One of the most common questions we hear from concerned potential patients is, “Do acupuncture needles hurt?”
Typically, patients barely notice the insertion of most of the needles. Many needles don’t hurt at all. However, there are nerve receptors at the skin and just below the skin so, occasionally, about one in 20 needle insertions, sensations come up. The sensations one might feel differ person to person and vary with locations on the body. Most sensations are dull, achy or throbbing. This is the therapeutic “de qi” sensation, meaning the treatment is working! It is releasing the stagnation in your body.
When sensations are sharp, burning or electrical, that is more of a nerve response, which is NOT our goal. So we back the needle out a bit and, typically, the sensations go away! I tell patients, if the sensations last longer than 3 seconds, let me know and we will change something.
But don’t take our word for it. Here is what our patients have to say:
To find out more, we asked one of our needle-phobic patients to explain her experience before and after becoming a regular acupuncture patient.
“For much of my life I despised needles, to the point of wall-climbing panic. I seemed the least likely candidate for ever trying acupuncture, and certainly not on a regular basis. I began considering the idea of acupuncture treatments after hearing of others successes with acupuncture to help treat various conditions. Curiosity got the better of me, so I started doing some research.”
“The most remarkable discovery throughout my journey was how relaxing and restorative an acupuncture session can be! As a bonus, I overcame my extreme phobia of needles! The benefits after the sessions eclipsed the fear response surprisingly quickly. The happy side effects often included more restful sleep, improved digestion, a boost to the immune system, and reduction in allergies, just to name a few.”
To get a range of responses, we asked several long term patients to share their experience with the needles.
As she waited for her session, we asked a patient, “How often do the needles hurt?”
“Never! Well, maybe once in a long while, there’s a brief twinge but then you move it and it is fine.”
As another patient left the office, she had this to share about her experience:
“Most days I don’t feel any pain. Some days, my skin feels sensitive, I’m hormonal or stressed out. I don’t really know why it hurts sometimes but not most of time. Whenever there’s discomfort, it doesn’t last long.”
Here is some interesting trivia for you!
When you go to the doctor to get your blood drawn, they use a syringe. How many acupuncture needles do you think can fit into the head of the typical syringe?
What is your guess? More than 10?
40 acupuncture needles fit into the head of a syringe! The needles are tiny.
So do acupuncture needles hurt? Try it for yourself, call us today and schedule an appointment.