People are often put off by the prospect of acupuncture because they think the needles are going to be painful. Is this true?
In fact you may well be confusing these needles with the hollow injection needles we have all experienced at our GP’s surgery. Because acupuncture needles do not need to be hollow they are much finer – around the thickness of a human hair. Go on take a look at one of your’s.
So what does acupuncture treatment actually feel like? I prefer to describe it as ‘not nothing’ but rather as ‘a mild fleeting sensation’. According to the British Acupuncture Council, which has over 3,000 members in the UK, “when the needle is inserted you may feel a tingling sensation or dull ache “. According to ancient Chinese texts, this is analagous to a fish biting on the fisherman’s hook. This process is often described as ‘DeQi’ or ‘obtaining the Qi’. Qi pronounced ‘chee’) is the vital energy which flows in the acupuncture channels, so it could be argued that the experience of obtaining DeQi is an essential part of acupuncture.
The skilled acupuncturist will combine the use of modern high quality needles with many, many hours of carefully refined practice so that the experience for you, the patient is as easy as possible without compromising the effectiveness of the treatment.
All needles used by British Acupuncture Council registered practitioners are single-use disposable.
And finally, in the words of one of my patients:-
“In my experience acupuncture is a calming painless experience. I hardly feel the needle go in, I don’t even know it is there once in. Occasionally I might feel a tingle but even that is rare. Actually an incidental benefit, is that it forces me to relax and totally switch off for half an hour!” “Once the needle is in place, you cannot feel it, but sometimes have nice, warm, tingling sensations, depending on the points”.