We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Most Common Side Effects of Acupuncture?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Negative side effects of acupuncture are relatively rare, although they may occur, especially if the practitioner has not been properly trained or certified. Some of the most common side effects of acupuncture include infection, discomfort, or bruising. Organ damage may also result, especially when respiratory disorders are being treated. Positive effects of acupuncture may include a feeling of deep relaxation or an overall sensation of well-being. Specific questions or concerns about the possible side effects of acupuncture should be discussed with a doctor or certified acupuncturist.

Bacterial infections are among the possible side effects of acupuncture. Skin infections are the most common, although the bacteria can sometimes move into the bloodstream and travel into other areas of the body. The most likely causes of these infections are the use of unsterilized needles or unsanitary habits on the part of the practitioner. Properly certified acupuncturists are not likely to work in unhealthy or unsanitary conditions.

Skin irritation and mild discomfort are the most frequently reported side effects of acupuncture and usually disappear shortly after the procedure has been completed. Minor damage to surface capillaries may cause bruising or light bleeding. Occasionally, organ damage may occur as a result of acupuncture. This usually happens if the lungs are accidentally punctured during treatment for respiratory disorders. This type of puncture may lead to a medical condition known as a pneumothorax, more commonly referred to as a collapsed lung, and is considered a medical emergency.

Temporary side effects of acupuncture may include worsening of symptoms, changes in sleep patterns, or emotional imbalances. For the first couple of days following an acupuncture session, the original symptoms may seem to become worse due to the process of energy regulation within the body. Sleep patterns may become affected, primarily resulting in insomnia, especially if herbal remedies are used during the acupuncture appointment. Emotional regulation may be difficult for the first few days following treatment, but this typically evens out as the healing process progresses.

Acupuncture can result in feelings of deep relaxation and relief from stress, sometimes leading to lightheadedness. It is often suggested that the patient find someone else to drive him home following the procedure because these side effects can be a bit unpredictable. Temporary disorientation may also occur, and it may take a few minutes for equilibrium to be restored when standing after the procedure. Giddiness and euphoria are also among the possible side effects of acupuncture.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.