What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?

Acupuncture on the upper back
There are many good feelings from acupuncture such as relaxation, floating, and pain relief

Does Acupuncture Hurt? No, acupuncture does not hurt.

There are many positive feelings, albeit a little unusual feelings associated with acupuncture.

What does acupuncture feel like?

Acupuncturist use very thin sterile solid needles which means they do not feel like a doctor’s needle.  To insert the acupuncture needle we use a small plastic guide tube.  This pressure on the acupuncture point creates a distraction for the skin and you do not feel the needling.

The acupuncture needles remain in the acupuncture points for 20-30 minutes. At acupuncture point can have a lot of feelings.  You may feel a little numbness, tingling, warmth, heaviness, or movement at the acupuncture point. All of these feelings are good.It means the acupuncture point is stimulated correctly.

At some acupuncture points the muscles will twitch. This is particularly true when using acupuncture points such as Gall Bladder 30 for using acupuncture treatment for sciatica and acupuncture for chronic low back pain. This is when a trigger point is released which is very powerful for pain relief.

How will I feel After Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is very relaxing and people will often fall asleep while lying on the massage table.  Acupuncture has many positive side effects such as helping your sleep and helping to relieve stress.  Some people will have a very rapid pain relief from acupuncture and will leave feeling better than coming in. Others will feel relaxed and often will have a better night sleep that night.

Getting the Qi

Traditionally, acupuncturists have called the feeling of acupuncture as “de qi.” The has been translated as “getting the qi” which means the acupuncture points has been adequately stimulated.

In China, patients will tell their acupuncture doctors “zhong” which means heaviness, when the acupuncture point has been stimulated fully.

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
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