• Michael Manning

Does acupuncture Hurt?

Is Acupuncture painful?

This is one of the questions I most commonly

get asked having been practising Acupuncture in Carindale for over 6 years now this is the best answer i have for you . one factor is that It depends where you were born.

For the short answer skip to the last paragraph.

First you need to understand pain and that’s a whole kettle of fish. So let me mention

a few things about pain first

-Pain is a completely subjective sensation.

-It is an electrical impulse in your

nervous system

-Often pain is caused by damage to tissues,

which then stimulate electrical

impulses in nerves, the brain then interprets

this as pain, but this can also happen without

damage to tissues.

-There is no impartial way of measuring pain. The closest we come is the ‘personal’ VAS score (visual analogue scale) ‘where you score your pain between 1 and 10’, but of course it is subjective and therefore unreliable from a scientific perspective. Men and women will always be arguing over which is more painful - child birth or being hit in the balls.

- The human mind and memory being what it is, distorts our memories of pain diminishing it.

-The experience of pain is completely individual, and can vary depending on your head space at the time, but also the culture in which you have been raised.

So keeping that in mind, I would say you will only feel what your acupuncturist wants you to feel

I have been trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), so when I needle you I am looking to achieve a specific sensation which we call a Qi (Chi) sensation (or De Qi). This is often described as an ache. Sometimes dull, sometimes heavy, sometimes quite intense. It can also be described as warmth, coolness, numbness, or tingling.

There may be a small prick when the needle is first inserted, but that should not last more than a second or two. If you ever feel sharp,

or burning pain tell your acupuncturist immediately and they will be able to make it stop.

It comes back to your definition of pain in China these Qi sensations are not seen as pain, but in the western world sometimes they are.

So in answer to the main question I would say it shouldn’t, but it can, and it depends on your perspective.

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