All over the world people use acupuncture therapy to help relieve pain and treat a number of conditions including depression, anxiety, gastrointestinal disorders and addictions. This ancient Chinese medicine technique involves the insertion of fine needle points along specific body points in the attempt to restore the natural flow of energy, or Qi, in the human body and achieve internal balance. Thought not fully embraced by the medical community due to a lack of scientific evidence, many people tout the benefits of acupuncture as a safe and affordable alternative to surgery and prescription medication. Before you schedule an acupuncture session, know that there are some side effects to the treatment.
People will all react differently to having fine needles inserted into their skin. While acupuncture needles only pierce to a shallow depth, the action can cause some people to bruise and experience soreness. The soreness associated with this Chinese medicine method often occurs after the needles are removed and generally is experienced in the hands and feet. Typically, soreness from the needles dissipates within 24 hours and rarely ever lasts more than two days. However, if you are sensitive to needles and bruise easily you may want to discuss this with an acupuncturist prior to treatment.
Another common side effect to acupuncture treatment is a powerful emotional release. The practice is meant to restore the free flow of energy that is being blocked. When the channels of the human body, also called meridians, are opened up it is not unusual for a patient to cry. This is actually quite normal and healthy. This side effect is especially positive for people dealing with depression and addictions who have been stifling feelings for a long time. When the body relaxes, as it should during treatment, it is expected that held back feelings will come to the surface and crying is a natural reaction to letting go of things we cling to.
While it is rare, some acupuncture patients may experience lightheadedness and fatigue following a session. Getting up quickly after being treated with fine needles may cause some people to faint and other people may experience fatigue in the days following treatment. Acupuncturists recommend eating before a session and taking your time to get up from the table when the session is over. Fatigue is not uncommon and is often attributed to the relaxation the body feels after releasing tension. If you think you may experience either symptom after acupuncture treatment, have a friend drive you to and from the appointment to prevent any accidents.