Ideally, clothing should be minimal. Shorts and a tank top or running bra would be preferred, as observation of the body is important to get a full understanding of what is going on in your body. If that is uncomfortable, please wear clothes which are stretchy or easily removed, as treatment may be directed toward parts of your body other than the area of complaint.
For example: in a complaint of knee pain, it is often the case that the knee is not the real problem and treatment may be directed at your hip. In the case of hip pain, the true imbalance could be in your low back or shoulder. In both of these examples, the area of pain is simply a compensation for some other dysfunction.
It is ok to eat before treatment, but best not to come in on a full stomach. Ideally, you should wait for one to two hours between treatment and a meal. It is a good idea to have had something to eat at some point in the day before treatment so that you’re not hungry.
On the subject of coffee, recent research has shown that caffeine can inhibit the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment, especially for pain. It is best that you avoid coffee or other sources of caffeine before treatment.
It is fine to work out before receiving acupuncture treatment, in some cases, I have seen the effectiveness of acupuncture enhanced by the increased blood flow resulting from exercise. Working out after acupuncture is not advised; an acupuncture treatment may help your workout or sports activity, relieving some pain which was inhibiting your work out, but it is often the case that vigorous exercise undoes the effects of acupuncture. This also depends highly on what form of exercise you plan on doing.
This is a difficult question to answer. It depends greatly on a number of factors. In general, factors affecting how long a course of treatment should be can include: the age and general health of the patient, how old the injury or complaint is, the complexity of imbalances in the body, lifestyle, and sleep quality.
Typically, one treatment will not resolve a complaint. Many simple conditions improve greatly in a window of 5-10 treatments. Some things resolve faster and some take longer to address, based on the factors described above.
Acupuncture needles are classified as a Class 2 Medical Device by the FDA. Meaning that they are safe and effective medical instruments. They are sterile, disposable, one-time use. After the needles have been removed, they are disposed of as medical waste.