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. Insertion through the skin is not painful like an injection or a blood draw. The risk of bruising or skin irritation is very unlikely. Most patients feel only a small pinch or nothing at all as the needles are inserted. Once the needles are in place, they are rarely noticeable. Some people have a tingling sensation, numbness, heaviness, or a warmth 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 relaxing and look forward to them and the results they achieve. The needles have no medication on them and are made from stainless steel. Allergic reactions are unheard of unless there is a nickel allergy. The needles are sterile and disposable and are never reused. There is no risk of infection or cross-contamination from other patients.