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> Services > But I'm Afraid of Needles

But I'm Afraid of Needles

People who have received inoculations or medical injections from a hypodermic needle may fear that acupuncture treatments will be as painful. But, that is not the case:

Hypodermic needles are stiff, hollow and thick. They force liquid into—or draw blood out of a person’s veins.

Acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible. They are not inserted into veins, and there is usually no bleeding involved in an acupuncture treatment.

Chinese needles are as thin as a hairbrush bristle. In Chinese style acupuncture, the acupuncturist manipulates the needles to produce a deqi sensation—a feeling of numbness, tingling, heaviness or distention at the area of needle insertion. Chinese acupuncturists believe obtaining the deqi sensation is necessary to produce acupuncture’s benefits. In my experience, obtaining the deqi sensation is useful for treating certain musculoskeletal conditions, and for unblocking stagnant qi and blood.

Japanese needles are even thinner than Chinese needles--as fine as a human hair. Japanese acupuncturists do not consider the deqi sensation to be of importance. In Japanese-style acupuncture, the needles are gently tapped in just below the skin and are not manipulated. This style of acupuncture produces no sensation, or just a tickle, which is an advantage when treating children and other highly sensitive individuals.

Whether or not a deqi sensation is produced during the needle insertion, after a moment or two with the needles in place, biochemicals such as endorphins and enkephalins are released from the brain and nervous system. These natural proteins are the body’s own morphine, which when released inhibit pain and produce feelings of euphoria and deep relaxation. After resting for a few minutes with the needles in place, it is not unusual for my patients to drift in and out of a pleasant dream-like state. After the acupuncture treatment, the patient will generally feel rested and refreshed. Occasionally a patient will feel a bit sleepy after an acupuncture treatment. This effect wears off in an hour or two.

For people who are truly terrified of needles, I offer many non-needle treatment options:

Acupressure , shiatsu, tuina, sotai, electronic stimulation of acupoints, magnet therapy, auriculotherapy with magnetic pressballs, reflexology, cupping, guasha and moxabustion.

These are all highly effective methods that are used to unblock and regulate the flow of qi and blood and promote healing.

I use only sterile, disposable acupuncture needles in my practice.

hand acupuncture

(Click on image for larger view)


An Introduction to Acupuncture

What are the Benefits of Needles

But I'm Scared of Needles

Current Research Findings

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