Does Acupuncture Hurt?
A common question from people who are new to acupuncture is whether it is going to hurt. Is this the biggest misconception or the biggest truth? We’ve heard this question over and over again, and we believe it’s high time we lay it to rest, with the help of White Dragon Healing Arts, an acupuncture clinic.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the insertion of needles into the tissue of the body, especially for purposes of pain relief.
Acupuncture is mostly used to treat pain, boost the body’s natural painkillers, and also used to promote overall wellness and to reduce stress by inserting acupuncture needles into the tissues of the body.
Acupuncture needles don’t hurt when inserted properly and by the right professionals.
The Origin of Acupuncture
Acupuncture originated in China and has been around for over 2,500 years. It is a complementary therapy that is part of traditional Chinese medicine.
The Chinese believe in the life force, known as Qi or Chi. The acupuncture is a technique that is used to balance the flow of energy in the human body.
The life force is thought to flow through pathways in your body. The effect of acupuncture, therefore, is to remove any and all energy blockages from the body to improve the life force flowing through it, and also to balance the energy flow to regulate your physical, mental, and emotional health.
What Are Acupuncture Needles and What Are They Used For?
Acupuncture needles stimulates specific points along the pathways in your body. They are solid, thin metal needles used to penetrate the skin.
They have a round edge so that they don’t cut the skin. Acupuncture needles stimulate specific places on the body to influence the muscles, nerves, and connective tissue to function properly.
A wide range of conditions can be treated with the use of acupuncture, includes the following;
- Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
- Postoperative vomiting and nausea
- Dental pain
- Labor pain
- Anxiety and depression
- High blood pressure
- Chronic headaches
- Labor pain.
- Menstrual cramps
- Neck pain
- Respiratory disorders
Do They Really Hurt?
Acupuncture needles, contrary to popular belief, do not actually hurt, or to be better phrased, they are not meant to hurt, except to allow you experience some sensations during your treatment.
It varies for different people. For some, they may not feel anything, for others, they may experience Qi sensations.
It all depends on the following things:
- The level of pain tolerance
- The level of overall sensitivity
- The acupuncture appointment: Sometimes the first acupuncture appointment is more painful than the subsequent ones, as you are just getting familiarized with the process.
What Does It Feel Like?
For those that have not gone through acupuncture, but are eager to try it out, then here’s a little heads up.
Everyone has a different experience, but the bottom line is that it doesn’t cause discomfort or pain. In fact, you won’t feel the acupuncture needles being inserted into your body, all you will experience will be a dullness or heaviness due to the gentle insertion.
Acupuncture needles are quite thin, and once they reach the intended depth, you are more likely to feel a slight tingling sensation. This shows that the treatment is underway and that there has been an activation of the pressure point.
What Happens When You Feel a Short Sharp Pain or a Dull Severe Pain?
First of all, tell your acupuncturist about it. These pains may occur as a result of the following;
- The use of higher-gauge needles
- The use of certain brands of needles
- The insertion of the needles deep into the skin
- Using more painful pressure points
- Poor needling techniques of the practitioner
Is There a Way to Avoid Pain?
The good news is that there are ways to ease the pain:
- See only licensed and experienced acupuncturists for treatment
- Tell your acupuncturist to insert the needles slowly
- Tell your acupuncturist to handle them more professionally
- Tell your acupuncturist to use fewer needles and to proceed slowly with the insertions
- Pay close attention to the painful pressure points, as they are more sensitive than others
Some pressure points hurts more than others; for example, a point where there isn’t much flesh, like the area around the nails, or maybe the acupuncture needles are placed on muscles, blood vessels, or nerves that are stagnated with the energy and not allowing for the free flow of the Qi.
Now that you know that acupuncture needles don’t hurt, why not just book a session? An acupuncture treatment session lasts between 30 minutes to an hour and a half. The needles will be placed for 10 to 30 minutes to get you into a relaxed position.
Special Rules to Follow
After the acupuncture treatment, it is important to follow these following rules strictly;
- Avoid any caffeinated drinks as well as alcohol
- Avoid any strenuous activities
- Avoid the use of ice packs, as they will only serve as interference to the energy flow of the body
Acupuncture needles don’t hurt if they are properly handled; all it does is give your body a tingling sensations. Don’t be afraid to try it out.