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Question: Hi - recent acupuncture and 4 stomach points were v painful (good pain threshold so ouch!) - normal?

Asked by kittiwake

6 answers

Visited an osteopath who also does acupuncture - as part of treatment he needled 4 stomach points, one either side of bellybutton, one near knee. Those on abdomen caused deep visceral ache across whole belly (and one side up to neck) , near knees caused shooting pain to ankles. Once the pain lessened he twiddled the needles til they hurt again. Is this correct - doesn't fit with what I have heard previously? Thanks

Acupuncture, Osteopathy

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Acupuncturists vary greatly in how they work! As a medical acupuncturist we have been trained not to "twiddle" needles until it hurts as the most comfortable form of practice for the patient. If the needles causes sharp pain then it should be taken out immediately and replaced - its no good putting the patient a loss of stress!

Other answers (5)



Did the treatment benefit you? The pain you may have had in the abdomen could be a few things- heightened sensitivity to the acupuncture, a problem within the gut. Please remember there are several areas within the abdominal cavity which are supplied by nerves the needle may have been pierced at the sight of the nerve of near it, causing the ache.
The shooting pains from the knee to the ankle are normal - do not worry. It may be the a referral of pain- possibly tight muscles of the calf or ligamentous damage of the knee causing the referral of pain to the ankle. Or even imbalance of the lower extremity due to several other underlying issues.
Twiddling the needles, if required is NORMAL do not panic. By twiddling the needles you are trying to get a response from the underlying muscle which may be in a state of spasm and by twiddling the needle it will help to desensitise the muscle and calm it down.
Within a day or so the pain down to the ankle and the abdominal ache will calm down.

Acupuncture is fantastic most people who have it done for the first time will inevitably feel some pain, which should only be so for that moment and then you should not feel a thing. Please remember that certain areas may be more painful than others.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact Health and Harmony we are in Stanmore, Middlesex. Or follow our blog or email us for further questions.

Good luck and we hope the acupuncture with osteopathy benefits you!



When acupuncture points are stimulated, it causes a dull ache or other sensations in the muscle
You may feel a heaviness, numbness, tingling or mild soreness after the needles have been inserted. A feeling of deep heaviness or numbness, called “Deqi” (pronounced duh chee) means the treatment is working.


Acupuncture is a form of medical needling that is used for a variety of conditions. The deep muscle ache that you experienced is a normal sensation in acupuncture and twiddling the needles is normal practice too but it should be stopped if you are uncomfortable or distressed. I always advise clients about this before I start the treatment so that they know what to expect and so that they know to tell me if they are experiencing pain. Regards, Dr Johanna Ward


To explain simply,if any 'pain' is felt during an acupuncture treatment it is when the needle has been inserted and qi, the bodies energy, is felt. This can be described as a dull ache or a feeling similar to how an electric shock might feel. This feeling usually lasts for a split second. If pain is felt whilst a needle is in, I would advise that it is removed straight away.
Acupuncture treatments do vary and I would suggest that as with anything, if you feel uncormfortable with any practitioner then maybe you would be more comfortable with another.


Hello, don't worry too much! how do you feel now, usually acupuncture sensition will last 2-4 days, it will disppear eventurely, the needles is very fine and won't damage your instesting organ normally, you can do some gentle massage on your acupoint beside of your bellybutton by yourself to ease the ache. also sometimes the ache caused by small bruise lump, you can use some potato slice to cover the bruised acupoint to reduce bruise quickly, so don't worry. hope you get better soon.

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