What do acupuncture treatments feel like? Do they hurt?

A common misconception about acupuncture is that it hurts, and their fear of pain from acupuncture needles is one of the most common reasons people decide not to get acupuncture treatments, but most people find that it doesn’t really hurt.

A common misconception about acupuncture is that it hurts, and their fear of pain from acupuncture needles is one of the most common reasons people decide not to get acupuncture treatments, but most people find that it doesn’t really hurt. Often when an acupuncture needle is inserted, the patient reports that they don’t feel anything at all, but most likely that a slight sensation will occur. The needle is very thin and it doesn’t go in very deep – just deep enough to get the energy flowing properly. The area may be a little sore, or may tingle, or feel numb, but it isn’t what would be described as a painful feeling by most people. The feelings that people most often describe are heavy, achy, electric, tingly and warm. The sensation is actually a good thing, since it is a sign that the energy flow, or qi (pronounced “chee”), has been accessed. The moment when you feel an acupuncture point working, is known in acupuncture lingo as de qi (pronounced “day chee”). After the treatment is underway, Dr. Kong rolls the needle slightly back and forth in a specific way to stimulate the flow of qi, and this does not hurt either. This is called needling, and is a very important part of the treatment. Dr. Kong is an 8th generation acupuncturist, and certain special points and needling techniques have been passed down within his family.