Does Acupuncture Hurt?
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It’s okay to feel skeptical or fearful about trying acupuncture for the first time. The sight of needles can frighten many on the spot. Even if you’re deathly afraid of needles, acupuncture is easier to handle than you may think. The most you’ll ever feel is a dull ache at the insertion point. These long and thin needles have gotten a bad wrap.
There are as many as 366 acupuncture points throughout the body. Some of these areas may be more sensitive than others. Even if you feel a slight ache, the feeling usually subsides relatively quickly. Besides any pain, patients tend to experience a rush of energy and euphoria or a deep sense of calmness after the treatment.
What are Acupuncture Needles?
Acupuncture needles are composed out of stainless steel and are disposed after one use. They vary in size and width, depending on the part of the body that it’s being applied to. Compared to larger hypodermic needles, acupuncture needles are much, much smaller and thinner. In fact, about 18 acupuncture needles can fit inside a single hypodermic needle, so it’s nothing like getting your blood drawn. Acupuncture needles are typically the width of a human hair, or thinner depending on the situation. For example, acupuncture needles for the face are thinner than ones that are applied to the torso.
What do Acupuncture Needles Feel Like?
When you first try acupuncture, you may feel a small pinch and tingling sensation, or maybe even feel nothing at all. Many patients report feeling a slight pinching sensation, almost like a mosquito bite including the itching sensation. Other patients experience a duller pain. Still other experience a light, static electric vibration where the needle is. Once a needle is inserted into a specific area, the needle is retained for about 20 minutes. These sensations do not last for the entire experience. If the mild pain persist for more than a minute, you may ask your acupuncturist to remove the needle. Acupuncturists are not in the business of pain, they’re mission is to alleviate your pain.
People may be initially scared to let some stranger insert needles into their body, but in reality, the very mild discomfort can translate into potentially long term relief from pain or stress. Despite many people’s fear of needles, there are many standards and guidelines that acupuncturists must adhere to to ensure they perform the procedure safely and effectively. If you believe acupuncture may help you, don’t hesitate to book your appointment if it means a life without pain.