Does Acupuncture Hurt

Does Acupuncture Hurt? What Does Acupuncture Feel Like

There are two main reasons why people are hesitating to try acupuncture treatment. The first reason is they don’t believe the traditional or alternative treatments like Acupuncturist Jacksonville FL. The other reason is they don’t like it because it hurts. Imagining several needles sticking and penetrating your skin is indeed uncomfortable. It becomes even worse if you are afraid of needles and have a bad experience with a syringe. However, is that true? Does acupuncture hurt? 

The Misconception

People often think that the word hurt is the same as painful. Acupuncture does hurt, but it is not painful. You can’t compare the “hurt” here with the “hurt” that you may feel when you take an injection or when the big IV syringe was inserted in your skin. The “hurt” words maybe are not the correct way to express that feeling you will get when the acupuncture needle is inserted into your skin. Prickly maybe is to correct the word here. And, the level is not as high as you imagine. It just you feel it when the needles are being inserted.

Once the needles are inserted, you will have a different feeling. Instead of pain, hurt or such, the area where the needles are inserted will feel like there is such a strange vibration. This is the feeling when the energy flow in that area has been released. The flow is so smooth that you feel like it vibrated. However, in this case, we also can see that the area of blood circulation becomes much smoother, as your body responds to the area that is injured by the needles. Furthermore, this strange sensation also is the sign that the nerve system in that area has been activated. It means that the healing process has been started. So, you can relax and not need to worry about it.

According to Prajna Paramita Choudhury, Lac, DipIOM, a licensed and certified acupuncturist, most of the patients don’t feel anything discomfort. They even feel nothing when the needles are inserted in their skin. The feeling of jumpy or throbbing because of the surprised reaction when the needles touch the skin is a normal thing. After that, you won’t feel any painful experience. 

However, every individual has different pain tolerance. Some of us won’t feel anything when we get the acupuncture treatment. However, some people also have very sensitive skin and low pain tolerance. So, when the needle is inserted, they feel uncomfortable. 

What Make You Feels the Pain in Acupuncture Treatment

Even though we said that acupuncture doesn’t feel hurt or painful, some conditions give you a painful feeling in this treatment. The first condition is, as we mentioned above, your low pain tolerance and high-sensitivity skin. However, once you get used to it, you won’t have any problem anymore.

The other condition is how deep the acupuncturist inserts the needles. Some of the meridian spots are difficult to reach, so the acupuncturist will insert it more to reach the spot. This is where you might feel hurt and discomfort. In most cases, the pain will gradually disappear when you start to relax during the session waiting period.

You also can feel pain, if the acupuncturist opens the meridian spot in your body for the first time. So, if you try acupuncture for the first time, most likely you feel this sensation in the very first session. The next session will give you a more relaxing and comfortable feeling.

Some of the meridian spots also can cause more pain than others. It happens a lot when the spot is close to the nerves or blood vessels. Your acupuncturist will tell you beforehand, so you can prepare yourself before the needle is inserted in your skin.

What Should You Do to Ease the Pain?

The best answer is relaxing your body and mind. When the needle inserting process is finished, you have to wait for several minutes. This is the time to relax. If you learn some breathing techniques, use it. It will be very helpful to ease your worry and loosen up your muscle.

However, you also need to understand that the pain or discomfort feeling in acupuncture is only occurring for seconds. It happens when the needle is inserted into your skin and pushes to a certain depth in your skin. If the painful sensation keeps lingering for a while, you need to tell your acupuncturist. They will remove it because it means there is something wrong with that area.


Acupuncture is a health treatment that utilizes tiny injury caused by needles, to stimulate the immune system and healing process of your body. So, it is normal to feel hurt or pain when the injury occurs, as this is a healthy response. However, the sensation only lasts for seconds. So, does acupuncture hurt? The answer is no.

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