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Does Acupuncture Hurt? How to Avoid Pain With Chinese Medicine
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To learn more about alternative medicine, download our “Guide to Understanding Acupuncture ” Download Here →

I Don’t Like Needles, Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Historically the needles used in western medicine provide real justification for experiencing fear. When it comes to acupuncture, this is a question I get a lot. Does acupuncture hurt? I think we all remember the trepidation of getting shots as kids so the idea of voluntarily being stuck with needles seems down right terrifying.

Luckily acupuncture needles are a lot different than

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hypodermic needles and an acupuncture treatment is not at all like getting an onnoccuation.

First off an acupuncture needle is very thin. It’s about the thickness of a strand of hair. The thickness of a needle is measured in gauges. So an acupuncture needle- or at least the ones I use, are 40 gauge while a hyperdermic needle is often a 20 gauge needle. That means that a hyperdermic needle is 2x as thick as an acupuncture needle.

Another difference is that an acupuncture needle is solid and a hyperdermic needle is hollow because either something is being put into the body- say a medication or something is coming out- like blood.

So back to the question at hand, does acupuncture hurt? Generally, no. Sometimes at certain acupoints there can be a throbbing or achy feeling that diminshes after about a minute. This is not a bad thing. It actually indicates that the biochemical cascade that makes acupucture work is happening.
In general my patients feel nothing when I insert a needle and during a session they rest peacefully and sometimes even fall asleep.

I would love to hear about your experiences with acupuncture and alternative care, leave a comment or connect with me on social media and I will respond as quickly as my patient schedule allows.

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  • Anonymous

    Hi – I’d love some advice as to why when I get acupuncture I feel such intense pain? Could I take a sedative before going or will that defeat the purpose? I go for weight loss and anxiety – it works miracles but for forty minutes I am in a highly painful highly conscious state of hell. Should I switch to acupressure?

  • Anonymous

    I always feel pain during my treatments – lots of pinching when the needles go in. I always feel better after my treatments, but I don’t look forward to the treatments themselves. I have to think long term in order to stay positive about the experience. I just wonder if I am alone in this because every website out there talks about how it doesn’t hurt and, I’m sorry, but it does.

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