I was doing a talk this week at a WI group about acupuncture and how it can help people. As soon as I said that I am an acupuncturist, I could see some people becoming uneasy, one of them jokingly wondering if it was safe to come near me. This isn’t an uncommon reaction. But why?
Most people recoil in horror thinking about them. They associate them with injection needles, hospital appointments and a whole lot of other uncomfortable procedures.
But with acupuncture needles, this doesn’t need to be the case. Unlike injection needles, acupuncture needles are solid, thin and flexible. The needles I use are 0.16mm diameter, about the width of a hair. They are made of high quality surgical stainless steal and are very smooth.
The needles are also single use and sterile to eliminate any issue of cross-contamination.
After insertion, patients report very little sensation or perhaps a little bit of a prick. In most cases, what you can feel is the guide tube, a little plastic tube that rest on the skin to help putting the needle in.
Once the needle is inserted, it is normal to sometimes feel some heaviness, tingling around the needle. This is a sign that the energy has come to the needle and it is starting to have some effect.
The number of needles used varies greatly depending on the person and the condition treated. In average, I use about 10~14 needles which are mainly inserted on the arms (between the elbow and the tip of the fingers) and the legs (between the knee and the tip of the toes). They are retained for about 20 min. Most people find this a very relaxing experience, with quite a few patients drifting off to sleep!
So why not giving it a try?