4. Know the Negative Side Effects
Everyone’s body reacts differently to exploring new or unfamiliar procedures like acupuncture. It’s important to be mindful of any odd changes or affects your body may experience after acupuncture. Some of the side effects of acupuncture include soreness, infection, organ injury, and fatigue among others.
Due to the needles, your body may experience some bruising and soreness at the site of the different sticks, which is normal and very common. The soreness should subside within around 24 hours post-procedure, but in some cases may last a bit longer depending on the acupuncture points.
At times, needles may be pushed too far into the skin and could potentially cause some damage to your organs, particularly the lungs. While this is an extremely rare side effect, especially when visiting an experienced practitioner, still be cautious if you feel something is off.
Another common side effect is an infection at the needle site. It is required for all licensed acupuncturists to use disposable sterile needles, so infection is not common, but can still occur. Neglecting to follow this precaution could expose your body to fatal diseases, such as hepatitis and HIV, so be sure to do your research on the practitioner too.
While a positive side effect of acupuncture is increased energy, at times the body may feel drained and fatigued after the procedure, which is normal. There’s no need to worry here, but it is a sign that your body needs some good rest ASAP – make sure to listen to these body cues.
3. Avoid Acupuncture If…
As mentioned earlier, acupuncture is not for everyone. There are certain people who should not explore this option as it could cause more harm than benefit. If you are taking blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder, chances are acupuncture is not the right choice for you. Usually, with these types of patients, bleeding and bruising are much more severe compared to others. If you have a pacemaker, it may not be safe for you to explore acupuncture either. Common practices of acupuncture today may involve electroacupuncture techniques, which can interfere with the function of your pacemaker. Additionally, pregnant women should not seek acupuncture because some acupuncture techniques could induce labor, resulting in premature birth.
2. Choose a Qualified Professional
One of the most important tips for mastering acupuncture is ensuring you select the proper practitioner. Be sure to do your research, look for reviews and even ask your friends and family for recommendations. Make sure your selected acupuncturist is qualified and licensed in order to avoid any serious side effects that could occur from a “botched” acupuncture treatment. Look for “L.Ac.” at the end of the physician’s full name to ensure they have obtained the proper licensing. Fortunately, the majority of countries require acupuncturists to be licensed, so this should be a pretty easy search for you, but always remember to be mindful and careful in your selection.
1. Ask your primary care doctor before receiving acupuncture
As with seeing any specialist, make sure you consult with your primary care physician first. He/she will be able to provide you with the right information and determine if acupuncture is right for you or not. For all you know, it could make some of your ailments worse, which you obviously don’t want. Your doctor may even have a local acupuncturist to refer you to, which saves the hassle of trying to find one on your own.
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