Acupuncture is a gentle and very effective method to help manage your health. It is not scary, not painful, and nothing like going into your doctor’s office for a shot or blood draw. Acupuncture uses needles that are the thickness of a human hair. These needles are not like needles used in the doctor’s office, which are hollow and have an angled tip meant to cut through the skin. Acupuncture needles are solid, thin, and the tip comes to a point. Though some patients are more sensitive to needles than others, most patients report little to no sensation on insertion or the feeling of a small prick as the needle goes through the skin. Once the needle is through the surface of the skin, patients will often feel nothing or have a sense of heaviness, dull ache, or tingling.
The needles are left in for about 20-30 minutes. After the needles are out, a 10 minute mini medical massage is sometimes given. The treatment is very relaxing. Many people will fall asleep during treatment and report feeling refreshed afterward.
Other techniques can be used to get similar effects in treatment if a patient is needle sensitive. Shoni-shin, Tui-na (Chinese medical massage), Moxibustion (a heat therapy), herbs, massage, and/or cupping are all options for treatment with someone who does not like needles.