Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. It is used to treat a variety of conditions, from chronic pain to insomnia. While acupuncture is generally safe, there are some potential side effects that you should be aware of before undergoing treatment. The most common side effects of acupuncture are minor and include pain and minor bleeding or bruising where the needles were inserted.
Single-use disposable needles are now standard practice, so the risk of infection is minimal. Some people may feel itching or pain at or around the sites where the acupuncturist inserted the needles. This is because acupuncture needles activate points that can move Qi energy to other parts of the body. A larger release of the trigger point may cause residual pain for a few days.
Your acupuncturist must warn you about this in advance. Acupuncture treatments can be so relaxing that some patients feel a little sleepy after leaving a session. If you're feeling fatigued after a session, then it's your body's way of telling you it needs rest. Occasionally, minor bruising may occur at the puncture site.
Although they are inconvenient, they generally look light in color and last only a few days. The pain where the acupuncture needles are inserted usually goes away within a day. Unfortunately, large releases of trigger points can result in persistent pain that lasts for a few days. You may experience muscle pain at the puncture site and outside the site if a trigger point was released during the consultation.
Your acupuncturist should warn you if any of the trigger points they are attacking could cause these temporary negative side effects. Even rarer than pain, bruising can occur at the puncture sites. Sometimes, bruises are the result of a localized collection of blood beneath the skin that becomes irritated during the procedure. Other times, even the light pressure of acupuncture can cause minor bruising. Even so, sometimes the reason is unknown.
They're generally not a cause for concern, aside from the fact that they can be visually unappealing. Most patients do not have bruises of any kind. You may very well experience muscle contractions during or after acupuncture. This can occur in the muscles that receive the needle, but also in apparently random parts of the body that are not close to the puncture site. If you experience spasms during or after treatment, tell your acupuncturist.
They should be able to help you ensure that the muscle is released before you leave. Emotions can be silenced as you walk through life. This can cause an emotional release in acupuncture that can be released with the release of tension and, in rare cases, even cause crying. Emotional release is common and usually a good experience, however, it can seem negative, especially in people who keep their emotions well hidden. Acupuncture can be a physically and emotionally intense experience, and sometimes our bodies don't fully recover as soon as the consultation is over. In addition to those mentioned above, there are rarer and more dangerous side effects of acupuncture.
These more serious side effects include infection, nerve and blood vessel injury, punctured organs, or severe bleeding. In addition, if part of a needle breaks and remains under the skin after treatment, this can lead to more dangerous complications. Because of the risk of bleeding, acupuncture may not be suitable for people with bleeding disorders or for those who are taking anticoagulants. If you start to feel lightheaded, either immediately after or within the next 24 hours, sit down as soon as possible to avoid some of the side effects of fainting (such as scratches, broken bones, or a concussion). Insomnia is one of the most common complaints before treatment, and acupuncture can be very effective in reversing it. Currently, there are compelling data from several prospective and observational studies showing that approximately 10% of patients experience mild and transient adverse effects after acupuncture.
The best way to avoid these potential side effects of acupuncture treatment, both the most common and the most serious, is to research and ensure that the doctor you plan to visit is a licensed and properly trained professional. Acupuncture can be especially effective when used in conjunction with more conventional treatments or drugs. However, even rare adverse effects are important if they result in death, and responsible therapists must be aware of the risks. As with most treatment therapies, acupuncture can be very effective when used properly and administered correctly. Acupuncture has few side effects, so it may be worth trying if you're having trouble managing pain with more conventional methods. If you're concerned that the side effects will be too painful or long-lasting after treatment, contact your acupuncturist. They should be able to help you ensure that the benefits of acupuncture far outweigh any temporary negative side effects.