What if I fear needles? Do the needles hurt?

The experience of having acupuncture is pleasant, relaxing and energizing. The needles are hair thin, sterile and generally painless and never used twice.

Some first-time patients have an understandable fear of the unknown. My experience in working with new patients is that respecting this fear and educating the individual about the acupuncture process allays these legitimate concerns and enlists his or her energies toward treatment and healing.

Acupuncture needles are hair thin and solid and are made from the finest quality stainless steel. The point is smooth (not hollow with cutting edges like a hypodermic needle) and insertion through the skin is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a thick hollow needle.

I am known as an incredibly conscientious needle inserter. I myself fear the pain of needle insertion so I am extremely sensitive to my patients comfort and fears. As such, non-needle sessions are available upon request.

Acupuncturists can attain a high level of skill in gently placing these tiny needles and often the insertion is barely perceptible. I use a special Japanese technique of painless needling on the face. The needles are usually inserted only several millimeters in depth—also very unlike hypodermic injections. As such, patients generally do not feel the painful piercing or pricking sensation typically associated with an injection, blood sample, or other medical needle procedure.

There may be a brief soreness or pulling sensation which means that your qi has connected with the needle.

There should be no pain. Inform me immediately if this is the case. Some people pluck hairs from their body others believe it is a great amount of pain to endure, thus they dont pluck. Acupuncture is the same idea, but the benefits are so astonishing in some cases, that a tiny bit of pain like plucking an eyelash would be seen as a small price to pay for such great gain!

Most people who have had acupuncture would describe it as virtually painless or far less painful than plucking out a hair and liken the needles to ‘cat whiskers’..

Some people are frightened by the thought of acupuncture and may feel that it takes a great deal of courage. The first, and probably the most important fact to understand about acupuncture, is that it is not a frightening experience. It does involve the insertion of fine needles through the skin, and most acupuncturists use between six and eight acupuncture needles at each treatment session. The needles used are smaller than injection needles, in fact an acupuncture needle fits into the central hole of a normal injection needle. Acupuncture needles have a doweled end, not a cutting end like most hypodermic needles, and therefore are far less likely to cause tissue damage or bruising when inserted.

You are made comfortable and draped appropriately. A good treatment feels like being in “the zone” or a deep meditation as your body moves back into balance.


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