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What Do Acupuncture Needles Feel Like?

Updated on November 29, 2007
Dog being treated by acupuncture and relaxing!
Dog being treated by acupuncture and relaxing!

Acupuncture, acupressure and Traditional Chinese Medicne (TCM) have been around for thousands of years. The results of people and animals who under go acupuncture treatments are routinely impressive. More and more health insurance companies will cover all or part of acupuncture treatments. The World Health Organization (WHO) endorses acupuncture for over 140 ailments. Acupuncturists need to study for years before they get licensed. You don't need to be Chinese in order to be good at acupuncture, but you do need to be a trained medical professional.

Still, even with thousands of years of results behind it, it still involves needles being pushed into your skin. How bad do acupuncture needles feel like?

Acupuncture Needles

Accupuncture needles are extrememly thin -- even thinner than innoculation needles. The worst you will ever feel is a pain identical to a bee sting. But most of the time, you won't feel them.

During a 1978 trip to China, Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld witnessed an open heart surgery done WITHOUT anesthetic -- but the patient wasn't in any pain because she had needles in acupuncture points in her ear that deaden pain. He chronicles this in eye-opening detail in his book Dr. Rosenfeld's Guide To Alternative Medicine. He goes on to note that a very small percent of the human population can successfully undergo using acupuncture in the place of anethesia. Even in China, acupuncture in the palce of anesthesia is used less than 20% of the time.

Dogs Don't Lie

It can be argued that Dr. Rosenfeld might have been fooled by sleight of hand, or some other trickery happened. Adults are very good at masking pain (although not THAT good).

But small children and animals are very vocal when it comes to pain. However, both small children and animals usually do not feel pain during an acupuncture session. Both horses and dogs (and occassionally cats) have been known to take naps during acupuncture sessions.

So, you don't need to worry about pain from acupuncture needles. You don't even need to worry about any diseases being transmitted, as needles are disposeable and sterile.

If you are interested in acupuncture for you or your pet AND conventional medicine has failed, you can ask for a referral to an acupuncturist. You can also look at the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society to find a vet, and for a human acupuncturist.

In dogs, acupuncture can be especially beneficial for arthritis. In horses, acupuncture has been tested to help with chronic back pain. In people, acupuncture is good for..well, just about anything except heart attack, labor and cancer.

All that being said, this writer still has a phobia about needles! Perhaps I'd need to be blindfolded if I ever needed an acupuncture treatment.

Dogs don't lie about pain. Still, Spencer is braver than myself! Film by Hophead515


Submit a Comment

  • RenaSherwood profile image

    RenaSherwood 10 years ago

    Thanks for the info. Much appreciated :-)

  • livelonger profile image

    Jason Menayan 10 years ago from San Francisco

    I've had acupuncture done before and agree that they are a lot finer than regular needles. They feel a bit like mosquito bites, which are so light that you usually can't feel them.