Acupuncture’s Side Effects

Pharmacy drugs and surgery are the two things Western medicine offers for chronic health issues. Unfortunately they always come with side effects and longer term complications. The most wonderful thing about acupuncture is that you can get all-natural, holistic healing without compromising your body - which makes it a more sustainable healing modality in contemporary medicine.

Before I became an acupuncturist, I knew there was a deeper and more encompassing reason for my symptoms. I had always healed myself naturally growing up, eating good food and being an athlete. Taking a chemical prescription to alter my hormones and lift my depression seemed avoidable to me.

So I wanted to list some short ‘side effects’ from acupuncture. This list is comprises some of the most common things I see in and out of my office. Every person is different, and every experience is different, but here are the Greatest Hits:

  • Deeper sleep

  • Improved digestion

  • Better mood

  • Increased libido

  • Regular menses

  • More energy

  • Less anxiety

  • Calmness, relaxation, and centeredness

  • Emotional release and letting go

  • Increased confidence

  • Decreased pain and inflammation

  • Fewer cravings as well as higher sensitivity to addictive or toxic substances

  • Fewer instances of stress and/or decreased stress response

  • Greater sense of ease and joy

Wow, if these are the side effects, imagine life on acupuncture!

When I first began receiving regular acupuncture I experienced a fresh start in my life. I decluttered, processed old emotions, made time for creative work, streamlined my task list, and began working out regularly again, getting a membership at a yoga studio. I felt I was becoming a new person. I noticed I was calmer and more present. I experienced more vitality as a result, which snowballed into more confidence and the desire to keep reaping better and better results. I finally felt empowered to make the changes that felt most natural and best for me.

Keep in mind with each treatment there is the possibility for the Law of Cure to take effect. Law Of Cure is a term in acupuncture (and holistic healing) where old symptoms can reoccur in the first 24-48 hours after a treatment. It’s actually a mechanism in our body has to release blockages in our body and chi that are latent, holding us back from improving. It doesn’t happen after every treatment - only when the body is ready and the system has enough available chi to support its moving from within to without, from top to bottom. Although this may not seem to make linear sense, it is actually a sign of great progress and deep release.

If you are having a Law of Cure response, schedule another acupuncture session for more support.

Keeping in mind these side effects with the Law of Cure.

As a general rule, keep an open schedule after a treatment for rest and integration. Do what feels natural and follow your gut intuition for your wellness needs. Make a nourishing vegetable soup and get some sleep. Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the 24-Hour period before and after your treatments. Do everything in moderation and listen to your body. Don’t be afraid of naps and self-soothing techniques. Stretch. Surround yourself with kind and gentle people. Like a graduation speech, keep a positive attitude and fresh mindset.

Massage, cranial sacral, Rolfing, and these kind of treatments should only enhance acupuncture’s benefits if scheduled in the same week but not on the same day. Working out too hard at the gym or doing intense saunas, or intense detoxes that deprive the body of proper nourishment on the day of your treatment are less advisable and could result in headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, or even fainting.

Make sure to drink lots of water and eat at least one to two hours before a treatment.

Overall, be prepared and make time to enjoy their benefits for your health and your life.

Let yourself go nature to notice the seasons, and how they show up in your body. This is the best advice! Listen to inside yourself in nature.

What side effects have you had post-acupuncture? Leave a comment below!