Historically the needles used in western medicine provide real justification for experiencing fear. When it comes to acupuncture, this is a question I get a lot. Does acupuncture hurt? I think we all remember the trepidation of getting shots as kids so the idea of voluntarily being stuck with needles seems down right terrifying.
Luckily acupuncture needles are a lot different than hypodermic needles and an acupuncture treatment is not at all like getting an onnoccuation.
First off an acupuncture needle is very thin. It’s about the thickness of a strand of hair. The thickness of a needle is measured in gauges. So an acupuncture needle- or at least the ones I use, are 40 gauge while a hyperdermic needle is often a 20 gauge needle. That means that a hyperdermic needle is 2x as thick as an acupuncture needle.
Another difference is that an acupuncture needle is solid and a hyperdermic needle is hollow because either something is being put into the body- say a medication or something is coming out- like blood.
So back to the question at hand, does acupuncture hurt? Generally, no. Sometimes at certain acupoints there can be a throbbing or achy feeling that diminshes after about a minute. This is not a bad thing. It actually indicates that the biochemical cascade that makes acupucture work is happening.
In general my patients feel nothing when I insert a needle and during a session they rest peacefully and sometimes even fall asleep.
I would love to hear about your experiences with acupuncture and alternative care, leave a comment or connect with me on social media and I will respond as quickly as my patient schedule allows.