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A common question asked by prospective and new patients at Above & Beyond Acupuncture is in regards to what it feels like to have acupuncture needles inserted into their body.  Often we will be asked if it hurts, as many people correlate acupuncture needles with syringes (a comparison that is far from reality but is completely understandable). Having a fear of needles is quite common, so we always do our best to share as much information about the difference between an acupuncture needle and a syringe so people can understand they are not alike.

To provide some perspective, we inform people that acupuncture needles are roughly the diameter of a human hair; depending on the gauge (thickness) of the needle, some are actually thinner that that.  You can fit about 10 acupuncture needles into the shaft of a syringe, which is helpful imagery when trying to compare the two.  Different sized needles are used by some acupuncturists, depending on the area of the body being treated; for example, needles that are placed on the face are much thinner than those used on the torso.

So now allow me to elaborate on how it feels to receive acupuncture.  The experience is very subjective, and no two people will describe it the same way, but there are some common feelings/sensations that most people report.  There are about 366 primary acupuncture points spread all over the body, and some of these points are located in areas that are very sensitive.  When a needle is inserted into the body, specifically into a more sensitive area, you might feel a little pinch, which can feel mildly sharp at first but will dissipate very quickly.  There are many points on the body that you will have no sensation in relation to at all; in fact you might wonder if there is a needle in that point.

After the insertion, and the sensation that is experienced with it, many patients report a dull ache in the area surrounding the needle.  Some also report feeling an electric sensation, while others state that they feel a heavy sensation.  This feeling is in reference to Qi (energy) being affected, and it can be drawn to or away from the acupuncture point depending upon the insertion style and intention of the practitioner. A helpful definition is that Qi is the energy of the body, of the meridians, of food, of the universe. [Link]  A discussion of Qi, what it is, and how it is used will be the topic of a future post. We just wanted to provide a very brief definition to help provide some basic understanding of the term Qi. After all the needles are inserted, patients will often experience a sense of euphoria where they can feel energy flowing all throughout their body.  Other patients report feeling very calm and will often fall asleep for short durations during the session.  When the treatment is over and the acupuncture needles are removed, many people report experiencing a deep sense of relaxation, feeling very calm and sedate.

Since there is so much subjectivity in regards to receiving acupuncture, we hope you will consider having the experience so you can see for yourself how unique and amazing it is. Posted Monday, April 14th, 2014 by Paul Kerzner.   To learn more about acupuncture in detail; please take a look at your convenience: [Link]