What are acupuncture needles?
Acupuncture needles have been used for many centuries. While the majority of acupuncture started with less modern materials, such as bones, sticks and bamboo.
Acupuncture needles have advanced with new technology. Modern needles are fine, filiform (no hole down the middle of the shaft) needles made from surgical steel and come in sterile packs.
They range in thickness from 30 to 40 gauge, which is about the diameter of a hair (in contrast, the needle that a phlebotomist uses to draw your blood is between 18 and 22 guage, which is much much thicker).
Acupuncture needles range in length from about 0.5 inches to 4-5 inches, but most often in the clinic we use 0.5-1.5 inches.
Do acupuncture needles hurt?
Acupuncture is generally considered to be painless by most of our patients. We understand that sensitivity can be different for everyone. The majority of people would say no and that they can’t even feel them. Though, there are many different sensations associated with acupuncture. Some people can feel the “Qi” some don’t and that’s okay.
We’ll link to our article about Qi here.
What do you do with your needles?
At Maryville Acupuncture, all of our needles are single use, sterile and disposed of in a sharps container. We never reuse needles.
These needles are left in place for 20-25 minutes while you rest comfortably.
What else should I expect during a treatment?
There are additional modalities such as cupping, electro-stimulation, lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, stress management) and traditional Chinese medicinal practices that are occasionally incorporated into your treatment to give you the best benefit.