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What are side effects of acupuncture used as treatment to stop headaches?

Toni King (Port Chester, NY) on Apr 23, 2012
I treat quite a few headache and migraine sufferers. It is actually one of my favorite things to treat. Patients generally improve quite rapidly. Effects generally include, but are not limited to: improved sleep, decreased irritability, increased energy , decreased sensitivity to light, vibration, and sound, improved mental clarity, improved general outlook, and improved productivity.
Cari Cater (Smyrna, GA) on Apr 23, 2012
If the body is extremely toxic and not hydrated properly after an acupuncture treatment, the headache may gain strength until the body can balance. This is actually not a bad thing and only happens in approximately 10% of cases. Try acupuncture at least 10 times to see if this is the right treatment for you. You may have hormone or organ imbalances. Food and environmental sensitivities are also common causes of headaches. Good luck!
Adi Barad (Winnetka, IL) on Apr 23, 2012
Acupuncture should have very limited side effects, depending on your acupuncturist's style and technique. They can vary from mild tenderness sensation at the location of the insertion to a small irritation of the area. There can be some light-headedness and dizziness after the treatment. You should consult your own acpuncturist before treatment.
Ed Alvarez (Chicago, IL) on Apr 23, 2012
The treatment depends on the type of headache that you may have. Whether it may be Frontal, Temporal, Sinus, Cluster, etc., the side effects are little to none. Since the stimulus will be a light endorphine release, there may be a feeling of lightheadedness or dizziness. One can prevent this by eating beforehand or by having a glass of water after the treatment.
Brigita Slekys (Santa Monica, CA) on Apr 23, 2012
Rarely, acupuncture might cause a temporary headache. Other rare side effects include light-headedness from a drop in blood pressure and light bruising at the point of needle insertion.
Simon Nelson (North Hollywood, CA) on Apr 23, 2012
No side effects.
Katalin Csoka (Mission Viejo, CA) on Apr 23, 2012
There are no side effects with an experienced and qualified practitioner.
Jennifer Aubert (San Francisco, CA) on Apr 23, 2012
There are side effects to acupuncture, just like any other medical modality. When you go to an acupuncturist they will explain all the potential side effects. Generally speaking, some potential side effects are dizziness, nausea and pain at the site of the needle. When it comes to headaches, sometimes acupuncture can bring on a headache in someone who has a history. That isn't a bad thing, however. It could be part of the healing progress and can actually help the acupuncturist hone in on the problem. If a headache comes on while the needles are in, let the practitioner know and she/he can help ease the symptoms (by removing the needles or adding new needles, depending on what is happening). Don't let the possibility of side effects stop you from seeking treatment, because acupuncture is quite amazing when it comes to the treatment of headaches. Best of luck.
Kim Vandeveer (Rohnert Park, CA) on Apr 23, 2012
there are no side effects to acupuncture treatment for headaches
Richard Ki (Orange, CA) on Apr 23, 2012
Acupuncture has been proven to have no side effects. However, in some cases, you may temporarily feel worse during acupuncture treatment as acupuncture balances the flow of your body.
Lisa Nicholson (San Diego, CA) on Apr 23, 2012
Most people experience no side effects from acupuncture, however some people bruise easily or are particularly sensitive to needle sensation. The most common side effects of acupuncture are local bruising and lingering discomfort at the site of needling. Some people faint when acupuncture needles are inserted, but this is quite rare. It is common to feel a little bit light-headed or woozy immediately after acupuncture. This sensation typically passes within 5 to 10 minutes of the needles being removed.
