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Bad feelings during acupuncture

I went to see TCM doctor for a lump in my breast. She diagnosed a hormonal imbalance and prescribed 12 sessions of acupuncture of which I have just completed number 9.

The lump has gone, and I enjoyed the sessions. I usually felt very relaxed afterwards but as if things were moving and healing inside me. For the last few sessions, the doctor has changed the acupuncture points, to a different meridian. After the needles go in, my right leg and foot often tingles and feels numb and deathly cold, especially in my toes. Once they are removed feeling returns in the leg.
I’ve also noticed since changing meridians, I feel very stressed and angry, and during the session today I felt terrible. I was really anxious, angry and upset, and even started crying because the bad feelings were so overwhelming.
I described all of this to the doctor, but she doesn’t seem overly concerned. Whilst I believe and trust her skills, she doesn’t speak great English, so communicating certain things is not so easy.

Is this a normal part of the healing process? I did feel cold/flu like symptoms after the first session, but it quickly went away and then I began to feel better.
The anxiety, stress and anger is very concerning to me and it makes me not want to go back. Does anyone have any advice or information regarding my symptoms?

Honestly, the only person who would have all of the information to properly answer that question, is your practitioner. It’s not entirely normal for areas to get cold/go numb during acupuncture, certainly the way my colleagues and I practice, but with more aggressive needling techniques this may happen. Generally if it goes away quickly, it probably is part of the their process.

As for the emotional releases, that too is possible, particularly with what you are describing (underlying hormonal issues and breast lumps) - for a general introduction that is possibly related, I would suggest you read “My Liver is What?” to better understand how the liver system in Chinese Medicine corresponds to hormones, emotional balance, etc.

Generally if this type of emotional change happens during the treatment process it is fairly short lived. With communication with your practitioner they can often adjust the treatments to eliminate or at least limit these types of responses and/or incorporate herbs that will help change to come more smoothly.

What you are describing is fairly commonly treated, so if you are uncomfortable with your practitioner and cannot communicate with them (and have other choices), I would see no reason not to find someone else to work with. If you had some type of difficult to treat issues and they had some type of special skills in that area, that would be one thing, but what you are describing is generally what many acupuncturists treat in probably 60+% of their patients every day.

I agree with the comments of the previous person’s reply. I would also suggest that you find a way to speak your concerns or translate practioner’s comments. Sometimes the communication pricess can enhance immediately with someone you know who can translate. I keep a mandarin translation app on my phone.

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