Does acupuncture hurt?


Some people told me that they are afraid of needle and acupuncture is not their first choice. I totally understand their fearing. I used to be afraid of needles too when I was at my school age. Every time I had to get a vaccine for certain epidemic disease, I really had a feeling of horror about the needle on syringe. After I graduated from medical university, my fear of needles were getting less. But I still feel hurt when I get needle of syringe pricked. I majored western medicine at my college, but in China, even wester medical colleges also offer course of traditional Chinese medicine. That is my first time to know acupuncture. The professor let us try to prick a point ST 36, which is called "足三里 zu san li", to experience the feeling. We did it by ourselves or by each other. After the needle penetrated the skin, most of us didn't feel painful as expected. Our professor told us that if someone felt pain that means the insertion was too slow. A experienced acupuncturist can let the patient feel painless during operation.

The picture above shows the size of acupucture needle is significantly thinner than regular syringe needle. Current regulations require acupuncturist apply single use disposable needles. That makes sure every needle is sharp and sterilized.

Probably you noticed that there is a tube around the needle. This tube is a guide tube which is used to insert needle easily. Acupuncturist can flip the finger to tap the needle through the skin quickly.

Acupuncture may hurt a little bit, but absolutely is not painfully as much as you imagine it is.

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