Is there an acupuncture side effect to be concerned about?
Generally, no. Acupuncture is a very safe method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and improve function through homeostatic balance (internal balance).
Will the Needles Hurt?
Done properly, acupuncture rarely causes any serious side effect. Normally, you will feel very little upon the insertion of the needle. After the needle is inserted, you may feel a dull achy sensation or pressure, which is entirely normal and actually desired! When you become accustomed to this sensation, you may actually ‘crave’ it with subsequent treatments as it usually induces a deep sense of relaxation.
What Side Effects May Occur During Treatment?
A common acupuncture side effect during treatment is sleepines and you may fall asleep on the table. This is a normal reaction and is usually an indicator that your body is in need of some serious ‘down-time’. In our world of super productivity, you may feel driven to push your body beyond its’ normal limits in order to ‘get things done’. You may not realize just how run down you are until you are given permission to truly relax, as is indicated during an acupuncture session.
Occasionally, you may get dizzy, experience nausea, or even a general euphoria during a session. If this occurs, it is usually during the very first acupuncture session and is due to being overly hungry, fatigued, or overstimulated during the session. In this case, communicate what is going on and the needles will be removed. You will feel normal again within a few minutes.
What Acupuncture Side Effect May Occur After Treatment?
The same symptoms as listed above may occur immediately following a session. It’s important to rest before driving your car home and sip on water as the symptoms generally pass within a few minutes.
Sometimes other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work. These symptoms are temporary, and will clear up within 24-48 hours.
Chinese Medicine is attempting to correct an imbalance, so think about this analogy:
When you kink a hose, the water stops flowing. Upon straighten the hose, built up pressure causes the water to burst out but then begins to normalize. This is essentially what can happen when you first receive and acupuncture treatment and your body is attempting to establish balance.
As with everything else, please discuss what you have been experiencing me! Your comfort is a priority. The more you communicate, the more I can help!
Precautions and Contradictions
While Acupuncture is an extremely safe form of physical medicine, here are some rarely seen contraindications and risks.
1–It is contraindicated to needle the abdomen and lower back areas of pregnant women
2–Avoid blood vessels to prevent bleeding, except in cases where Chinese therapeutic bleeding techniques are indicated
3–Points on the chest and back should be carefully needled to avoid injury to organs
When needling certain areas of the body such as the face and other bony areas, mild bruising may occur. These will fade within a couple of day.
Occassionaly, a patient may faint either on the table or when standing up. This is a rare occurrence, and is generally resolved without conflict.
When working on musculoskeletal pain, spasm may occur following treatment. If this happens to you, please call me and I will get you in for a follow up treatment as soon as possible so that we can resolve the discomfort.
Often, a point will bleed when needled. Please don’t be concerned; after all, we are inserting needles! This is common and even therapeutic depending on our intention for treatment.
Overall, as the National Institutes of Health recently concluded, acupuncturists have an extremely good safety record, and the risk associated with the acupuncture side effect is minimal.
Consider this the next time you are prescribed a pharmaceutical with a laundry list of negative side effects. Relatively speaking, you risk is truly a moot point. Remember Vioxx?
Acupuncture Is Safe Medicine!
Homeostasis is precisely what makes acupuncture a remarkably safe form of treatment, with no side effects. Once a state of normalization is reached through your acupuncture sessions, further treatment only maintains the equilibrium.
This is a very different approach to modern Western medicine, where the focus of treatment is with pharmaceuticals, which often push the body too hard in another direction in attempt to correct a symptom. This often results in a variety of negative side effects!
The safety factor lies in the fact that the same set of acupuncture points are used to treat diametrically opposite conditions like high blood pressure and low blood pressure, or diarrhea and constipation. Thus in a patient with high blood pressure, acupuncture will restore the blood pressure to normal. Further treatment will maintain the normal blood pressure.
In other words, there is no possibility that an excess of treatment would cause low blood pressure.
This homeostatic effect is used to treat many diseases, such as restoring the body’s hormonal homeostatic balance. All the hormones in the body are interrelated and an increase or decrease in any one hormone creates a series of cascading effects on other hormones throughout the body. Thus, acupuncture generally normalizes your hormonal system as a whole, rather than treating individual hormones.
Pure Acupuncture Therapy is a Denver Tech Center Acupuncture Clinic servicing Greenwood Village, Centennial, Parker, Cherry Hills and South Metro Denver.
Call Joanne, Licensed Acupuncturist, today for a complementary consultation!
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