11 Side Effects of Acupuncture Treatment to Know

Headaches, nausea, blood pressure problems, and other aches and pains are some of the things that get relieved by Acupuncture. However, there are some side effects of acupuncture, and you must get familiar with them.

Preparing yourself for the side effects of acupuncture is very important before you go ahead with the treatment. Read this listicle to know the things you will come across during and after an acupuncture treatment:

1. The Healing Crisis

While acupuncture can cure a lot of problems, there is a chance of you feeling worse after the procedure. This after-effect is known as the healing crisis and is nothing but your body reacting to the treatment.

However, this can be a little disturbing as your body goes through changes, one of the most common among them being heightened sensitivity. So, things that had earlier been normal may now seem a little hard to tolerate.

So, while this can be a good sign, it is still one of the many acupuncture side-effects, and you need to prepare yourself for it.

In some instances, the changes that your body undergoes can also stir up problems like an increase in your current symptoms and recurrence of previous ailments.

2. Fatigue

Fatigue is another one of the common side effects of acupuncture treatment. An acupuncture treatment can leave you feeling wiped out in the end, and this can stay for quite some time.

This effect is known as the “Acu Land” and is a sign that your body’s energy is getting depleted.

While this may not be a great cause for concern, it is one of the reasons why you need adequate rest after an acupuncture treatment. A good bath and a good night sleep can leave you feeling refreshed in the morning.

3. Soreness

What is acupuncture? Well, as mentioned above, it is the process of having needles inserted in the body to cure it of many ailments.

However, the needles when removed can leave your body feeling sore. It especially applies to the points in the hand and feet.

This soreness too is not a significant cause for concern, as it will disappear after a few hours. However, it is essential that you prepare yourself for this before acupuncture treatment.

What you need to be concerned about are the more massive pressure points as the soreness here can last for a few days.

4. Bruises

Apart from pain, injuries are another result of acupuncture. The bruises mainly occur in the places where needles were inserted. These marks can sometimes be the result of blood getting initiated when the skin is punctured by the needle.

What makes this one of the more prominent side effects of acupuncture treatment is that while soreness can disappear after a few hours, bruises remain for quite some time. These bruises can cause some aesthetic inconvenience.

Using a branded needle of the right size and paying attention to the technique of the acupuncture can be a little help here. However, even then some patients are known to bruise.

So, if you are concerned about your skin and appearance, this can be one of the disadvantages of acupuncture for you.

5. Involuntary Muscle Twitching

Involuntary muscle twitching can happen during or after the process. This is mainly seen in muscles that are at the receiving end of the acupuncture needles. However, it is mostly found in random parts of the body that haven’t come into contact with the needles.

This too, like the other side effects of acupuncture treatment, may not last for a long time. However, if it does, it is essential to have a word with your practitioner or your doctor to know what’s going on and what necessary steps you should take.

Muscle spasms can also be another common occurrence after an acupuncture treatment. While these can be painful, they are not dangerous and hence not a severe cause for concern. If you have sharp pains, you can see the doctor.

6. Light-headedness and Fainting

Getting up from an acupuncture table in the right way is crucial if you want to prevent the side effects of acupuncture treatment like this.

When you get up from an acupuncture table, ensure that your movements are not too quick. Be as gentle as possible for the next few minutes. If you start feeling lightheaded, you can sit for some time and take a few deep breaths.

Remember that acupuncture is an intense experience, both physically and emotionally, and you need to give your body time to recover from it once the treatment is done. So, do not keep another appointment to rush to on the day you have acupuncture treatment.

Another thing that you need to know when you come for an acupuncture session is not to be on an empty stomach, as this too can cause this feeling of light-headedness.

Eating right is very important on the day you have acupuncture treatment. Also, avoid alcohol, coffee or any other such beverages.

7. Increased Emotional Expression

Crying during or after an acupuncture treatment is normal. One of the side effects of acupuncture treatment is that you tend to feel extra sensitive, either during the procedure or in the days that follow.

However, this is a result of free-flowing emotions, which makes it a positive experience and a sign that the treatment is working.

However, these emotional shifts can also result in physical changes. While these may not be severe, if you do notice any significant changes to your body after an acupuncture treatment, it is vital that you consult your acupuncturist.

8. Skin Infection

Apart from soreness and bruises, allergic reactions and other skin infections are some of the rarer side effects of acupuncture treatment. In some instances, it can also cause bacterial infections that can spread to other parts of the body if not treated at the right time.

In acupuncture, common bacteria is the main reason behind the infections. While most people are found to recover from these infections, there are also a lot of cases where these infections result in more pressing issues.

This is why the use of sterilized needles is something you have to be very particular about when you go for an acupuncture treatment.

Apart from this, you also need to ensure that the wool swabs, towels and other items used in the acupuncture process are entirely sterile. They must also be free from any form of contamination.

9. Labour

If you are pregnant, you may want to think twice before going for an acupuncture treatment because here is one of the side effects of acupuncture treatment that you may not be fond of.

Yes, acupuncture is known to induce labor and this may give a chance of you having a premature baby. While acupuncture may be helpful during the time of childbirth, you may need to avoid it at other times when you are pregnant.

Acupuncture is known to stimulate a pregnant woman’s body, thus releasing prostaglandins and ripening the cervix. All this can lead to contractions, which can be risky if you have not yet reached the right time for labor.

10. Bleeding

While soreness and bruises are the most that can happen in most cases, there are also chances of acupuncture resulting in bleeding. This mainly happens if you have a bleeding disorder. 

In such a case, this is one of the side effects of acupuncture treatment that you have to be aware of.

So, if you are a patient of hemophilia (a condition where the blood is unable to clot) or if you take anticoagulants and other forms of medication that can thin your blood, you may have to consider a doctor before going for an acupuncture treatment.

Patients who have blood disorders also need to seek advice from a doctor before considering acupuncture.

11. Accidents

Accidents are another thing you have to be wary off when you decide to go for an acupuncture treatment. These mishaps mainly occur in the form of a needle breaking, and this can be very dangerous for a patient.

In many cases, this can went on to become potentially life-threatening.

This is why it is important for you as a patient to know about the past records of your acupuncturist. You cannot afford to take a risk with your life. Especially because the person providing you treatment is naive in it. 

Therefore, you need to confirm that your acupuncturist is highly trained and confident.  This will help you to ensure that the acupuncture process goes without any goof-ups or accidents.

Ensure that your acupuncturist has a master’s degree along with a license and at least four years of experience. This can go a long way in preventing the unwanted accident.

Final Words

Acupuncture is known as one of the age-old natural treatments. It has the potential to go a long way in curing a lot of problems. However, this does not mean that you don’t prepare for the side effects of acupuncture treatment too.

And as most of these are problems aren’t too severe, you don’t have a major reason to worry. However, in case of any dangerous medical conditions, consult doctors immediately. 

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