Acupuncture is one of the most ancient forms of alternative medicine in history. It has been shown to be effective at eliminating pain. This was once the main part of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) that utilized needles which were inserted into the skin. Although it was once considered to be a pseudoscience, it is now recommended by many medical professionals as a viable alternative to treatments for pain.
People who are apprehensive about looking at needles, let alone having them inserted into their bodies, have often wondered does acupuncture hurt. Let’s go over what acupuncture is, what it does, and whether or not it is actually going to cause physical pain to each and every person who uses this alternative form of achieving pain relief.
Acupuncture Benefits as a Physiotherapy Treatment
It is believed that acupuncture is able to reduce the amount of pain that a person is feeling, according to trained practitioners, by affecting changes in the flow of what is called Chi. This is a type of energy that is believed to flow through every human being and can be directly affected by inserting needles into what are called Meridian points.
The needles may also be inserted into various areas of the body that the practitioners believed will help improve the flow of Chi. When this energy is blocked, the needles can restore the flow by being inserted into the skin at these locations. Although Chi is not something that can be measured using scientific instruments, it is clear that actual changes are occurring. This is why it has provided pain relief for millions of people for centuries.
How Does Acupuncture Feel Like?
When the needles are actually inserted into the skin, what most people feel is a slight prick, similar to when you get a shot from a doctor. The primary difference is that the needles are not inserted into the skin very far. And due to how thin they are, most people feel virtually nothing at all. Those who have received regular acupuncture treatments for years will actually not feel anything. When you experience acupuncture for the first time, and dependent upon your level of apprehension when using needles, it is possible that you may experience momentary discomfort during your first session.
However, the needles only cause minimal discomfort as they are inserted. And you will feel absolutely nothing when they are removed. If the practitioner needs to adjust the position of the needles, perhaps pushing them deeper into the upper layer of skin, or if they need to adjust the needles by twisting them, these are also moments where slight discomfort can be felt.
Are There Alternatives to Acupuncture?
If you are apprehensive about acupuncture, another alternative that is very similar that can achieve almost identical results is getting an acupressure treatment. In the same way that the needles are used to redirect the Chi to remove the blockages, acupressure uses your fingers to apply pressure to the same areas, causing the same or similar result.
In answer to the question of whether or not acupuncture hurts, for most people, there is little to no discomfort at all. By alternatively using acupressure as a treatment, needles will not be used to affect the positive change which is the goal. Additionally, the more that you do acupuncture, the less sensitive your skin will become. In the same way that a diabetic becomes conditioned to shots of insulin, the same is true for people that have regular acupuncture treatments.
If you have been suffering from chronic pain and over-the-counter or prescription medications are not helping you as they did before, you should find an acupuncturist that will be able to provide you with some pain relief using this ancient form of Chinese medicine.