Acupuncture is an alternative medical therapy that is commonly practiced in the Chinese tradition. It is an invasive procedure where acupuncturists insert needles in various acupressure points on the body. There are various types of acupuncture treatments practiced all over the world. It is said that acupuncture can be used to cure various health issues. There are various benefits of acupuncture, but it is also associated with certain risks and side-effects. The following lists some of the common acupuncture benefits and the risks associated with it.
Acupuncture is usually tried by people who are under conventional treatments as they cannot manage pain and other related health issues. Research findings prove that acupuncture can cure certain health issues. The following are some of the health problems that can be treated with the help of acupuncture.
Headaches and Migraines: Acupuncture does wonders in treating migraine symptoms. It is effective in reducing the frequency of episodes of headaches caused due to migraine. Recent research carried out in Germany suggests acupuncture relieves tension headaches.
Knee Pain: People who suffered from chronic knee pain or osteoarthritis experienced excellent pain relief with acupuncture treatment. But the relief is said to be temporary. Studies show that patients can delay the use of opioid pain relieving medicine when they undergo acupuncture treatment.
Back Pain: Reports suggest that acupuncture can decrease the intensity of lower back pain. A better function can be achieved for people suffering from back pain.
Neck pain: There are research findings that prove the effects of acupuncture for treating neck pain. People suffering from chronic neck pain can seek the help of acupuncture treatment procedures.
Acupuncture-Risks and Side-effects
Acupuncture is, of course, a safe treatment option that relieves pain and improves function in your body. If the therapists follow the right procedure, then there are no chances of side-effects with acupuncture. Some of the common side-effects of this therapy are a slight prickly sensation and dull aches around the areas of needle insertion.
It is said that patients experience adverse side-effects only due to the negligence and carelessness of acupuncture therapists. There is no scientific evidence on the existence of acupuncture points in our body. Thus there are chances of certain effects and risks associated with acupuncture.
Soreness: Soreness can be experienced as needles are inserted into the skin. Usually, soreness dissipates in one day.
Fatigue: People feel unusually tired after the acupuncture procedure. Do not worry about this, and it is just a signal that your body needs rest. A good night’s sleep can help to get rid of fatigue due to acupuncture treatment.
Muscle Twitching: This is the case when you experience muscle spasming due to the effects of needling.
Lightheadedness and fainting: This happens in very rare conditions. Make sure that you eat well before the treatment to avoid fainting. There are chances that a patient might lose consciousness during the treatment. Take deep breaths after the acupuncture procedure. This can help to come out of the physical and emotional stress caused due to the needling procedure.
Some of the other side-effects are
- Change in appetite
- Sudden change in sleep pattern
- Change in bowel and urination pattern
- Triggers emotional state
- Unusual fatigue
- Bruising occurs in the needling site
- Worsen your existing symptoms.
Acupuncture treatment offers various benefits in treating certain chronic health conditions and common health problems. Some of the risks of acupuncture treatment are listed below.
- Patients with bleeding disorders are prone to experience dangerous side-effects due to acupuncture treatment procedures.
- There are chances of bruising, bleeding, and soreness in the areas where needles were inserted.
- The use of unsterilized needles for the treatment can result in infection.
- There are chances that the needle can damage the internal organs. This can also result in death.
- It can also cause nerve and blood vessel injury.
- At times patients faint during or after the acupuncture procedure.
- It can cause muscle spasms.
Word of Caution
Acupuncture is not recommended for people taking blood thinners. It is also advised to take acupuncture as a complementary therapy when suffering from serious chronic illness. Do not take up acupressure for standard care. This can result in serious consequences. It is important that you consult only a licensed acupuncture practitioner. You can choose acupuncture practitioners based on their experience and training. Check if the acupuncture therapist makes use of needles that meet specific standards. Talk with your practitioner when you experience any discomfort during the acupuncture treatment procedure.
The above are the common risks and side-effects associated with acupuncture.