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Does Acupuncture hurt?

We asked one of our Studio 26 acupuncturists, Daryl Thuroff, likely the most common question she gets in her first session with a new client: does acupuncture hurt? Daryl responded candidly: “you’re being stuck with needles, so of course you will feel it!” But the needles we often envision: big and thick and hollow, poking into the tender undersides of our arms, are the needles used in Western medicine and not acupuncture. Acupuncture needles are solid. They can cause an initial pinch or a general sensation of dull achiness, but that’s usually the extent of it.

Acupuncture needles are small, thin, and flexible, roughly the diameter of a human hair. They have give in a way that syringes do not. This flexibility is important, because the aim of acupuncture is to keep energy (Qi) flowing. Acupuncture's aim is to re-enliven parts of the body that have been dormant or in pain by encouraging movement.

Whether you are needle-phobic, needle-sensitive, or a needle-enthusiast, the goal of acupuncture is to foster well-being. Feelings of discomfort that may arise while receiving acupuncture are comparable to the experience of exercising muscles that haven't been active in a long time; it may take some getting used to!