Be well, be confident, we can help.
don't contract muscles where the needles are inserted. It will avoid any unwanted discomfort.
Alexandre Hillairet, DAOM.
Pain experienced during acupuncture will depend on the patient's disposition towards pain - some people are simply more sensitive than others, and factors like not being hydrated, having too much caffeine, or being ready to start your menstrual cycle can all increase sensitivity. Another big factor is the practitioner, every person is very very different in regard to needling technique, some may have a stronger approach while others are more gentle. Just let your acupuncturist know you're nervous about pain and ask them to take a more gentle approach. Each treatment will also feel different from the time before, one time some points may hurt a bit while the next time no pain, so whether it's your first time or 100th time there's no way we can predict how it will feel.
Another thing to keep in mind for some peace of mind is that 30 acupuncture needles can fit into the hole in a needle you would have your blood drawn with! They're about twice the thickness of a strand of hair, and pain is usually quite minimal to non-existent. Sometimes receiving acupuncture can be more likely to feel strange or weird than painful, but in the end it's
very likely to help you with your pain.
Everyone has different levels of sensation. You may feel a tiny pinch, but then you won’t feel anything at all. This is the most common experience. This is not to say that you will feel something different.
Try not to have any anxiety or fear about it. And just see what happens. You can always change your mind. Your acupuncture should be willing to discuss with you any of your needs or concerns. Most people find the experience very relaxing.
I hope it goes well for you.
In a skillful practitioner's hands, patients receiving acupuncture should not experience pain at any time except in very few tender spots. During the treatment, you may experience some numbness or soreness, which is an indication of the treatment working.
I also wanted to let you know that acupuncture is fantastic for pain, and back pain especially so. Enjoy!
With manipulation of the needle you may feel heaviness, pressure, aching, spreading or traveling sensations. These are all normal and a sign that your body is interacting with the treatment. They can be intense at times so if it's too much, tell your acupuncturist so they can adjust their technique. If something feels off, don't be afraid to speak up.
I find that when someone is nervous, every needle hurts. Remember you're in control, so breathe and relax! If you want to know when your practitioner is going to needle, ask them to count down or to insert with your exhale so you're prepared. If you don't want to know, close your eyes and focus on easy breathing.
When you have a needle session, you will feel the prick of the needle (but not always) and then you may feel a sensation that varies from warmth, a muscle jump, a moving sensation, a heavy feeling or any variety of other sensations. Some areas of the body are more sensitive, so you may feel it more in one place than another. Sometimes you don't feel the needle at all and sometimes it may be too much for you. In all cases, you just let your practitioner know and they will adjust accordingly. None of us want our patients in pain, especially when we are treating them to relieve pain, so if you the needle does cause pain, just let the Acupuncturist know and they will adjust the needle accordingly or remove the needle completely.
Most times and with most techniques the needles are barely noticed - some treatments do require a muscle release and so you'll feel a sensation, but it wanes very quickly. If you are tense during the treatment it will generally make the needling more difficult, so please do the best you can to trust the professional to do their best to help you instead of worrying if it will hurt or not.
Good luck and enjoy the experience. Remember, most of my patients fall asleep while needled, even on their very first acupuncture session.
There are some very common needle sensations that are often confused for pain. Sometimes folks might feel a mild electrical type sensation that propagates up or down from where the needle is inserted, you might also feel a dull throbbing ache around the needle or a mild distending sensation around the needle (somewhat like someone is blowing a balloon up under the skin around the needle). These are all normal and, as long as they're not so intense as to be distracting, are actually desirable during treatment.