FAQ: Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Acupuncture is one of the world’s oldest therapies, used for thousands of years as an alternative to medications. Acupuncture is recommended by many physicians including oncologists, pain management physicians, and mental health practitioners. You may find yourself thinking “That sounds great. But what I really want to know is: “Does acupuncture hurt?” The answer is that for most people, this timeless and effective therapy does not hurt.

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What Happens During an Acupuncture Session?

Your first session will be longer than subsequent sessions, as your therapist will conduct a comprehensive medical history evaluation and examination. You may be delightfully surprised to find out just how thorough your practitioner is in asking about your past and current state of health.

Once you’ve completed the examination and evaluation, your therapist will begin your treatment. They will begin inserting the acupuncture needles at strategic acupuncture points (meridians) in your body that correlate with your condition or injury. They may also place the needles in points that correlate with any underlying conditions suspected. The needles may remain in place for roughly 20-30 minutes. The needles work by unblocking what is known as “chi” or energy in the body. By unblocking the flow of life energy, good health is easier to maintain, as balance is restored.

So, Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Pain is subjective. Pain sensations may also be influenced by fears. So, if you happen to be unilaterally afraid of needles, you may go into your appointment anxious and tense. When we are tense, rather than relaxed, the sensation of pain may seem heightened.

Keep in mind that the needles used in acupuncture are tiny. They are much smaller in diameter than a needle used to give a vaccine or get a tattoo, for example. They are also solid, unlike the hollow needles used for drawing blood or other medical conditions. They are made of stainless steel, and some are barely wider than a strand of hair. They also do not penetrate the skin very deeply, and they are inserted between tissues, so they do not penetrate muscle mass.

Each person will have to decide the answer to the question: “Does acupuncture hurt?” for themselves. But it is uncommon for people to find acupuncture painful.

How Will I Feel After My Acupuncture Therapy?

Everyone is unique so you may experience a variety of feelings or sensations following treatment. You may not feel different at all. Or you may experience some or all the following feelings commonly reported after acupuncture therapy:
Heightened Sensitivity to colors, sounds, smells, surroundings
Increased energy

Nearly all patients find the hours and days after acupuncture treatment to be pleasant. There are no unwanted painful side effects. Indeed, following treatment, you’ll also find “no” to be the answer to the question does acupuncture hurt post-treatment.

Curious About Acupuncture? Book a Consultation in Eugene Today

AboutTouch Massage & Acupuncture is a top-reviewed massage and acupuncture therapy clinic in Lane County. Our certified acupuncturists are experienced and widely recognized for their gentle touch, accurate diagnoses, and effective treatments. To learn more about acupuncture or to schedule your first acupuncture appointment, call us at 541-484-3055


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