When trying to come up with a subject for my first blog I ran the idea by a long time patient of mine. Her recommendation was to bring more light to the subject of how acupuncture really does not hurt and is very relaxing. I have to be honest after practicing acupuncture for some 15 years now I often forget what is going through a first time patients mind when contemplating acupuncture treatment. When most people think of a needle our faces tighten and our eyes close and we slip back to a time of being a child. Going to the doctor’s office to get a shot of some kind and being told, “This is not going to hurt at all.” Boy did they lie! We often then, consciously or unconsciously, use an image like this when thinking about what an acupuncture treatment would be like. I understand why people react with the statement, “How can that be at all relaxing, being stuck with a bunch of needles.” They would be correct if an acupuncture needle was anything like a needle used to inject a substance into your body.
I often encourage people not to draw assumptions about things they have never experienced. These assumptions might very well prevent you from experiencing something very positive in your life. I’m sure you can reflect back on your life and think too many times where at first your preconceived assumptions about how something would feel or “must be” were completely wrong when you actually gave it a try. I would encourage you to open your mind to acupuncture as one of these things. Did you know that you can place more than 20 acupuncture needles into the hole of a standard injection needle used to give shots? Most acupuncture needles are as thin as a single strand of human hair. Acupuncture needles do not cut the skins surface, instead they pierce through the skin when entering it and upon removal the skin closes around the needle hole. So in most cases there is no bleeding where the needle was inserted. Most of my patients report that when the majority of the acupuncture needles are inserted, they feel almost nothing. Other patients might feel a slight pinching sensation when the needle is inserted. If there is ever any pain or discomfort when the needle is inserted it is immediately removed. Our goal is to help your body enter a place of deep relaxation so that your energy can balance, not to have you sit in pain.
As you can see acupuncture is quite different from anything that most people have ever experienced. I would like to encourage you to find out for yourself. Step outside your box and grow a little. Chinese medicine has been around for over five thousand years, it has a lot to offer patients in today’s fast moving world.
Thanks for your time,
Ashley Dunn, A.P., C.H.