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Why do I have shooting pains and lumps on the left side of my head

I had acupuncture over a week ago for the first time. I was also given some herbs for insomnia, This is all done at Swedish Covenant Hospital Galter Life center. I noticed when I woke up my average three times that night I was able to fall back to sleep quickly. That only lasted one night. So I went for my 2nd session , told him what happened and he said “don’t worry , I will make you sleep” So yesterday Saturday after the treatment later that day I started getting these shooting pains below/behind my left jaw, up behind/through my ear and up through my temple. all on the left side. later that night i noticed I had a sore lump on the back left side of my head. Today, Sunday, I woke up and had another one, by afternoon I had two more, tonight , so far, I have a total of 7. all on the left side of my head. I don’t recall if he even put needles in those places. I don’t find anything with these side affects. Has anyone heard of this before? Not sure if I should go back to the acupuncturist or my doctor.

Personally I would go to your doctor. Developing lumps over your head is not normal and is very unlikely to be related to the acupuncture.

Along those lines, I could be wrong, but from a quick cursory glance at the galter life center I only see that they have one MD and a DO doing “acupuncture”. You should always consult directly with a fully trained and licensed acupuncturist (in most US states this is L.Ac. - licensed acupuncturist). There are tremendous differences in most cases between the training that a fully trained Chinese Medicine professional will have vs. a MD/DO which oddly in many states require no training at all for acupuncture and in others as few as a few hundred hours vs. 4 years of graduate school for licensed acupuncturists.

Also, as far as expectations, generally speaking chronic insomnia with herbs and proper acupuncture would take somewhere in the vicinity of 2 to 7 months to fully resolve and possibly longer in other cases. When it is resolved, barring significant life/lifestyle changes, it will generally stay that way however. So the practitioners implication that you would be fine in a treatment or two is problematic for me.

So I’m thinking you first see a MD and make sure to rule out other internal/external causes of the lumps you are seeing - possibilities include a transmission of warts, some type of allergic reaction, lice or some other type of fungal infection. Again, one small temporary lump from an acupuncture needle is possible - although rare on the scalp vs. other areas where they are more likely such as wrists and ankles, so multiple lumps would lead me towards some type of infection.

After you see your MD I would find a fully trained and licensed acupuncturist in your area who also practices Chinese herbal medicine (not all do) and then give them at least 5-9 treatments. Insomnia, properly treated, will generally do quite well with Chinese Medicine. And, again, properly practiced, acupuncture should actually be a very enjoyable, relaxing experience with no real side effects.

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