What to Expect after Acupuncture Session

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine used for over 2,500 years. It is believed to help improve well-being by stimulating specific points on the body, called meridians, to activate energy called qi. Acupuncture is commonly sought to alleviate symptoms like chronic pain, stress, and digestive issues.

While many people report feeling positive effects from acupuncture, some less welcome side effects can occur.

Common Side Effects

Here are some common side effects of acupuncture that people often experience:

  • Better sleep
  • Increased energy
  • Improved mental clarity
  • Better digestion
  • Reduced stress

Less Welcome Side Effects

Although many people find acupuncture to be a positive experience, here are some less welcome side effects that can occur:

Feeling Worse Before Feeling Better

After acupuncture, some people report feeling worse before feeling better. This is because acupuncture works to rebalance the body, which can sometimes cause temporary discomfort.


While some people feel more energized after acupuncture, others feel tired. This is because acupuncture can deplete the body’s energy, a normal part of the healing process. Being tired after receiving acupuncture is normal and should be seen as a hint that you need to rest.


After needles are removed, body parts inserted with acupuncture needles can feel sore. This soreness typically dissipates within 24 hours.


Bruising at the needling site is possible, though it’s less common than pain. These bruises are harmless and fade a few days after therapy. They can be left alone; they will eventually go away without any intervention.

Involuntary Muscle Twitching

Some people may experience involuntary muscle twitching during or after acupuncture. However, this is no cause for concern, as it generally only happens once and is over before you can summon the acupuncturist.


Lightheadedness after acupuncture treatment might very rarely cause fainting. However, Lightheadedness is a common side effect of acupuncture, and it can be exacerbated by getting up too soon from the table or coming in on an empty stomach.

Positive Signs that Acupuncture is Working

Here are some positive signs that acupuncture is having a positive effect:

Better Sleep

Sleep issues are often resolved in patients who go to an acupuncturist for something else, and the patients typically don’t even bring up the matter with their acupuncturist. Some people who don’t have trouble sleeping may have improved sleep quality, fewer nighttime awakenings, and a more refreshed feeling upon waking.

Increased Awareness

Acupuncture can improve your senses. For example, you may hear birds chirping a little louder, see the sky looking bluer, smell roses, and feel more in touch with sensations throughout your body.

More Emotional

Acupuncture has been shown to bring forth suppressed feelings. There’s a chance you’ll be more easily moved to tears or experience a surge of sentimentality. Emotions are felt more intensely in general. This indicates that you’re getting closer to the meat of the problem as you peel back the layers.

More Energy

Acupuncture therapy is calming and energizing, but some people report feeling more energized in the days and hours following a session. Acupuncture’s effect on the meridians means the energy flows more freely; this is the key to curing your primary ailment.

Reduced Stress

Acupuncture can help you manage the stressful aspects of your life. Acupuncture evens out moods, making you less affected by stress.

Better Digestion

Digestive health says a lot about your overall state of health. If you start moving your bowels more regularly,

Reduced pain

You may experience immediate relief. For others, it can take a few hours or days before they notice a significant change. Sometimes people don’t feel better right away, but they notice that their pain is more manageable or that they can use their affected body parts more easily.

You’re starting to feel like yourself again.

The most telling indication that acupuncture is effective is this. Your body is regaining equilibrium when you start to feel like yourself again. The discomfort decreases, you sleep better, you have more energy, and your mind is more precise. You’re getting closer to the person you were before your health problems began.