Genuine side effects of acupuncture are rarely seen. Some patients feel light-headed, sleepy and nausea after acupuncture. These short-lived feelings are not side effects, and should be seen as signs of energetic equilibrium being shifted. In some cases, patients mistakenly believe they are experiencing a worsening of original symptoms after an acupuncture session. These disturbing signs could be increased inflammation, more severe flu symptoms, extreme fatigue, or even appearance of sore spots previously unknown of. If one understands that acupuncture helps the body to fight-off disease through stimulating immune response, rather than masking symptoms, then these flare-up responses are not side effects but signs of healing taking place.
Drinking plenty of water and taking enough rest are essential self-care measures after an acupuncture session.