Side Effects of Acupuncture

Unwanted side effects associate with acupuncture are treatment are minor, harmless and infrequent and non-lasting. They are not of any concern or serious nature if done by trained acupuncturist, who is well versed with anatomy, physiology and psychology. Whatever side effects mentioned here, are only to make you aware of those before taking acupuncture treatment.


Every individual responds differently to acupuncture stimulation.  Some patients who form group of about 85- 90 percent are good responders where as 10 to 12 percent just don’t respond at all; whereas few will respond too much aggravating the original ailment. Such aggravation eventually subsides and patients get relief. It is for this reason; I start with minimal stimulation with needles and increase its strength on next session.


After Acupuncture treatment you may feel soreness at point of needle insertion.  The effect vanishes in few minutes or may last a day. It also sign that needle was at right place.


Bleeding in some patients on acupuncture treatment is rare and minor incidence. Bruising may also be seen in bleeding is under skin. If you give little pressure on site of bleeding for 5 minutes, bleeding stops. You do not need to do for such incidences.

Muscle twitching

Acupuncture is stimulation of particular point or area. This stimulation is not restricted to point of insertion of needle. It radiates to all directions. Therefore muscle twitching is common and harmless side effect of Acupuncture. Muscle twitching is seen more commonly in electro- acupuncture which is again normal.

Emotional Swarming

After Acupuncture treatment, one may be emotionally charged and may feel euphoric or cry for some time. It may not be due to relief of chronic pain. This is momentary phenomenon and subsides soon. It proves effectiveness of acupuncture that physical and emotional status is interconnected.

Feeling Giddiness

Feeling light headedness after acupuncture is central effect on Cardio-vascular system. While getting up from acupuncture table you must rise slowly and let cardiovascular dynamics adjust to change of position. I advise my patients to wait for some time in waiting room, and see me before they go. Waiting generally resolves the issue.


Feeling drained on day of acupuncture treatment is also not uncommon, all needs is some rest or sleep. This signifies relation of acupuncture treatment and release Chi.

Complication of Acupuncture

There is no complication of acupuncture unless done very carelessly by untrained persons not knowing basic anatomy of human body. In such rare situation

  • Pneumo-thorax due puncture of lung can be serious issue will need immediate emergency medical help
  • Damage to major blood vessel or nerve can be one very rare complication.