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Question: Is acupuncture uncomfortable?

Asked by AngharadM

8 answers

I've been recommended acupuncture to help with a medical condition, but am quite intimidated by it. I hate needles for injections, does this mean I will hate acupuncture too? And does it hurt?


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It is perfectly understandable to be slightly wary because for most people, the only experience you may have had with needles are the hypodermic needles used for injections. Many people are surprised to find that acupuncture needles are very thin and fine and most people do not consider the insertion to be painful, and many do not feel it at all. In my experience, I have noticed that the nervousness makes the person expect the worse and it usually takes them a while to notice that the needle has already been inserted!

Sterile, disposable needles are only used once (make sure they are!), and then disposed of in the proper way. Once the needles have been inserted properly in the correct location you may feel a dull ache or a slight tingling. Sometimes there might be an energetic sensation going up or down your leg or arm if the needle has been inserted there. Some people feel nothing at all.

Acupuncture treatment for pain relief tend to be somewhat more intense but on the whole, many people find it a very relaxing experience. My advice is to find a practitioner you feel comfortable with who will listen to what you have to say but will also give you an indication of the kind of progress. And let him/her know of your nervousness and they will work accordingly to ease your stress.

All best and good luck with it!


Other answers (7)


Firstly find a therapist that you can really talk too...
Most peoples fears are all about anxiety and if you can relate to your therapist then you will find that what you thought you fear is not really there.

I tell all new clients that the needles used are sterile, single use and very thin, and the same reaction is feedback from all new clients when the see and feel the needles that they are so fine that they almost the thickness of a hair shaft.

The issue about pain is very subjective. To some people with high pain thresholds nothing is going to cause them pain while others everything hurts. The key to remember is that if you have a good therapist they will guide you to relax and once the muscle is relaxed the sensation if any is negated.

You will feel some sensation however it is not of pain but of a dull ache as the needles work.

My suggestion is just go and try it and you might just feed back saying how much benefit you gained from your treatment .


I understand you too. As it has been said some people can feel nothing at all. If you are intimidated by needles I can recommend you a non-insertive needling technique acupuncture. It is Japanese style acupuncture called Toyohari which is as powerful as Chinese but the needle doesn't penetrate the skin. I am a Toyohari practitioner myself and I personally do not enjoy needle penetration sensation and if I need to I go to Toyohari practitioner for treatment. It is worth trying and there is no pain!



Hello - yes the same as what everyone else said - Itell my patients its a feeling of connection - when the needle hits the acupuncture point, you get a jolt, like a zingy feeling that can be quite intense, hence the pain but it lasts 2-3 seconds and then is very relaxing
Good luck with your experience

Anna x


Hi I agree with what everyone has said, but ask about the type of needles used as there are cheap needles and expensive ones. These can make a difference, the points used can vary as well some are more sensitive. hope this helps start with one needle see how it feels.


I think it's dependent on practitioner's skill, we use tube needles, this type needles will very quickly go through your skin without pain, most uncomfortable feeling is from needles insert your skin.
also explaination and relax your mind are very important.


Acupuncture needles are very fine, unlike hypodermics, so you do not get the sensation associated with injections.
Most people find acupuncture very relaxing and the only temporary sensation you get on needle insertion is associated with "Daqing" or the drawing of energy to the point.
This may be a felling of warmth or a slight tingling and only lasts a few moments. It means the treatment is underway!
Sue Kalicinska



ok the needles does not hurt had it done many times you expect them to but its actually quiet relaxing how about trying acupressure it is no needles and does the same thing take a look at my web site as his will b listed there x

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