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What to Wear to Acupuncture

The Proper Clothing for Acupuncture Therapy

If you've never had massage therapy, chiropractic care, or acupuncture before, you may have some questions about how the treatment will work and what to wear to your first appointment. Because acupuncture involves extensive bodywork, the practitioner will require unrestricted access to the body.

Similarly, as the client, you will want to make sure that you are comfortable, warm, or cool enough, and modestly covered in order to promote mental relaxation. You should also consider the layout of the treatment room, the ambient temperature, and the equipment that the therapist will use during the acupuncture treatment.

1. Dress with comfort in mind

Even if you won't have to remove all of your clothes, you should dress in a way that allows you to be comfortable in what you do wear. If you are allowed to wear your pants or shorts, you should probably avoid belts with buckles that can dig in if you are asked to lie on top of them. You should also avoid wearing anything that is scratchy or will chafe.

2. Avoid sports bras

Most acupuncture sessions allow you to wear your underwear, but you may be asked to move your bra straps out of the way to allow better access to your back. This is difficult to achieve with sports bras, which frequently necessitate some contortion and gymnastics to get in and out of. When it comes time to undress for treatment, they are more trouble than they are worth.

3. To shave or not to shave?

This is a matter of the client's personal preference. Because acupuncture involves the use of needles on specific points of the body rather than the application of lotions or creams to the skin as massage therapy does, it is not necessary to remove body hair prior to the session. However, if you are concerned that you will be embarrassed if you have a lot of body hair, shave, but it is not necessary.

4. Makeup

If your treatment does not require facial acupuncture, you can probably wear makeup, especially if you will not be lying face down during the procedure. Makeup, on the other hand, can harbor bacteria that can end up in the skin when the needle is inserted during facial acupuncture. Because the area will need to be cleaned first, you may as well avoid wearing makeup to a facial session.

5. Styled hair

Again, this is a personal preference, but hair worn up or down should have no effect on the treatment. Many acupuncture sessions take place in a reclining chair, which has no effect on the hair, but some therapists include massage with oils or lotions in treatment, which can get into the hair. Some therapists may also ask you to lie down on a pillow, which can mess up your hairstyle. Before deciding whether or not to style your hair before treatment, consult with your therapist about what your session will entail.

6. No tight clothing

If your clothing is too tight or restricts movement, it can be uncomfortable if you have to sit for a long period of time. Also, if your therapist needs access to your arms or legs, being able to roll up sleeves and pants, as well as pull shirts up the abdomen or lower trouser waistbands, is beneficial. Make sure your clothes are loose enough to allow you to do so.

7. Clothes you can take off

If your treatment necessitates the removal of some or all of your clothing, you will be given the privacy you require. Keeping this in mind, no one will likely be available to assist you in removing your clothes if you require assistance, so avoid wearing clothing with back zippers or buttons, or clothing that is difficult to get into and out of, such as three-piece suits.

8. Piercings and jewelry

This is somewhat dependent on the type of treatment you will be receiving. Most acupuncture treatments take place around the joints, so your therapist will need to be able to access these areas without being obstructed by watches or bracelets. The therapist will need to access several acupuncture points on the wrist, as well as the ears, though earrings can usually be left in during treatment.

9. Perfumes

Unless you or your therapist are sensitive to smells and odors, wearing a fragrance is usually not a problem. Prior to treatment, discuss such concerns with your therapist. If your therapist will be using aromatherapy, your perfume may interfere with this aspect of treatment, so check with them first.

10. Take Off Socks

Wearing socks on your feet not only keeps your body warm but also keeps specific acupuncture points warm. However, when we start treatment we will need access to your feet so please take off your socks prior to the treatment beginning.

Always ensure that you are comfortable and secure during your treatment. Acupuncture is a voluntary procedure, and you want it to be as pleasant and healing as possible. Book now to become one step closer to feeling your best!


1. American Institute of Alternative Medicine. 2021. How to Prepare for an Acupuncture Appointment - AIAM Wellness Center. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 October 2021].

2. Fiolova, P., 2021. My first acupuncture treatment. What should I wear? — Pavlina Fialova Acupuncture Sheffield. [online] Pavlina Fialova Acupuncture Sheffield. Available at: [Accessed 19 October 2021].

3. Hons, C., 2021. Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture - Acupuncture Therapy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 October 2021].

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