Like many people, I too dislike the needle. I get a bit nervous when the needle used to take blood, or by the dentist to inject the painkiller before pulling out my tooth.
I would like to share my first time experience of undergoing acupuncture treatment with you.
Would it be painful when acupuncture needles are being inserted?
If done by a skilled TCM doctor, it would not be painful. It would at most feel like an ant bite. At some areas, there is almost no sensation.
However, when a needle is inserted at a blocked meridian channel or corresponding to a problematic area, it may feel like someone lightly pressing on a blue back….you know how it is like when sometimes you may accidentally bump into something and develop a little bruise. After a few days it turns blue black and sometimes your fingers are itchy and you press lightly on it. That’s the feeling.
Acupuncture is not painful. It does not feel like someone is poking you with a knife.
Stay calm during the treatment. Usually such sessions take about 20 to 30 minutes. Lie down and don’t move or fidget (unless being told to do so). If you move, it may then be painful.
When the doctor asked me to lie down, I quickly close my eyes when I saw her starting to open the packs of the sterile acupuncture needles. I do not want to look or think about them. For most point, I do not feel much when she inserted the needles- she did it quickly, with the expertise of someone doing it for more than 20 years. At some acupoint that corresponded to problematic areas in my body, yes, it does get like the feeling I described above (a light fingertip pressing on a bruise). Think of something nice or meditate or focus on the breath.
If you feel like running away, ask yourself why you are there in the first place. You want to get well rite? You want to feel better and cure that pain or discomfort.
So be brave, don’t be afraid. Take deep breaths and count one….two…three…
When I was doing my acupuncture treatment, a lady was also being treated at the next bed (behind pulled curtains). I heard her saying ‘ouch ouch’ – and the physician asking her not to move. So, don’t move. Don’t look. Think of nice pleasant things. Think of getting well and use that determination to block out your fears 🙂
Yes, conventional practitioners may not understand how acupuncture works. Quackwatch website had branded this form of treatment as quack treatment. But I can tell from experience, it is not. The backpain that had bordered me for months- and my back gets stiff when I get up in the morning- just with acupuncture the pain goes off. I’ve tried all sorts of self medicating ways- using exercise, hot water bottle- it helps to keep the situtation ‘under control’ but does not eliminate it.
All the physician needed to do was to poke 4 needles- two on each side (at the fold where the thumb and the forefinger meets) and voila! the pain was gone. But she also explained some deeper aspect- that the issue had stem from my weakening kidney energy- which I need to take Chinese herbal medicine to rebalance. For my right shoulder, the acupoint was on my outer left arm.
Acupuncture works for some illness- especially related to arthritic pain, fatigue, indigestion. It does not miraculously cure all illness and take all your pain away, but it works to a certain extend.
When looking for an acupuncturist, it is best to go under someone’s recommendation. Means a friend/family member who have sought treatment from the physician or clinic and found that helps, the fees reasonable and the physician knows what he/she is doing. Or from an established TCM clinic that has good track records.
Acupuncture, or other forms of treatment would be completed with herbal remedies for an effective cure. This is because acupuncture or acupressure can help to relief the condition temporarily but taking the herbal remedy would help to balance the body’s internal ecosystem.