Acupuncture Side Effects

Acupuncture Side Effects

Acupuncture Side Effects: Acupuncture can help treat a variety of conditions, from pain to anxiety and even gastrointestinal disorders. While this centuries-old form of Chinese Medicine appeals to people who want a natural, alternative form of treatment, it’s natural to worry about acupuncture side effects.

What are the effects of acupuncture? Are there negative side effects that you should be concerned about? 

Fortunately, most people have overwhelmingly positive experiences with acupuncture, but there are a few less-common side effects that you should know about.

Acupuncture side effects

Positive Acupuncture Side Effects

For most people, acupuncture provides immediate and positive side effects, including:

Stress Relief 

Most people feel relaxed after their acupuncture sessions. Stress and tension melt away, and a sense of calmness takes over. 

In one study, participants were split into two groups. One received verum acupuncture, and the other received sham acupuncture. After 12 weeks, the verum acupuncture group reported significantly reduced stress than the sham acupuncture group.

More Energy and Less Pain

Relaxation is the most common immediate side effect of acupuncture, but in the days that follow, you may feel more energized and upbeat. Your pain may also start subsiding.

Better Sleep

Acupuncture’s relaxing and pain-relieving effects can help improve sleep. Trigger point releases can help alleviate some of the problems that are disrupting your sleep in the first place. 

When the body feels calm, relaxed and balanced, it’s much easier to get the deep sleep your body needs for healing.

One review of randomized trials found that acupuncture may be effective at treating insomnia, although more research is warranted.

Less Common Side Effects

While most people will experience positive side effects after acupuncture, there are some less common side effects that may affect some people.


Most people feel energized by their acupuncture sessions, but there are some people who may feel fatigued. It’s not necessarily the acupuncture that causes the fatigue. It’s the realization that your body is run down.

Acupuncture aims to rebalance the body and its energy flow. During that rebalancing process, you may become aware of how worn down and tired you truly are. 

Fatigue is often a warning sign that your body needs rest. It’s a normal side effect, but it shouldn’t be ignored. Give your body the rest it needs.

Soreness or Mild Discomfort 

Some people may experience soreness, discomfort or even itching where needles were inserted. In rare cases, there may be aching where no needling occurred. 

This side effect usually occurs when the needles trigger an energy release. Major trigger point releases can cause longer-lasting soreness, but generally, the discomfort is mild and nothing to be worried about.

Feeling Worse Before Feeling Better

The goal of acupuncture is to promote healing and wellness. Sometimes, things have to get worse before they get better. This is often referred to as a healing crisis, but it won’t last forever.

While this phase can be uncomfortable, it’s a sign that things are moving forward. 

Most people experience an immediate improvement, but it’s important to remember that a healing crisis is still normal and temporary.

How Long Do Acupuncture Side Effects Last?

Some people may feel fatigued for up to three days after their session. Soreness or discomfort usually disappears within 24 hours, but some trigger point releases can cause lingering soreness that lasts a few days.

The positive side effects of acupuncture are long-lasting, especially with continued sessions.

Most people have nothing but positive experiences with acupuncture, but even the less-common effects are mild in most cases and worth enduring for the long-lasting positive effects.

Try acupuncture at Peak Life Acupuncture. We are professionally trained to help you with all your acupuncture needs. Call us at (818) 823-6721 for a free consultation.

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