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Side effects from scalp acupuncture


I had cervical spine problem, so decided to try acupuncture last week. The practitioner asked me a few questions and put needles on my scalp and left me in the room for about 20-30 min.

As soon as she removed the needels, I felt dizzy, nauseous, headache and tired until now.
And this nausea and headahe are getting worse!!!
Also I feel tinglings and kind of numbness on my right arm and leg.

Does anybody have an idea how long it will last??
Also I moved little while i was lying down on the bed and worried it might have caused the needle to break and stays inside. Is it even possible to happen??


A few decades ago when the needles were reusable and had to be sanitised properly in autoclave etc, they could break due to the metal being so worn out. However, today the chances of a needle breaking are very very very slim.
The reason you might have felt that way was because the treatment stimulation could’ve been to strong for you or the practitioner did not choose the right points for you. Next time you go there, mention to them the way the last treatment made you feel and they will be able to adjust their prescription for you.
Otherwise try finding another acupuncturist if you wish to continue with treatments.
I’d also like to add that all acupuncturists have a different approach in their practices. One could use your head to treat a cervical issue, another your arms/legs and another your stomach. It’s up to you to find an acupuncturists that suits you.


Thanks for replying.
If the acupuncturist did not choose the right points so I am suffering, will these side effects go away eventually??

I am not feeling lethargic anymore, but I have headache and muscle ache on my shoulder and arm still…
Hope it goes away soon…


Are you certain they are side effects of the acupuncture? You went in with cervical disc problems which can cause all of the issues you are describing, so I’m assuming you had some of these previously - headaches, particularly? Some muscle aches following the first 1-3 appointments are possible as the treatments loosen muscle tension in the area, etc. But, again, they are common with cervical disc issues as well.

Now the dizziness can happen from a certain posture with cervical disc issues or it can happen with improper or excessive treatment. You don’t mention if you had any of these symptoms before the treatment if even occasionally. This wouldn’t last so it’s not a huge concern, but if your acupuncturist only needled your scalp and didn’t use any other points I would find another acupuncturist.

None of this, however, was because you “moved a little bit” during the treatment - in theory you could get up and run around and not cause any problems with 90% of the acupuncture points when they are properly needled.



I had cervical spine problem but never had headache before.

I have been having tinglings but it got worse after acupuncture. This headache, dizziness and nausea started right after acupuncture.

This acupuncturist only needled my scalp… :frowning_face:

Well, thanks all for answering my questions.
Thank you again and I will just wait until all these symptoms go away.


Scalp acupuncture is a legitimate style and technique so there is nothing inherently wrong with only using points on the scalp. However it is possible that the use of that technique was not the best choice for your particular condition(s). It is actually fairly common to have some nausea, dizziness and even headache for a short while after your first acupuncture treatment however for it to last days is really uncommon. If the treatment put you out of balance you might benefit from getting another treatment rather than waiting for the symptoms to go away on their own.


My husband had scalp acupuncture and suffered from severe needle shock, almost fainting after 2 days of tack needles being left in on his forehead, elbow joint, and hand. At the clinic, they did scalp acupuncture. He has had weird symptoms ever since, which has lasted about half a year now and still going. Weird symptoms include: crown of head tingling, left leg numb and tingling, acid reflux, ibs, lightheaded ness, dry eyes… I think it just really messed up his nervous system … Are you still having side effects?

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