Does acupuncture hurt? It’s a question many have asked. If you’re one of them, and you’re considering acupuncture – but you don’t know if it hurts – you’ve come to the right place. You’ll get a closer look at this ancient practice, learn whether it’s worth it, and whether it’s painful.
But first, here’s a quick overview of Traditional Chinese Medicine and how this ancient medicinal art originated…
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?
As the name suggests, Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, is an ancient form of Chinese medical practice. It involves the use of ancient herbs, as well as mind and body practices, to address certain health issues, and promote general well being.
TCM is rooted in the Chinese spiritual practice of Taoism. It involves seeking a balance between the opposing forces of “yin” and “yang,” with the use of herbs, and mind-body practices, helping to guide the flow of the universal energy known as “Chi.” This practice has evolved over thousands of years and is still utilized alongside modern medicine.1
Be sure to talk with your doctor if you’re interested in incorporating TCM practices into your current health care regimen. There is also much debate about the effectiveness of traditional Chinese Medicine, so you should never totally replace modern medical care with holistic practices.2
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of many mind-body practices that is used in traditional Chinese Medicine. It involves the shallow insertion of small, thin needles into various points on the body, with the aim of addressing any “abnormal” flow of Chi.
Does acupuncture work?
Some scientific research questions whether acupuncture offers any benefit at all, with scientists questioning the way it works (specifically, the insertion of needles into acupuncture points).
There are studies that support acupuncture as a supplemental practice and others suggesting that placebo effects are responsible for its success.
That said, acupuncture clearly seems to have benefits for a significant number of those who use it.
It’s also worth noting that the acupuncturist you choose is incredibly important.
Improper insertion (too deep, or at an angle) of needles can lead to adverse effects. So, make sure you choose a licensed and established acupuncturist.3 Your doctor may even be able to give you a referral.
Acupuncture is most commonly used to help keep your body mobile, to keep your stress hormones low, and to support healthy sleep.4,5
This list does not cover everything that acupuncturists aim to address. Simply having a relaxing mind/body experience away from the madness of the world can be a great getaway, benefiting your mind and body. So, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about acupuncture.
Now that you understand a bit more about TCM and acupuncture, let’s get to the reason you came here… does acupuncture hurt?
Does Acupuncture Hurt? What About the Needles?
It’s a perfectly logical question: Does acupuncture hurt?
The simple answer is no, acupuncture should not hurt. In fact, when done correctly, acupuncture should be a calming and relaxing experience.
Acupuncture clients are often told to breathe deeply, close their eyes, and relax. It is often done in a serene environment and may be accompanied by soothing Eastern music, tones, or even sounds of nature.
If you are in an acupuncture session and you feel any pain or discomfort, you should tell the acupuncturist right away.
Acupuncture to Help With Stress
So, there you have it. Does acupuncture hurt? It shouldn’t if it’s done right. That’s great news for those who don’t like needles! And you’ve also got more basic knowledge now about TCM and how it is utilized.
So, if acupuncture (or any aspect of traditional Chinese medicine) interests you, then talk with your doctor. They may be able to give you a referral, saving you the trouble of seeking out an acupuncturist on your own.
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