Are there any side-effects to acupuncture?

The most common side effects of acupuncture are positive things uch as more energy, mental clarity, better sleep, better digestion and less stress. Most people report that they feel very energized and relaxed after an acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture awakens your self-healing capabilities. With that can come an onslaught of bodily awareness. This usually is a positive experience but it also can mean heightened sensitivity or intolerance for things that previously felt normal.

The most common side effects of acupuncture are positive things uch as more energy, mental clarity, better sleep, better digestion and less stress. Most people report that they feel very energized and relaxed after an acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture awakens your self-healing capabilities. With that can come an onslaught of bodily awareness. This usually is a positive experience but it also can mean heightened sensitivity or intolerance for things that previously felt normal. Possible side-effects of acupuncture may include seemingly worsening symptoms. As your body starts going through the changes involved in moving toward better health, things can sometimes get stirred up, which can cause not only an increase of current symptoms but also the recurrence of previous ailments that had been dormant. Another possible side-effect of acupuncture is fatigue. If you have this experience, rest as much as possible for the remainder of the day, and try to go to sleep early. The next morning, the combination of rest and acupuncture will leave you feeling refreshed. Sometimes people report increased soreness after a treatment. Muscle soreness may happen away from the needling site if a trigger point was effectively released during your treatment. Soreness from acupuncture usually goes away within a few hours, but significant trigger point releases can cause residual soreness that lasts sometimes for a few days. However, when that soreness leaves, so will your underlying condition and long-term soreness. Less common than soreness, a small amount of bruising can sometimes occur at the needling site, and if this occurs it can be helped by applying pressure or ice for a few minutes after the treatment. The majority of patients will never experience bruising. People may experience small amounts of involuntary muscle twitching during or after an acupuncture treatment. This may occur in muscles that directly receive acupuncture needles, or also on parts of the body that are far away from any needles. This is a good sign that the qi is becoming unblocked, and allowed to flow freely to allow your body to become unbalanced. People may have an emotional release, which can cause them to cry – not because they are in pain, but because their emotions are unblocked and are allowed to become more free flowing. The emotional release that can happen is usually a positive experience, but it can be surprising for some people. Increased emotional expression is an indication that healing is happening. Physical and emotional health are interconnected, so emotional shifts can indicate physical changes. On very rare occasions, lightheadedness can occur during or after a treatment. Getting up too quickly from the acupuncture table can cause you to become dizzy, as can coming for an acupuncture treatment on an empty stomach. Acupuncture can be a physically and emotionally intense experience, so when your acupuncture session is over, take your time getting up and move gently as you gather your things to leave. If you find yourself feeling lightheaded after the treatment, sit down for a few minutes and take a few deep breaths. These side effects are rarely cause for concern, however you know yourself and your body better than anyone else, so if any of the above side effects feel like they’re lasting too long, or become too severe, or if you notice any additional negative reactions to an acupuncture treatment, contact your acupuncturist.