What Are the Side Effects of Acupuncture?


Quick Answer

While the most frequent side effects of acupuncture are the benefits of increased energy, clarity, sleep and digestive health, some negative side effects include lethargy, bruising, soreness, twitching muscles, a flow of emotions and dizziness. All of these generally dissipate within a short time, according to the Huffington Post.

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Many people walk out of acupuncture feeling extremely tired. The majority feel elevated energy, but some have a tough time coming back to reality from the mental vacation that acupuncture presents. This is a sign that the body needs more rest. The best response to this side effect is to take a warm bath and go to bed early that night, as stated by WebMD.

Soreness at the puncture points is common, particularly in hand and feet points. If the acupuncturist released an ashi or trigger point, muscle soreness can occur away from the puncture point. The soreness generally goes away within a day unless the patient has a major trigger point release, which can lead to soreness for several days, notes WebMD.

Some people experience muscle twitching with acupuncture, and the muscle does not have to be a trigger point. The reasons for this are unclear, but the acupuncturist may be able to release the twitch if it comes to a muscle that he treated. In any case, the twitching should go away in a short amount of time, asserts WebMD.

Dizziness or lightheadedness is quite rare, and acupuncture clients can avoid if they take their time before standing up, moving slowly after they stand up. The intensity of acupuncture means that the body can take a few minutes to recover before moving. This is also the case with emotional release, which can happen with acupuncture. Generally, the freeing of emotions is a good thing, but some extra sensitivity after the acupuncture session, or for a day or two afterward, is normal, says WebMD.

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