Acupuncture is not supposed to hurt.  The needles are sterile single use needles made of a  very flexible surgical grade stainless steel that are the width of about 2-3 strands of hair. They have a thin round edge and does not cut the skin.  Many people don’t feel when the needles are being  inserted.  Others may report a heavy or a warm feeling, a tingling or even a throbbing sensation, which are all positive responses to the treatment.  These sensations should not hurt, but you may feel a mild discomfort. It is important that if something feels slightly uncomfortable that you communicate it to your acupuncturist so that adjustments can be made.  Acupuncture is supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable.

No. The needles are sterile single use needles made of a very flexible surgical stainless steel.

Depending on the intention of treatment, needles can stay in for 15 – 35 minutes.

After acupuncture some people report improvement immediately, whereas others may notice it takes a few treatments.

In Western medicine, when one is given a prescription of antibiotics you don’t generally feel better after a single dose.  The same goes for acupuncture. Each person is assessed on an individual basis and given a treatment plan.  Therefore, the number of treatments will vary from person to person. A general rule of thumb is that if you have had a chronic condition for months or even years, acupuncture may require 1-2 treatments per week for the first month and then weekly visits, with re-evaluations done regularly.  Acute conditions may only require a few visits. 

Although rare, side effects are possible.  These may include dizziness or nausea during or after treatment. There may be slight bleeding or bruising upon removal of the needle.  These effects are generally not long lasting.  Although very rare, it is possible that the existing symptoms can worsen. If this happens, please tell your acupuncturist immediately.

In Chinese Medicine pain is often caused from cold and stagnation.  Qi is unable to flow through the channels and the blockage of these channels cause pain.  If you are having acupuncture for pain relief, the treatment is helping to eliminate these areas of congestion and restoring the flow of Qi.  Therefore, most times it is best to apply heat.