Acupuncture is an ancient therapy which originated in China. It uses fine needles placed at specific points on the body to maintain health and treat disease.
Although acupuncture has been tried and tested over the course of thousands of years, many people are still put off by the idea of having needles stuck into them.
This has led many people to ask “how many needles are used in acupuncture?” and “is it going to hurt?” In this article, we take a closer look at acupuncture and why this therapy is nowhere near as scary as it sounds!
How Many Needles are Used in Acupuncture?
Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer to this question. The number of needles used in acupuncture depends on who your acupuncturist is and what condition they are treating. The good news is that acupuncture probably doesn’t use as many needles as you think.
Sometimes, when acupuncture is portrayed in movies or on TV, the patient is shown completely covered in needles from head to toe. Thankfully, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Most acupuncturists prefer to use the minimum number of needles possible, and there are multiple reasons for this.
Firstly, acupuncture is a gentle but powerful treatment. If you use too many needles on someone, especially if they are new to acupuncture, you run the risk of them feeling dizzy or fainting. Although this is quite unusual, it is a possibility if too many needles are used in one session.
Secondly, if your acupuncturist uses many needles in one treatment, it will be impossible to know which points are having an effect and which are not. It is much more efficient to use just a few needles in the first few treatments and add more later if required.
Finally, some acupuncturists specialize in techniques which naturally use very few needles. According to legend, some of the most skilful acupuncture doctors could cure almost any disease using just one needle. However, in reality, at least a few are usually required.
So, although it depends on a number of different factors, your acupuncturist is likely to use as few needles as possible during your treatment. The exact number could lie anywhere between 6 and 20!
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
The needles used in acupuncture are extremely thin; much thinner than the needles that are used for injections. Therefore, acupuncture should not be painful providing it is performed by a well-trained professional.
Although acupuncture does not usually hurt, some points may feel a little sharp when the needle first goes in. However, once they are in place, the sensation provided by acupuncture needles can actually be quite pleasant.
Some people experience a dull ache, while others describe a tingling or warm sensation. Some people do not feel anything at all during their acupuncture treatments, and that is quite normal too.
If you are curious about acupuncture, why not try it for yourself? Here at City Acupuncture, we make every effort to ensure that your treatment is comfortable and enjoyable. Just let us know if you feel nervous about needles, and we will do everything we can to help!