Does Acupuncture Hurt?

It isn’t unreasonable to assume that being poked with dozens of tiny needles would induce a pain response from the body, but in reality does acupuncture hurt? We’ll talk about this and some of the other frequently-asked surrounding acupuncture in this post.

Does acupuncture hurt? 

To explore the answer to this question, we should look at how and why the treatment works and what the treatment is supposed to do to help health.

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that is becoming more widespread as a treatment for both chronic and acute pain. This technique is over 2,000 years old and involves inserting hair-thin needles into specific points on the body to release qi (energy) that has stagnated and caused pain or illness. The treatment unblocks these areas of the body and allows energy to flow better throughout.

Because of the small size of the needle, acupuncture should not induce a painful reaction. While you may experience various sensations, the feeling of pain is not normally one of them.

Acupuncturist and author Yolanda Vásquez suggests that the sensation of the needle being inserted shouldn’t feel much worse than a mosquito bite. She describes the five most common sensations you will likely feel with acupuncture as:

  • Heaviness: The needle can feel like a weight being placed on your body.
  • Achiness: A throbbing sensation can sometimes occur but usually dissipates quickly.
  • Electricity: You may feel a small jolt or a zap like an electric shock as the needles are inserted.
  • Tingling: There may be a slight tingling sensation at the insertion site or throughout the body like you might experience when your foot or hand falls asleep.
  • Warmness: A pleasantly warm feeling may flood your body as the needles are inserted.

As with any therapy, it is important to know as much as you can before you begin treatments. Talk to an acupuncturist or another healthcare professional licensed in acupuncture treatments to find out more about the practice. Some people with pain conditions that are related to increased sensation, such as fibromyalgia or trigeminal neuralgia, may experience pain so it’s always important to talk to your doctor before undergoing treatment.

Need more information? Please call our office at 646-404-3872 and we will be happy to assist you furthermore. 

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