Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method that has been used for centuries to address many health issues and is still employed today. This therapy has numerous benefits—it restores health, energy, and the body’s equilibrium. Its main purpose is to make you feel better and healthier after the treatment. While it is important to prepare for an acupuncture treatment in advance, it is essential to also know the aftermath. 

But are you familiar with the post-treatment effects of acupuncture? If not, we have compiled this article highlighting what to expect after acupuncture, followed by tips on what not to do after acupuncture treatment. But our suggestions don’t stop there! Keep reading to learn more!

What To Expect After Acupuncture

Although researchers are not entirely sure how acupuncture works, studies propose that it can promote endorphins and alter the autonomic nervous system.

Acupuncture can help with a wide range of issues, including some mental health conditions, pain, inflammatory ailments, stress, and skin issues. However, keep in mind that after acupuncture, apart from some positive changes, some might also experience some minor side effects. But that’s usually nothing to worry about. 

Let’s learn more about post-acupuncture treatment effects.

Pain relief


Acupuncture is a well-known treatment for immediate pain relief. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), acupuncture works particularly effectively for chronic pain, such as back and neck pain, osteoarthritis/knee pain, and headaches. It lessens the frequency and intensity of tension headaches and can also help avoid migraines. 

Patients receiving acupuncture for acute pain, such as low back pain and knee osteoarthritis, also report feeling less pain after their acupuncture treatment. The results come as a consequence of removing the blockage of energy flow. 

Some people are in such good general health that they may not notice any difference. That does not necessarily imply that they are not benefiting from their acupuncture treatment; instead, they are not experiencing any external reaction. Within, healing is still taking place.


With pain relief comes relaxation. After an acupuncture session, you may feel a sense of growing tranquility and peace. This peaceful sensation may continue the rest of the day or week, leading to deep, restful sleep. Allow yourself to rest—your body will recover better when you spend more time in a deep sleep state.


Another effect you should be prepared for after an acupuncture treatment is frequent urination. Bowel movement changes are also another positive effect of healthy metabolism levels. These symptoms mean that the body is elevating its metabolism, eliminating toxins, and returning to a state of equilibrium.

Emotional release


Don’t be surprised if you become more sensitive to emotions after an acupuncture session. That is simply an indication that acupuncture is working. Even if you’re receiving acupuncture for a medical condition, a boost in emotional expressiveness is a sign that you’re recovering. 


While most patients notice a significant improvement in their symptoms after acupuncture, some may feel worse before they feel better. These minor changes are commonly referred to as a healing crisis in natural medicine circles. 

After the needles are removed from an acupuncture point, the area may still feel pain. Mainly the acupuncture point between the thumb and index finger is where this most frequently happens. Acupuncture-related soreness usually goes away after 24 hours.



Light-headedness can occur during or after an acupuncture treatment. Some patients report symptoms such as dizziness, perspiration, and syncope. Fainting does not result in long-term consequences. However, some patients may avoid receiving acupuncture in the future due to their fear of light-headedness.


Lethargy is a rare side effect of acupuncture, but if it happens after the treatment, take a break. After your treatment, take some time to relax by sitting on an acupuncture chair and inhaling deeply. Additionally, always have a healthy meal or snack before the acupuncture treatment to avoid such circumstances. And make sure you’re well-prepared before an acupuncture session.

Sleep changes

Sleeping problems are common for adults. While being poked with needles may not be what you had in mind when thinking about improving your sleep, studies suggest that acupuncture can lower anxiety, boost melatonin synthesis, induce sleep, and minimize sleep disturbance. 

Acupuncture can enhance sleep by calming the mind, increasing relaxation, and decreasing tension. The treatment can also boost the body’s natural melatonin production, which results in better sleep.


Acupuncture stimulates specific body spots, usually by using tiny needles that penetrate the skin and promote self-healing. Though the needles are pretty thin, they occasionally strike small blood vessels, resulting in a mild bruise in that location. These minor injuries are typically painless, and depending on the person, the bruises may last several days before vanishing entirely. 

What Should You Do After Acupuncture?

After-acupuncture care helps your body and mind connect and communicate more effectively and guarantees you get the most out of your treatment.

When it comes to taking care of your body and mind, various options are available, and their significance shouldn’t be understated. The following are some steps you should consider: 

  • Get enough rest;
  • Allow yourself to feel emotions;
  • Eat healthy;
  • Drink plenty;
  • Take note of unusual feelings and report back during the next session;
  • Stay warm.

What Should You Avoid After Acupuncture?

After receiving an acupuncture treatment, patients should refrain from engaging in some activities for some time. This is done for safety reasons and to maximize the acupuncture treatment’s potential advantages. After an acupuncture treatment, ensure to avoid the following:

  • Digital screens
  • Heavy exercises
  • Stressful situations
  • Using ice for pain relief

Limiting the aforementioned helps you control your stress reactions, which relaxes the body and deepens the energy reset.

What Should You Eat After Acupuncture?


We advise you to consume nutritious foods after receiving acupuncture to aid in the body’s detoxification process. In order to maximize their acupuncture’s potential benefits, the following should be part of your diet:

  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Green tea
  • Blueberries
  • Pecans
  • Spinach
  • Blackberries
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Basil

What You Should NOT Eat After Acupuncture

The goal of post-acupuncture care is to maximize the benefits of acupuncture, and you can only achieve that by taking in the necessary nutrition. After receiving acupuncture, your body actively removes toxins, so you need to be sufficiently hydrated for this to be done effectively. 

Additionally, it would be best if you stayed away from: 

  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Fast food
  • Refined sugars

The above-mentioned foods and drinks contain ingredients that cause your body to lose awareness and can falsely boost your energy. 

The Bottom Line

While these effects should not be a cause for alarm, you’re the expert of your own body. If any of the following side effects seem too severe or prolonged, or if you observe any other unpleasant responses to an acupuncture treatment, you should contact your acupuncturist

And if you have a specific condition that you’d like to treat with acupuncture, consider scheduling an appointment at the American Institute of Alternative Medicine (AIAM).

AIAM provides an array of acupuncture options to fit each client’s needs, including:

  • Traditional Needle Acupuncture
  • Electric Stimulation & Microcurrent
  • Needleless Acupuncture / Tui Na
  • Community Acupuncture
  • Cupping & Gua Sha
  • Korean Hand Therapy / Reflexology
  • Moxibustion

Book an appointment today for a healthy life!