Kexin Bao (Rosemead, CA) on Apr 23, 2012
Thank you for your question. I am Dr. Kexin Bao, Licensed Acupuncturist in California. I have been practicing acupuncture both in China and the United States for 36 years. I have the highest postgraduate medical degree in China and postdoctoral training at the Medical University of South Carolina. I was an acupuncture specialist and teacher at the Medical University of South Carolina and a physician and professor at medical schools in both China and the USA. I use acupuncture, herbal medicine and Chinese massage to treat medical problems, including but not limited to: pain, arthritis, sprain and trauma, paralysis, asthma, cough, allergies, dizziness, insomnia, psychological disorders, neurosis, impotence, female problems, bedwetting, and gastrointestinal problems. We also have weight control, smoking cessation and health maintenance programs. We apply acupuncture therapy (using disposable needles) and traditional Chinese medical therapies, Oriental / Asian / American herbal medicine and Tui Na massage therapy. You may contact me to discuss further. My phone number is (626)288-1199 and my email is
Michael Moy (Willowbrook, IL) on Apr 23, 2012
There are no side effects.
Paul Kempisty (New York, NY) on Apr 23, 2012
Acupuncture is a very effective treatment for all types of headaches. There should be no significant side effects.
Chester Dickerson (Austin, TX) on Apr 23, 2012
There are very few side effects, if any, with the use of acupuncture. Bleeding, bruising or a small hematoma may occur on rare occasions. A patient may also experience what we call "needle shock", but this is resolved by removal of the needles and having the patient lie down. Overall, acupuncture has few, if any, side effects. If a patient experiences pain from the insertion of the needle, the needle can be either removed altogether or readjusted, and the pain will be gone.
Sharon Rose (Portland, OR) on Apr 23, 2012
The most common point for treating headaches, LI-4, is on the back of the hand in the muscle between the thumb and forefinger. LI-4 is very powerful for moving stagnation (pain) in the upper body and especially the face, which makes it terrific for treating frontal headaches, sinus pain, toothaches, and so . Because it is mobile, however, it should NOT be used if you are currently bleeding, or are pregnant. The headache point on the ear (the common spot for a second piercing, near the lobe) does not have this side effect.
Chantal Davis (San Diego, CA) on Apr 23, 2012
Acupuncture usually has no side effects. However, sometimes it may bring on headaches or make them worse. If this does occur, your practitioner will reevaluate their treatment and adjust as necessary.
Steve Snyder (Portland, OR) on Apr 23, 2012
There really are no side effects to acupuncture when done by a qualified practitioner.
George Engelhard (Orlando, FL) on Apr 23, 2012
There are almost never any side effects from acupuncture.
Dustin Siena (Westlake Village, CA) on Apr 23, 2012
Acupuncture, when performed by a Licensed & Trained Professional is considered safe, and has a long history of thousands of years. D. Siena, L.Ac.
Maria Baraybar Lee (Denver, CO) on Apr 23, 2012
There are no side effects. The only "side effect" is that you will feel better.
Aram Akopyan (Glendale, CA) on Apr 23, 2012
In general, acupuncture has very few side effects when administered appropriately by trained, certified professionals. When acupuncture is used to treat headaches, some of the side effects that can be expected include a short-term increase in headache, mild bruising or bleeding at the site of the needle insertions, and light-headedness or nausea (especially when treating migraine headaches). All of these side effects are very mild and can be managed effectively. If you experience severe side effects discuss those with your acupuncturist.
Beth Theodore (Redondo Beach, CA) on Apr 23, 2012
Acupuncture is a gentle and effective way to treat headaches. Since the needles merely promote your body's own healing system, there are no side effects.
Stephanie Rosenblatt (San Diego, CA) on Apr 23, 2012
The beautiful thing about acupuncture is that it is possible to treat headaches without any side effects! When addressing the whole body and the blockage of energy in the body that causes the headache, it can be possible to fix the problem very quickly. Some common cause of headaches can be tight muscles in the upper shoulders and neck, teeth grinding, a tight jaw, dehydration and more. Acupuncture can help to loosen muscles and restore the flow of energy and nutrients to the head and neck, thus reducing or eliminating headaches. Acupuncture is a wonderful choice to treat headaches, and it is likely that you won't have any side effects from the treatment. You will only experience a reduction of stress and a feeling of relaxation as the flow of energy is restored.
Frieda Mah (Irvine, CA) on May 5, 2012
There was no real side effects be noticed during my practice. The beauty is that if the root problem be taken care for the headache, the headache can not bother you for a while. The only side effect might be out off excuse for personal leave or get extra attention from surrounded people.