Nausea After Acupuncture: Is It Normal?

by | Mar 11, 2024 | Acupuncture

Ever found yourself feeling nausea or a bit queasy after an acupuncture session? You’re certainly not the only one and it is normal. Our thorough look into this subject confirms that nausea is indeed a frequent side effect experienced by some after their treatment.

We at Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine, CA are here to walk you through understanding why this happens and offer strategies for handling it with grace. So, hang in there; relief could be just a few paragraphs away.

Key Takeaways

  • Nausea is a common side effect of acupuncture, along with sensitivity and feeling fuzzy.
  • Most side effects from acupuncture, like muscle twitching or increased need for urination, are mild and temporary.
  • Drinking water and resting after treatment can help manage these side effects.
  • If severe symptoms like high dizziness happen, you should see a doctor right away.
  • Talking to your acupuncturist about any discomfort helps make your treatment safer.

Understanding Acupuncture

A tranquil acupuncture clinic nestled in a lush, serene natural setting.

Acupuncture comes from Traditional Chinese Medicine. It aims to balance vital energy in the body. We use fine needles at specific points, called acupuncture points, to do this. The idea is that these points are on paths in the body where energy flows.

With acupuncture, we try to make this energy flow well again.

Studies show different views on acupuncture’s safety and effectiveness. Some research says there are rare but serious risks, like organ injury or infection. Yet, severe problems happen in only about 0.001% of cases.

This means most people have safe treatments. But we still need more high-quality studies to fully understand how well it works for things like chronic pain or anxiety disorder.

Find out more at Family Wellness Acupuncture

Common Side Effects of Acupuncture

Light bruising side effect from cupping acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture can cause sensitivity during or after treatment, strange sensations in various body parts, feeling spacey or fuzzy, increased need for urination or bowel movement, fatigue, and muscle twitching.

While these side effects are typically mild and temporary, they are important to be aware of before undergoing acupuncture.

Sensitivity during or after treatment

Our Acupuncturist Ryoko Takayama L.Ac. has said that some people feel more sensitive in certain areas after an acupuncture session. This is because the tiny needles can make your muscles or skin feel a bit sore. It’s much like the sensation you get after a good workout – tender but manageable.

Sometimes, this sensitivity shows up right away; other times, it might appear a few hours later.

It’s not uncommon to notice swelling or tingling around the spots where needles were placed. These signs are your body’s way of reacting to the treatment and starting to heal itself.

Even though it feels strange, it’s actually a positive signal that things are moving in the right direction towards better health.

Strange sensations in various body parts

After an acupuncture session, some of us might feel weird sensations in different parts of our bodies. It’s like a tingling or numbness that wasn’t there before. Studies show that 6.71% to 8.6% of people who get acupuncture experience these odd feelings.

This could be because the needles stimulate points deep under our skin.

These strange feelings usually don’t last long and are part of how acupuncture works on us. They show your body is responding to the treatment, waking up nerves and muscles we don’t normally think about.

Next, let’s talk about feeling spacey or fuzzy after acupuncture – another common reaction many notice.

Feeling spacey or fuzzy

Feeling a bit spacey or fuzzy after acupuncture? It’s pretty common. This happens to many of us. The good news is, it doesn’t last long. Soon after, you might notice you feel clearer than before.

Why does this happen? Well, acupuncture works by hitting specific points on your body with needles. This can stir up your energy and blood flow in ways you’re not used to. Think of it like rebooting a computer—it might take a moment to start up again, but then it runs smoother.

Increased need for urination or bowel movement

It’s normal to experience an increased need for urination or bowel movement after acupuncture. This happens because acupuncture helps the body release toxins and restore balance. It’s a sign that your body is responding positively to the treatment, so there’s no need to worry about it.

Remember, everyone responds differently to acupuncture, so what you’re feeling is completely normal. The key is to stay hydrated and listen to your body during this process. Just give it some time; your body will adjust!


Fatigue is a common after-effect of acupuncture treatments. It’s often described as feeling extremely tired and drained, lasting for up to three days in some cases. Post-acupuncture symptoms may include fatigue, achiness, nausea, bloating, dizziness, and stomach pains.

These effects can vary from person to person based on individual health conditions and the type of treatment received. However, it’s important to consider these possibilities when planning an acupuncture session.

Muscle twitching

Muscle twitching is a potential side effect of acupuncture, but it’s not very common. Research has shown that in some cases, people have experienced muscle twitching as a result of acupuncture treatment.

However, the overall safety of acupuncture as a form of therapy is considered to be high. While muscle twitching may occur as an adverse reaction to acupuncture, it’s important to note that the occurrence of such events is relatively low.

Some cases have reported muscle twitching after acupuncture treatment; however, this side effect doesn’t happen frequently. Even though muscle twitching can be associated with acupuncture, it’s essential to remember that this type of therapy is generally safe and well-tolerated by most individuals receiving treatment.

Nausea as a Side Effect After Acupuncture

Woman dealing with Nausea

Nausea may occur after acupuncture, especially in patients seeking treatment for body pains. Severe needle-related adverse reactions are rare, with the incidence of adverse events ranging from 6.71% to 8.6%.

However, mild nausea is a potential side effect that some individuals may experience during or after an acupuncture session.

Acupuncture can cause mild nausea as a side effect for those undergoing treatment for body pains..

How to Manage and Mitigate Acupuncture Side Effects

How to Manage and Mitigate Acupuncture Side Effects Such as Nausea

Woman Receiving Calming Acupuncture Treatment

First, it’s essential to communicate any side effects you experience with your acupuncturist. Then, try the following ways to manage and mitigate acupuncture side effects:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Rest and relax after treatment to allow your body to adjust.
  • Engage in gentle activities like walking or stretching.
  • Apply a cold compress to areas where you experienced discomfort.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol or heavy meals immediately after treatment.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you experience severe and persistent side effects following an acupuncture session, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Such symptoms may include excessive bleeding, intense dizziness, or signs of infection around the acupuncture points.

Additionally, if you encounter any unusual sensations beyond mild discomfort that persist for an extended period post-treatment, contacting a healthcare professional is essential to ensure your safety and well-being.

Keep in mind that prompt medical attention can prevent potential complications and provide appropriate care if there are concerns about the aftermath of an acupuncture session.


Experiencing nausea after acupuncture is normal for some people. Research suggests that nausea is one of the reported adverse reactions associated with acupuncture therapies, along with other common side effects.

While it can be a discomfort, managing and mitigating these symptoms are possible. Healthcare professionals should be aware of these potential adverse events to ensure safe and effective treatment for their patients.

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:


1. What causes nausea after acupuncture?

Nausea after acupuncture might happen if the body reacts to the needles, or points on the body related to digestion get stimulated too much. It’s not common, but it can occur.

2. Is feeling sick normal after getting acupuncture?

Yes, feeling a bit sick is normal for some people right after treatment. It should pass quickly though.

3. Can acupuncture help with migraines and other types of pain?

Absolutely! Research shows that acupuncture can reduce migraines and help with knee pain, lower back issues, and even arthritis pain.

4. Should I worry about serious side effects like pneumothorax from acupuncture?

Serious problems like a collapsed lung are rare in skilled hands. Always go to qualified acupuncturists—like those at Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine—to stay safe.

5. Can acupuncture work for mental health conditions?

Yes, studies suggest it can ease anxiety and depression symptoms by balancing your body’s energy pathways.

6. Besides treating pain, what else is acupuncture good for?

Acupuncture doesn’t just stop at pain; it also helps with sleep disorders, fertility issues—even cosmetic concerns! Plus, treatments like cupping and moxibustion offer more benefits.



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