One of the most common questions about acupuncture is: does it hurt? The answer in most cases is no! Usually not at all!!

Why? Because acupuncture needles are 25-50 times thinner than a hypodermic needle. They’re actually so thin that several acupuncture needles could fit inside a typical hypodermic needle. A typical acupuncture needle is so fine that most people feel nothing at all when a practitioner inserts one into the skin. When sensations do occur, they range from a mere tingle to a slight pinch, to mild heat, numbness, or traveling warmth.

Needles usually remain inserted for 20 to 40 minutes. Most people find the experience extremely relaxing and uplifting. Patients often fall asleep during the treatment session.

When treatment requires thicker gauge needles, a mild reaction of some kind is more likely to occur, such as a slight possibility of some soreness during or after a treatment. Let your acupuncturist know immediately whenever any discomfort occurs so he or she can take appropriate action.

If you’re especially sensitive to acupuncture or ‘needle-phobic’ your acupuncturist can use thinner needles and alternative techniques to minimize your concerns and reactions. Be sure to speak up and let your practitioner know how you’re feeling!

As with any patient-practitioner relationship, communication is an important part of the process.

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