Holistic Health Viroqua
114 FS Drive
Suite A
Viroqua, WI 54665

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Health Care News & Updates          

February 15, 2010

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Does acupuncture hurt? That's often a question voiced by a new patient. The short answer is NO! But how can those acupuncture needles not hurt?

One of the examples I use to show how comfortable correctly done acupuncture can be is that over the years I have given acupuncture treatment to many animals, from horses and cattle to parrots and cats. They sit or lay quietly and often fall asleep just as people do during an acupuncture treatment. Animals such as horses stand during treatment and may doze off and begin to tip over! If the animal was uncomfortable it would not stand or lay quietly for the 15 or 20 minutes it takes to administer the acupuncture treatment. Often the human with the animal quickly decides they too want acupuncture for themselves after seeing how happy the animals are after acupuncture treatment.

Today we have acupuncture needles that are much smaller than years ago, allowing painless insertion to be easily achieved. The acupuncture needles I use are about the thickness of two human hairs! They are so fine that a small tube is needed to keep the needle straight while it is gently inserted to about 2 millimeters under the skin. The tiny size allows the super sharp and smooth surface to cause no damage to skin or muscle, unlike the hypodermic needles we are familiar with for injections. Those are hollow and large enough to have liquid pass through them. A hypodermic needle must be solid enough to not bend when inserted deep into muscle tissue and so will cause pain.

As with any profession, there are many different techniques used by acupuncturists. Each practitioner has their own personal preferences for the type of treatments they use and the techniques. And of course the level of skill and experience of the acupuncturist will vary as well.

So when you visit your acupuncturist, let them know if you are especially sensitive or have a fear of needles. There are several ways to give a treatment without needles and many acupuncturists use one or more of these methods whenever it is appropriate. Good acupuncturists make every effort to provide a comfortable experience. We can change what we do if needed to assure that you feel good while you are getting your treatment as well as afterward.

Acupuncture is fun - as a practitioner it is a pleasure to help people feel better, and patients enjoy their time in the clinic, relaxing and napping while their health is improving. The next time you have a health concern you need some help with, call us and find out how acupuncture may be both an effective and pleasant way to regain your health.

Susan Cushing


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