Sore After Acupuncture: What You Need To Do

by | Feb 18, 2024 | Acupuncture

Sore After Acupuncture? What You Need To Do. At Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine, CA, it’s an intimate dance between healer and healed when those delicate needles are placed just so by the nurturing hands of our acupuncturist Ryoko Takayama.

Sometimes though, as they tap into your body’s meridians—its energetic superhighways—you might feel an unexpected pang of soreness after the session.

Let’s unpack why this happens after acupuncture sessions—and crucially—what steps can be taken to ease any discomfort!

Key Takeaways

  • Muscle soreness after acupuncture is normal and can last up to 72 hours. It’s like your body responding to a workout.
  • To ease post – acupuncture soreness, rest, apply heat, stay hydrated, and avoid hard exercise.
  • If you have lasting pain for more than three days after acupuncture, talk to your practitioner.
  • Light – headedness or bruising can also happen after treatment. These side effects usually pass quickly.
  • Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine CA can help manage any discomfort with expert advice from Ryoko Takayama.

Understanding Soreness After Acupuncture

Let’s delve deeper into why your body might feel sore after an acupuncture session. It’s quite normal to experience some muscle soreness following treatment. This happens because the tiny needles stimulate specific points on your body, which can sometimes lead to a sensation similar to what you’d feel after a good workout.

Your muscles are responding to the needles just as they would adapt and heal from exercise.

At Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine CA, Ryoko Takayama and her team know that understanding this process is crucial for feeling at ease with the therapy. They’ll explain that the increased blood flow and slight muscular irritation caused by needle insertion are part of your body’s natural healing response.

It’s these sensations that often contribute to the therapeutic effects of acupuncture, helping tackle issues like chronic pain or tension headaches over time. While we aim for pain relief, it’s important to recognize that mild discomfort right after treatment is simply part of the journey toward better health.

Causes of Muscle Pain After Acupuncture Treatment

Woman About To Receive Cupping therapy

Muscle soreness after acupuncture treatment can be caused by several factors, including neuromuscular damage from the needle, the body’s inflammatory response, and the release of toxins.

Understanding these causes can help you better manage any discomfort experienced after your session at Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine CA with Ryoko Takayama.

Neuromuscular damage from the needle

Sometimes, the acupuncture needles may harm our muscles and nerves. This damage makes us feel sore after acupuncture. It’s normal to hurt up to 72 hours after treatment. Let’s say you’re getting acupuncture for lower back pain or knee osteoarthritis — these areas might be tender afterward because of the tiny injuries from the needles.

We need those little injuries though; they kickstart healing in our bodies. Think of them as a wake-up call for your muscles and nerves. They signal your body to get busy repairing and can lead to better overall health conditions down the line.

But it sure doesn’t feel great at first! That’s why taking care of yourself after acupuncture is super important.

Body’s inflammatory response

Neuromuscular damage from the needle might sound alarming, but it’s often just a minor disruption. Following that, our bodies kick into gear with an inflammatory response. It’s not uncommon to experience some muscle soreness after acupuncture as part of this reaction.

This discomfort is actually a sign that your body is healing.

Inflammation around the needle site increases blood flow and starts repairing any tiny injuries caused by the needles. Most times, this means we can expect sore muscles to calm down within 72 hours.

If you’re feeling tender after your session, remember—it’s your body doing its job to get you back in top shape!

Release of toxins

When toxins are involved, muscle soreness after acupuncture can occur due to the release of toxins from muscle tissues during treatment. This soreness is similar to that experienced after a deep tissue massage, both associated with the release of toxins from muscles during therapy.

The increased blood flow near the insertion site during acupuncture helps in flushing out these toxins, contributing to muscle soreness.

While this may seem bad, we can assure you that it is not. In fact this is a very good thing as it all helps your body recover after receiving acupuncture.  Learn more about how acupuncture works here: Acupuncture Services

Typical Side Effects of Acupuncture

Soreness, light-headedness, and bruising are common side effects of acupuncture, but understanding how to manage these symptoms can help you reap the full benefits of your treatment.

To learn more about what to do if you’re sore after acupuncture, keep reading. And don’t forget to visit Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine CA for expert guidance from Ryoko Takayama.


Muscle soreness after acupuncture can last up to 72 hours. This soreness is often caused by neuromuscular damage from the needle, the body’s inflammatory response, or increased blood flow near the insertion site.

It might feel similar to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and could last a couple of days after treatment. To relieve this discomfort, it’s important to stay hydrated and well-rested.

Light exercise, massaging the area, and using heat therapy are also effective for managing post-acupuncture muscle soreness.


Feeling light-headed is quite common after an acupuncture session. It’s essential to take it easy and rest if you experience this sensation. Drinking water can also help with light-headedness, so remember to stay hydrated.

If you still feel dizzy or lightheaded after resting and hydrating, it’s important to reach out to your practitioner for further guidance. Take care of yourself and prioritize your well-being after an acupuncture treatment.


