Acupuncture-induced syncope happens mostly in young and very healthy men and in middle-aged women. Syncope is caused by a reflex of the vagus nerve. During this process, peripheral cardiovascular resistance decreases, and blood volume returning to the heart is low, which reduces the cardiac output and leads to low blood pressure and low perfusion to the brain. Syncope occurs in the following conditions:
• Lack of acupuncture experience (new patients are prone to syncope in the first one to three treatments; patients who have not have acupuncture treatment for more than 6 months should be regarded as new patients)
• Strong, healthy, athletic young male patients
• Nervous, depressed, sentimental, melancholic, or highly emotional patients
• Middle-aged patients with blood pressure of 110/70 mm Hg or lower
• Environmental conditions such as extremely hot weather, low atmospheric pressure, or annoying noise
• Body position during treatment: The sitting position is associated with a higher risk, especially when the shoulders and neck are needled; of all cases of syncope, only 28% occur in a lying-down position, but those episodes usually last longer and produce more severe symptoms.
Was this article helpful?
Have You Always Been Curious About Acupuncture, But Were Never Quite Sure Where To Stick The Needles? If you associate acupuncture with needles, pain and weird alternative medicine then you are horribly misinformed about the benefits of the world's oldest form of medicinal treatment.