For all the Millennials reading this with a short attention span, the short answer is: NO… OK, thanks for reading!
For the rest of you, here is why acupuncture does not hurt:
Acupuncture needles are as thin, or sometimes thinner, than a single human hair. If you compare the size of an acupuncture needle to a hypodermic needle (which we are all used to feeling at the doctor’s office), you can fit about 40 acupuncture needles inside the barrel of a hypodermic needle. That is a huge difference and the main reason why the majority of the time the patient won’t even feel the needle.
Additionally, Licensed Acupuncturists spend years learning techniques to make needle insertion as painless as possible. We do this through a combination of hands-on training (first practicing on an orange, then ourselves, then our classmates and friends before we come close to a patient) and studying the anatomy and physiology of the tissue that needles will come into contact with. For example, Meissner’s corpuscles are touch receptors near the surface of the skin. They respond to pressure and register the sensation of something being on your skin. Acupuncturists take advantage of this knowledge by applying pressure with our non-needling hand to skin close to the area we are needling. This “tricks” the nerve into focusing on the area of pressure while ignoring the lesser trauma occurring at the site of needle insertion.
In the hands of a trained, professional, Licensed Acupuncturist, acupuncture is extremely safe and can be effective for a large array of chronic health issues affecting the cardiovascular, immune, lymphatic, endocrine, nervous, digestive, respiratory and musculoskeletal systems.