What does it feel like?
It feels like someone is pinching your skin. Definitely not like an injection. People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted, some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain felt. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and are made from stainless steel. The point is smooth (not hollow with cutting edges like a hypodermic needle) and insertion through the skin. Its not as painful as injections or blood sampling.
The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a hollow needle.
Physiotherapist always have to use sterile disposable needles, there is no risk of infection from the treatments.
Depending on the structure and the depth that the therapist must ‘needle’, it can be uncomfortable. The needles are inserted through the skin to the deeper layers. They insert them in the body, by finding the right pressure & trigger points. When inserted into the body, the depth of the needles may vary, depending on which structure is targeted by the Physiotherapist.
When the acupuncture needles are inserted, they are left in place for between 15 and 40 minutes and often the physiotherapist will manipulate the needles so that you will feel a dull ache or numb sensation around their site of insertion. This sensation is called “De Qi” or “obtaining energy” and traditionally it is thought that “De Qi” may be an important part of the treatment process as this suggests that the nervous system is being correctly stimulated.