Find an acupuncturist...

Pain in right side of my stomach after acupuncture could this be due to the treatment?

Q:   I had acupuncture about 5 days ago with a different practitioner. Almost straight after the session I got a pain in my right side of my stomach which has not subsided. Could this have been an affect of the treatment?

A:  We are sorry to hear of your experience.

Without knowing exactly where you were needled and for what we are a little limited in what we can say. If the pain is at a needle site it suggests that there may be a little internal bruising which is not visible on the surface but enough to put pressure on nerves and cause some discomfort.  Physical damage after acupuncture treatment is quite rare, and usually transient, so it is quite possible that by the time you get this response after the Easter break your discomfort will have subsided. If it hasn't, and it does relate to where you were needled you might need to contact the practitioner to ask for their advice and possible explanation, and also arrange to see your GP just to be sure that there is nothing untoward going on. It is highly unlikely but it is often better to take this step early to avoid unnecessary worry.

There is also a slight chance that the pain is an energetic consequence of the treatment. It is also quite unusual to experience this, but there are occasions when helping the system to function better reveals blockages which a weaker balance was able to cope with. It is also possible that the treatment was badly chosen, although our experience of choosing the wrong treatment is that the system reverts within 48 hours to where it started. Longer lasting disruption is extremely rare.

The best person to ask is the practitioner himself or herself. They will know exactly where they needled you, and will be as concerned as you to understand what has happened and do what they can to correct it or refer you on for further investigation. We rather hope, though, that it is a transient adverse event, and by the time you received this reply after the break it has subsided or gone. 


Post a question

If you have any questions about acupuncture, browse our archive or ask an expert.

Ask an expert

BAcC Factsheets

Research based factsheets have been prepared for over 60 conditions especially for this website

Browse the facts