Most people know that acupuncture can effectively treat a wide range of different health issues, but not many people know about the side effects of acupuncture.
In this article we will talk about what to expect if you are trying acupuncture for the first time. We will also give you some helpful tips to avoid suffering from acupuncture side effects.
What are the Side Effects of Acupuncture?
It is quite unusual for people to experience negative side effects of acupuncture, but it is possible. However, it is very rare for these side effects to be serious and they normally go away soon after treatment.
So, what are the side effects of acupuncture? Let’s take a look.
- Feeling tired
Some people find that they feel very tired after an acupuncture treatment. This can be an advantage if you are looking for something to help you sleep, but is not so helpful if it’s early in the day and you have things to do!
Unfortunately, you won’t know whether acupuncture affects you in this way until you have given it a try. Some people even find that acupuncture has the opposite effect and they are filled with energy after a session.
If acupuncture knocks you out for the count, try scheduling your appointment later in the day so that you can go home and relax afterwards. Ask a friend to pick you up after your treatment or take public transport if you do not feel able to drive.
Some people can feel dizzy or lightheaded during an acupuncture treatment. This happens because acupuncture can cause a slight decrease in blood pressure.
Have something light to eat before your treatment and make sure that you are well-hydrated to minimize the chances of this acupuncture side effect happening to you. You should also take your time getting up from the couch after your needles have been removed.
This is also related to acupuncture’s ability to reduce blood pressure, but it is much more unusual than feeling dizzy. Fainting is more likely to happen if you are sitting up while your needles are inserted.
If you start to feel faint, tell your acupuncturist straight away so that they can remove the needles and help you move to a more comfortable position.
Most people will tell you that acupuncture doesn’t hurt, but on occasion a point may feel sharp when a needle is put in. This pain will normally go away very quickly, but if it doesn’t, tell your acupuncturist so that they can move it to a more comfortable position. Acupuncture is meant to be relaxing and enjoyable, so don’t try to fight through any pain.
- Bleeding or bruising
Although it is quite unusual, some points can bleed or bruise after the needle is removed. If a point bleeds, it is normally only a drop or two and is nothing to worry about. Some people even believe that releasing a few drops of blood can be beneficial!
Be sure to tell you acupuncturist if you are taking blood thinning medication or have a bleeding disorder. They may have some suggestions for non-insertive techniques which will reduce the risk of bleeding.
Other Acupuncture Side Effects
On a few rare occasions, people have been more seriously injured by acupuncture. This usually happens when an acupuncturist is not properly trained or uses a poor technique. Always check that an acupuncturist is fully qualified and registered with a professional body before you use them. In the right hands, acupuncture is incredibly safe and you should not experience any unpleasant side effects.