What does acupuncture feel like?

Acupuncture is not painful nor can it be said to be sensation free. People often ask the question “Am I going to be experiencing pain throughout the treatment session” This is most definitely a misconception of acupuncture.  Most people’s experience of needles is of those used in injections or blood tests. Acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to these. They are much, much finer having a diameter 0.18 of a millimetre. Unlike injection needles, they are not hollow and have no cutting end to them. Instead, they are solid and flexible with the needle tip tapered to a single point.

Acupuncture needles are not designed to inject substances into, or, remove substances out of the body. On insertion many people are often surprised as no pain is experienced and cannot quite believe it when I inform them that the needle is in place. However, for acupuncture to be working optimally a dull heavy sensation is sought after. Gently lifting the needle up and down and rotating the needle left and right bring this about. Once this sensation is experienced, usually between one to two seconds, the needle is left in place. Also asked is “how far do these needles go in” This depends on the acupoints being used along the aims of treatment. In general, the more common depths of needling are 2mm - 5mm. Many people report a sense of calm and well-being during treatment, quite the opposite of a painful experience.

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