Perhaps the most common reason people never try acupuncture is the simple involvement of needles. It’s a tragedy when people in so much pain fail to seek relief for this (literally) tiny reason.
You must remember a few important things about acupuncture needles:
1. They are 100% sterile and disposable. Used once and ONLY once before being discarded.
2. They are approximately as thick as a strand of your own hair.
3. You can fit many many acupuncture needles inside a conventional hypodermic needle
4. For good measure, the acupuncturist swabs the body with alcohol along chosen points to be needled.
That’s all you really need to know! YES, but does it still hurt?
The acupuncture system is built on sensation. That is to say, a practitioner stimulates the needles in order to produce a subtle sensation along the body’s natural meridian channels. These sensations include tingling, a sense of warmth, a sense of pressure, a sense of release. These sensations do NOT include pain.
Patients often report being jumpy or nervous far sooner than reporting pain. That is to say, the anticipation of a needle is far greater than the needle itself. This is completely understandable. Certainly, there are times when a patient may feel a pinch or a feeling of slight pressure on the needled area. Just as often, however, I am asked “did you put it in already? I didn’t feel it.”
For those who have reported any pain, in almost 90% of the cases they manage to move past it very quickly. That is to say, they don’t report experiencing it as they did the first time. If you are someone who may be fearful of needles but you are in need of relief- I gently suggest you move beyond this fear as soon as possible. It is a matter of taking steps towards your health. Remember you need only speak up about your concern and any qualified professional acupuncturist will see to it you are as comfortable as possible.