What are the Needles Like and Do They Hurt?
Acupuncture needles are solid, very thin, and made from stainless steel. Unlike a hypodermic needle, which is hollow and has a cutting edge, an acupuncture needle is solid with a smooth point and insertion through the skin is not painful like injections or blood draws. Also the risk of bruising or skin irritation is unlikely. Most patients feel only minimal discomfort or nothing at all as the needles are inserted. Once the needles are in place, they are rarely noticable and some people have a tingling sensation, numbness, heaviness, or a warnth that travels from the needles. Sometimes electrical stimulation is applied to the needles (similar to a TENS unit). Patients may report a tapping or buzzing sensation. Most people find the treatments are not uncomfortable and look forward to them and the results they achieve. The needles are sterile and disposable and are never reused. There is no risk of infection or cross-contamination from other patients.
Acupuncture needles are made of stainless steel and have no medication on them. Allergic reactions to the needles are very rare.
Acupuncture has been performed on children because it is relatively painless. Once a child experiences what an acupuncture treatment is and understands its effectiveness they are readily accepting of the needles. They look forward to future treatments and often prefer acupuncture over medications.
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