?
Aside from knowing what to wear to acupuncture, or what not to wear, we also recommend that you style your hair in a way that:

Isn’t uncomfortable while lying down; and
Won’t fall into the oils used during treatment
Why Is Comfort So Important During an Acupuncture Session?
Aside from treating, and helping to heal, any ailments you may be visiting the acupuncturist for — acupuncture is often an excellent way to get comfortable and relaxed.

If your mind is too focused on how tight your waistband is or how “embarrassed” you might be for not having considered the sports bra you have on after your gym session, you won’t be able to focus on the healing effects of your acupuncture session.

In fact, being stressed during your acupuncture session, especially over something as simple as your clothes, may interrupt the natural effects of acupuncture on the central nervous system — to turn off your sympathetic response, and activate your parasympathetic nervous system.

We don’t care what you wear, come as you are, and we’ll adjust as necessary to ensure you’re getting the best possible treatment.

Whether you’re in jeans and a t-shirt, or your gym shorts and tank top, we’ll provide you with the care that you need to get back to good health.

For more information about our personalized approach for caring for your injuries and ailments through acupuncture, contact our Portland, OR, office today.

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