Acupuncture is a safe and effective form of treatment when performed by a certified and competent professional. However, there are some potential side effects that you should be aware of before undergoing treatment. Common side effects include pain and minor bleeding or bruising at the needle insertion sites. These usually go away within a day.
In some cases, 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 area if a trigger point was released during the session. Your acupuncturist should inform you if any of the trigger points they are targeting could cause these temporary negative side effects. Bruising is also a rare occurrence, but it can happen at the puncture sites due to localized blood collection beneath the skin or even from light pressure during the procedure.
Muscle contractions can also occur during or after acupuncture, both in the muscles that receive the needle and in seemingly random parts of the body that are not close to the puncture site. If you experience spasms during or after treatment, let your acupuncturist know so they can help you release the muscle before you leave. Emotional release is also common with acupuncture, which can range from feeling relaxed to feeling overwhelmed with emotion. This is usually a positive experience, but it can seem negative for those who keep their emotions well hidden.
More serious side effects of acupuncture include infection, nerve and blood vessel injury, punctured organs, or severe bleeding. People with bleeding disorders or those taking anticoagulants should be aware of this risk. Other adverse reactions reported by patients include tiredness, pain at the puncture site, headache or migraine, worsening of symptoms, and insomnia. To avoid these potential side effects of acupuncture treatment, it is important to research and ensure that your acupuncturist is licensed and properly trained. Acupuncture can be especially effective when used in conjunction with more conventional treatments or drugs, such as for insomnia.
The qualified training of acupuncturists must be systematized and clinical acupuncture operations must be standardized to effectively prevent the occurrence of acupuncture accidents. Overall, acupuncture is a safe and effective form of treatment when performed by a certified professional. Knowing what to expect before undergoing treatment can help you make an informed decision about whether it is right for you.