Do the Treatments have any Side Effects?  How safe is Acupuncture?

Will I experience side effects?



Usually not.  When energy is unblocked and allowed to rebalance within the body, internal biochemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place.  On occasion the presenting symptoms may worsen for a day or two.  There may also be changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or bladder patterns, or a change in your emotional state.  These changes should not raise concern, as they are good indications that the acupuncture treatment is starting to work.



It is common after the first one or two treatments to have a sense of well-being or deep relaxation.  This usually passes after a few days and only needs some rest to overcome.  Some people may experience mild disorientation immediately after a treatment which subsides within a short time, usually within an hour.  Some people may experience some soreness at the needle sites afterwards.  Applying heat to the sites for 20-30 minutes helps relieve this sensation.  On rare occasions a small bruise may occur at the needle sites.  Bruising is rare even for people on blood thinnners.



Are the treatments safe?



Two large reports studied this question and were published in the British Medical Journal.


"Doctors and physiotherapists who performed acupuncture reported no serious adverse events and 671 minor adverse events per 10,000 acupuncture consultations."


1.  White, A. Adverse events following acupuncture:  prospective survey of 32,000 consultations with doctors and physiotherapists. BMJ 2001; 323: 485-486.


"In this prospective survey, no adverse events were reported after 34,407 acupuncture treatments."


2.  MacPherson, H. The York acupuncture safety study: prospective survey of 34,000 treatments by traditional acupuncturists. BMJ 2001; 323: 486-487.

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