Bruising after acupuncture may happen, especially if you bruise easily. It’s caused by minor bleeding under the skin at the insertion site of the needles. If you’re on blood-thinning medication or have a bleeding disorder, your chances of bruising are higher.

Now, let’s unpack typical side effects of acupuncture and how to manage them – “Light-headedness.”

Acupuncture Trigger Points: All You Need to Know

Acupuncture trigger points are specific areas in the body where needles are placed to stimulate healing and relief from pain. These points correspond to meridians, channels that carry energy throughout the body.

By targeting these trigger points, acupuncturists can address a range of ailments, from headaches to back pain. Understanding how acupuncture trigger points work can provide insight into its effectiveness for different conditions.

Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine CA, led by Ryoko Takayama, offers expert acupuncture therapy services focused on identifying and treating trigger points to promote overall wellness and alleviate various health concerns.

To learn more about their services, visit

How Long Does Acupuncture Pain Last?

Soreness can occur for a few hours after needle removal due to increased blood flow near the insertion site. Increased blood flow near the insertion site can cause soreness for a few hours after the needle is removed.

The severity and duration of muscle soreness can vary depending on the number of treatments and the area of the body being treated. If post-Acupuncture soreness lasts longer than 72 hours, the patient should contact their practitioner for advice.

Remember, if you experience prolonged pain after Acupuncture treatment, it’s vital to seek guidance from a qualified specialist like Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine CA with Ryoko Takayama who can provide expert advice tailored to your specific situation.

What To Do If You’re Sore After Acupuncture

If you’re feeling sore after acupuncture, it’s essential to prioritize rest and relaxation, apply heat to the affected area, and avoid strenuous activities. To learn more about managing post-acupuncture soreness, keep reading! Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine CA, led by Ryoko Takayama, provides expert guidance on pain management and holistic healing.


After acupuncture, it’s crucial to rest your body. Give yourself time to recover and allow the treatment to take full effect. Use this time as an opportunity for self-care, staying hydrated and getting enough sleep can aid in reducing soreness and supporting the healing process after acupuncture treatment.

Prioritize relaxation by engaging in calming activities such as meditation or gentle stretching exercises. Remember, proper rest is key to maximizing the benefits of your acupuncture session while minimizing discomfort.

Now let’s explore applying heat as another effective way to alleviate post-acupuncture soreness.

Apply heat

After acupuncture, soreness can be relieved by applying heat to the affected area. Increased blood flow near the insertion site may cause soreness or throbbing, lasting for a few hours after the needle is removed.

Heat therapy can help ease this discomfort and promote relaxation in the muscles.

By using heat treatment as part of your post-acupuncture care routine, you can effectively soothe any muscle pain and support your body’s healing process. This simple practice supports increased circulation to the targeted areas, aiding in quicker recovery from soreness after an acupuncture session.

Avoid strenuous activities

In order to help with healing and, it is important to avoid strenuous activities and give your body time to rest and recover.

What Not To Do After Acupuncture

Soreness after acupuncture is common and temporary. Prolonged soreness should be addressed with the practitioner. Family Wellness Acupuncture, Irvine CA, headed by Ryoko Takayama, provides expert advice on post-acupuncture care.

  1. Engage in strenuous physical activity.
  2. Forget to stay hydrated and get enough rest.
  3. Neglect proper aftercare if you experience rare, serious side effects.


Feeling sore after acupuncture? Don’t worry, it’s common and usually temporary. If your soreness lasts more than 72 hours, reach out to your practitioner for guidance. To ease discomfort, stay hydrated, get enough rest, and try gentle exercise.

Don’t wait to begin your journey toward better health today! Choosing us means we will help you find the healthy results you want. Book your first appointment with us right now by phone at (949) 836-2857 or online at

Have a question? Connect with us here:


Is it normal to feel sore after an acupuncture session?

Absolutely, feeling a bit of soreness is quite common—especially if you’ve just started treatment. Think of it as your body getting used to the acupuncture points being stimulated. It’s all part of the healing process!

Can acupuncture make me tired or sleepy?

Yes, indeed! As your body embraces the ancient art of traditional Chinese medicine and its detoxifying effects, you might feel tired right after your session. This is your body’s way of telling you to take it easy and let the healing begin.

What should I do if I experience acute pain during acupuncture?

If sharp pain strikes during dry needling or when a specific acupuncture point is hit, speak up at once! Your acupuncturist can adjust their technique—after all, this therapy aims for relief from pains like sciatica, not causing more!

Could fainting happen after my acupuncture treatment?

Fainting—or syncope—is rare but possible due to various factors like anxiety or not having enough food and drinks before your appointment. Always mention any pre-existing conditions like neurologic issues to be on the safer side.

Why am I constipated after starting acupuncture treatments in Orange County?

Your body could be adjusting itself–think about how massage therapy works out those knots in muscles; sometimes bowel movements get disrupted too as part of that internal rearrangement toward better health.

After my last session, why did my sleeping problems improve with only traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)?

Traditional Chinese Medicine excels at creating balance within—it’s no surprise that TCM has alleviated sleep disturbances for many by addressing underlying causes holistically rather than just masking symptoms!



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