Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Generally speaking, no, not really -- but it also depends.

The sterile, single use, disposable needles used for acupuncture are so thin, they usually are not felt on insertion. Certain areas of the body are more sensitive than others, but overall, the needles are far too thin to really cause much sensation.

After the needle has been inserted into the skin however, the ideal is for the patient to sense what we term “De Qi”, or the arrival of Qi. This can be sensed in a variety of ways, and is individual to the patient’s body and what is going on with them at that time. It has been described as a feeling of expansion, throbbing, tingling, buzzing, numbness, and many more. Sometimes this sensation can be strong. This is actually good and what is desired in the treatment. It is the body’s signal that things that used to be "stuck" are now open and moving - Qi, blood, and lymph are circulating. This is a sign that changes in the body are happening to reestablish harmony and promote self-healing mechanisms.

Most of the time it is fear and worry that are the bigger issues. These emotions can cause blockage of circulation making things even more stuck and causing stronger sensation when the Qi arrives. If you are nervous or frightened, please let us know prior to your treatment so that we can make sure you are as comfortable as possible.

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