Does Acupuncture Hurt?

I have heard other acupuncturists say that acupuncture doesn’t hurt.  I feel like that’s not the complete and honest truth.  In this article I state my position about whether or not acupuncture hurts.  But for the impatient, here is the short version:  Acupuncture usually causes very little pain, but some points are inevitably tender and can briefly hurt when needled.

Acupuncture needles are very different from the kind of needle used to give an injection.  Those needles must be thick enough to contain a hollow core sufficiently large to push medicine, vaccines or other substances through.  The edges of the hollow tube of an injection needle are essentially sharpened razors that slice through the skin, so it should be no surprise that those types of needles can really hurt.  In contrast, acupuncture needles are much thinner, solid, and end in a sharp point.  Because of this they enter the skin very easily and with very minimal discomfort.

The most common remark I hear from someone receiving their first acupuncture needle is “Is it in?”  In contrast, it is quite rare that I hear “ouch” or “that hurts” or anything like it.

Every person is different, every acupuncture treatment is different, and every point is different.  Frankly certain points do tend to briefly hurt.  However, any pain or discomfort you feel should be fleeting.  If it is not, I want to know and we will make any adjustments we need to.  Many people are surprised at how relaxing it is to rest with the needles inserted.  I personally find that some of the best rest I have ever experienced has while briefly dozing while I have received acupuncture treatments.

I’m currently offering a free face-to-face acupuncture consultation. If you are afraid of needles, are concerned about how they feel, or are just interested, I am happy to demonstrate needling on myself before your first treatment.  That’s a perfect reason to take advantage of this offer. I want you to be at ease with the process of the treatment.  Just ask and I’ll do my best to make sure that no fears or concerns about the unknown are there to stand in the way of the results you can achieve through acupuncture.

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