Does acupuncture hurt?
It’s hard for most people to understand before having had a treatment, but acupuncture really doesn’t hurt.
Talk to anyone who has gone more than one time, and you are likely to hear them say there is a tiny sensation when the needles go through the skin, but you forget about it right away when the relaxing hormones kick in. Needles are all inserted within the first minute, and then it’s time to enjoy the therapeutic benefits.
Facial rejuvenation acupuncture is a little more painful since we are so strongly innervated in our faces, however most people think it is worth it.
Why are some needles inserted no where near my source of pain?
Chinese medicine is full of irony.
It seems that there are several meridians that go all the way from your head to your toes, and often a headache remedy involves moving energy away from the head with needles to the feet or hands. This is actually an incredibly common treatment. There are also cases when we will needle near to where you may be feeling discomfort, but not usually when someone has a headache.
How does acupuncture help me stay healthier?
While in Chinese medicine we do not think and talk in terms of an endocrine system or an immune system per se, we do say that healthy flow of qi is a sign of a healthy immunity. And we also know that the tai yin foot spleen meridian needs a healthy flow of qi and blood to be serving it’s function of adding immunity and healing factors to blood.
So in a treatment to tonify immunity, we might strengthen the lung meridian because it’s controls skin and the immunity to anything impacting our skin, intestines, or lungs, and the spleen meridian so that it has the energy it needs to fortify our blood. But of course this is not how it actually goes.
What we treat in Chinese medicine is whatever the body tells us it needs that day. If there is anything acute that has come up, or if the body is showing signs of fighting illness, we have to treat that first. If this seems confusing, know that you will get used to it.
I’ve heard there is good pain and bad pain in needle experience. How can something painful be good?
This question speaks to the quality of sensation after the needle is inserted. The sensation felt during and after the needle is inserted should never be sharp or what you would call painful. If this happens we will reposition the needle or in some cases not needle that area during the current treatment. You need to completely relax to benefit from the treatment, so always speak up if you have any uncomfortable needle sensation.
Depending on what is being treated, the practitioner may move the needle to arrive at ‘da qi’. It literally means the arrival of qi. Da qi could be described as an aching feeling near the needle. Qi is a Chinese concept and controlling what is happening with the qi in the patient’s body has everything to do with our practice. It can be helpful to tell the practitioner when you feel this sensation and sometimes they are feeling it come in as well.
Can I use my phone during a treatment?
Sorry but no, you can’t. When you have acupuncture needles in your body, you actually can’t move around. Even though you might be able to scratch your nose or other motion with a needle in the affected arm, there are layers of muscle and fascia that the needle is aligned with then it’s inserted. Even small movements can be very painful to you, and will change the way those layers are arranged. It could cause a number of hazards including a stuck needle.
In fact though, it’s really important to unplug from electronics during your treatment to get the most out of it. This is your me time, your down time, and you probably need a little rest.