Acupuncture is generally one of the safest treatment therapies available today. It is extremely rare to experience an injury or worsened health condition in the hands of a licensed Acupuncturist. This is because the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine is to work with the energy of the body in a gentle, natural, and holistic way.
There are a few mild side effects that are common with Acupuncture, however. This could be a slight bruise or mild bleeding (usually a drop of blood or two). This happens if the needle punctures a vein or capillary and is generally not a problem. You may or may not ever experience this side effect.
There is also a possibility of infection at the needle site, although it is extremely rare since Acupuncturists are trained for years how to safely handle needles (they are also disposable!) so risk of infection is very low. Legally we also have to make sure patients are aware the organ puncture is possible. However this is also extremely rare in the hands of a licensed and experienced professional.
"Can I get acupuncture if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?"
Absolutely! Acupuncture is great for insuring a healthy and safe pregnancy. Just be sure to let your Acupuncturist know beforehand if you are pregnant, may be pregnant, or even trying to get pregnant!
"My condition got worse after receiving Acupuncture!"
Although this doesn't happen often, it is possible that your health complaint became slightly worse just after treatment. In natural medicine, this is called the healing crisis, where some people feel slightly worse before they start getting better. The idea behind this is that the Acupuncture has increased your body's awareness of the problem, stirring it up slightly so it can initiate the healing process. This is completely normal and typically a good sign that the treatment is working. Many Acupuncturists don't warn their patients that this may happen for fear that they might scare them off, but is a very normal response to treatment. Just be sure to let your Acupuncturist know during your next appointment.
Please also let your Acupuncturist know if you have a pacemaker, diabetes, any heart problem, or if you are on blood thinners.