Acupuncture Needles

Acupuncture Needles
Acupuncture Needles

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

Order now with Emerson Wellevate

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.

How Does Acupuncture Work For Pain?

We hear a lot about how acupuncture can be helpful in treating all types of pain – back pain, knee pain, headaches, menstrual cramps – but how does it work?

Acupuncturists use many tools, but the most common are acupuncture needles. Acupuncture needles are small, thin hair-like sterile single use needles inserted into specific areas on the body.

Acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system. This, in turn, releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These biochemical changes may stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being.

Whether we’re treating the acute pain of a sprained ankle or the chronic pain of a bulging disc, we know that acupuncture treats pain in three ways:

1. Neurologic Disruption

Your body processes the stimulation from acupuncture using the same part of the nervous system that transmits pain. By sending different signals – such as the message your body receives from the insertion of an acupuncture needle – your acupuncturist can “disrupt” the pain messages transmitted from body to brain and help decrease your sensation of pain

2. Local Tissue Relaxation

When a part of your body is in pain, the muscles surrounding the painful area often tense to protect and compensate. This can cause additional soreness and decrease the body’s ability to move and heal naturally. These same muscles and tissues will respond to acupuncture stimulation by relaxing, causing decreased pain and easier movement.

3. Decreasing Inflammation

Injury to any tissue causes an increase in inflammation, which in turn, causes increased pain, and can cause swelling and reduced range of motion. Acupuncture activates your innate immunity, which will work to decrease inflammation throughout your body and decrease local and systemic pain.

Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found acupuncture to be effective for over thirty conditions and the list is continuing to grow.

If you have any questions, please call our office, email, or visit our website.