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Side Effects of Acupuncture

Side Effects Associated with Acupuncture

Acupuncture has a number of side effects, but luckily most of them are positive.  People who have undergone acupuncture therapy often report sleeping better, improved allergies, decreased depression, and decreased stress, just to name a few.  The fact that acupuncture has grown so rapidly in popularity in the western world is a testament to its effectiveness and lack of negative side effects.  Of course, that does not mean that there are no negative side effects, but when there are they are generally very mild and fleeting.

Possible Negative Side Effects of Acupuncture

Any negative side effects associated with acupuncture are usually uncommon, cause minimal discomfort, and last only a few moments to a few days.  These include:

  • Increased Emotionality – Crying during an acupuncture session is not unheard of, but it is not associated with pain.  Acupuncture causes the release of endorphins in your brain, which can sometimes cause emotional sensitivity.  In this case, the feeling usually subsides in a few hours.
  • Feeling Faint – Though this is extremely rare, some have reported feeling faint when getting up from the treatment table.  To ensure this doesn’t happen, sit up slowly and give yourself a moment before standing.
  • Muscle Soreness – Mild to moderate soreness can sometimes occur at the needle point after the needle is removed.  If you experience soreness it should subside within 24 hours.
  • Tiredness – For a day or two following the treatment, a few people have reported a mild fatigue.
  • Bruising – Usually the result of an inexperienced acupuncturist’s therapy, a slight discoloration and/or swelling can occur around the needle sites.  If you have a bruising or bleeding condition, you may be slightly more susceptible to this side effect.
  • Twitching – Minor muscle twitching can sometimes occur in or around muscles that have been stimulated with acupuncture.  This usually only happens during the treatment, and is so mild that it rarely interferes with the rest of the session.

To ensure that you do not experience these side effects, it is important to choose an acupuncturist that is experienced, professional, and certified to administer the therapy, such as the acupuncture staff at Scottsdale Restorative Medicine.  It will also help to come to the treatment well rested, hydrated, and after a light meal.


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