What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?
Does acupuncture hurt? The primary question I receive and the main reason keeping people from coming in to try it. The answer is, no. The process should not be painful, although some are more sensitive to the needles than others. I work at your pace, especially with the first treatment. I make sure you are comfortable throughout the whole session. After all, this is your treatment! There are different techniques that I am qualified in that enable me to make the treatment as pain free as possible.
The needles are about the size of a pore, or a couple hairs. Five to seven of my needles can fit in the very tip of a hypodermic needle, so it is nothing like getting a shot. Occasionally there is a "prick" feeling as the needle enters more sensitive skin, such as the hands, feet, or face, but this is less than the bite of a mosquito and dissipates immediately. When I gently stimulate the needles they may produce a sensation that Oriental medicine calls 'de qi'. Patients often describe de qi as a heavy, achy pressure, or spreading, traveling feeling. For me, it feels like hitting your funny bone, but in different locations on the body. You may also feel an "electrical" sensation moving down the meridian pathways, though this is less common.
Most patients find these acupuncture sensations deeply satisfying and leave the treatment feeling relaxed both mentally and physically in both mind and body. Often times I find the patient asleep on the table upon my return.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
The benefits of acupuncture are cumulative, so more then one treatment is necessary. A typical 'course' of treatment ranges anywhere between 5-15 sessions, depending on the person's constitutional factors, severity, and duration of the condition. Generally, people begin to feel relief after just the first few treatments and reassessment along the way promotes healthy recovery and adjustment of treatment guidelines.
In China, patients are treated preventatively to maintain health. When a problem or condition arises, they are treated every day consecutively until the problem goes away. This is the traditional method of treatment, with which I have had significant experience while working on the cruise ships. Because people could conveniently walk to their treatments while on vacation, their relaxed bodies are able to maintain the benefits of their frequent sessions. However, it's difficult to take time out of a busy day, while not on a cruise. I adapt treatment plans with the traditional method in mind and the reality of life on land in order to accomplish fast and efficient results. The goal is to apply the course of treatments as closely together as possible in order to get the body back in balance. Once the symptoms have subsided and health is achieved, the body is able to take over and maintain homeostasis once again. An occasional 'tune up' may be necessary depending on the condition and goals of each individual.
We tend to take better care of our vehicles (and even our pets!) than our own body. Make an appointment today and take care of you! The only thing we have for our entire life is the body we live in.