If you’re an acupuncture patient, and especially for those die-hards, you know the secret: despite what you’ve been told acupuncture does have side effects.

You may have come in for a frozen shoulder and along with your shoulder healing, noticed that you have more energy. Or maybe you were getting treatment for menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, and found yourself less irritable, more patient and not snapping at your husband quite so much.

These side effects are no mystery. Acupuncture is a holistic medicine that treats both the symptom and the root of disease. As a result additional symptoms are treated along the way. It’s like multi-tasking for your health. Thank you, acupuncture.

4 Most Common Side Effects
of Acupuncture

1 Better Sleep

I hear from patients all the time– “I’m not sure if it was just a coincidence but I slept so well the night after my last treatment.” Improved sleep is indeed a common side effect of acupuncture. Patients who come regularly, often notice deeper, more restful sleep on the whole (whether they received acupuncture that night or not).

Whether this is due to acupuncture’s effect on the parasympathetic nervous system (read below), improved energy flow, or some divine force, I couldn’t tell you.

I haven’t heard any complaints yet.

2 Less Stress

Acupuncture works by activating the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), aka the ‘rest and relax’ or anti-stress side of our nervous system. This is what gives you that lovely feeling of relaxation while you’re resting during a treatment.

For the sake of understanding your PNS more clearly, imagine that it was a muscle. When you receive acupuncture, you are exercising your PNS. Like any muscle, the more you train it (subsequent treatments), the stronger and more efficient it becomes.

Since the PNS is in charge of rest and relaxation, your body improves at just that: the ability to relax. The result? You feel more at ease. You’re better at managing stress 24/7. You find yourself recovering from stressful moments quicker, or not getting so worked up in the first place. Eventually you might find you’re no longer a Type A, but a Type A very happily in recovery.

3 An Energy Boost

You may have heard of the acupuncture meridians. These channels are like rivers of flowing energy, called qi. .

Similar to rocks in a river, blockages arise that obstruct the smooth, balanced flow of qi. These blockages are the cause of your anxiety, acid reflux, heart disease, or whatever it is you’re receiving acupuncture for.

Since your body always seeks to function optimally, it will naturally use extra energy in attempt to circulate qi around any blocks. Once the blocks are removed, energy is liberated. This means more energy for you.

Some patients feel more energetic immediately following a treatment. Others feel fatigued after a treatment, and get their energy boost later in the day or over the next few days.

4 Emotional Stability

Emotions go hand in hand with stress, eh? You may have observed that the less tumultuous your emotions are, the less stressed you feel. Or is it vice versa? Emotions and stress are inexorably linked. It’s a case of the chicken and the egg.

Acupuncture helps smooth out emotional tides. There’s still plenty of waves, they just become more manageable. Patients report feeling less overwhelmed and better able to process their emotions.

Have you observed any of these side effects of acupuncture? Any others?
Please share!