Does acupuncture hurt?

DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?masks-833420_1920

This topic is worth visiting several times. Unfortunately, according to a recent survey conducted by one of the leading California acupuncture colleges, the unfounded and unrealistic fear of pain is the number one reason patients don’t seek acupuncture care.

Many patients would rather suffer needlessly with neck, back, head or joint pain before visiting a highly recommended and skilled acupuncturist.  So sad!

Ironically, the most common comments I hear from my patients new to acupuncture over the years arewellness-285587_1920
a) it’s so painless!
b) it’s so pain relieving!
and 
c) it’s so blissfully relaxing!  (Most of my patients leave more relaxed that if they had gotten a full body massage and the soothing, healing effects last so much longer).  

My advice is don’t shy away from having a hair plucked (typically what an acupuncture insertion may feel like) if it means being able to comfortably go to work, robustly play your weekend sports with joy, delight in picking up and playing with your kids, and being able to grow older with energy and agility.  

There is a big secret here and you are about to be let in on it.  

Most all of the fear is purely a semantic issue.  Yes, that’s right!  Not a real experience issue, but an imaged issue.   

The acupuncture profession would benefit immensely by simply renaming it’s tools to something like “fibers” or “filaments”.  Hypodermic needles is almost exclusively what the public has experienced since they were little children dreading those terrible visits to the doctors office.  

Acupuncturists are not hypodermic needles!  Hypodermic needles are tough, thick tubes of metal designed to draw material out of the body or push it into the body.  It usually doesn’t feel great.  

By comparison, acupuncture needles …. or shall we say “fibers”…. are flexible and very thin.  They are not even that easy to see.  

When one gets to get an injection of some medication or blood drawn out of the body, the thickness of the hypodermic needle typically ranges from .03225 of an inch to .065 of an inch.    By comparison, the typical acupuncture “fiber” is usually between .0063 and .0079 of an inch.  That is roughly 10 times more minute with nothing to push in or pull out of the body.

The more skilled your acupuncturist, the more likely you are to have a pain-free, enjoyable experience that you will look forward to repeating over and over again in the weeks and months that come as your health challenges diminish.  

I literally have had young children put on a big smile and say “do it again!  do it again!” upon experiencing acupuncture for the first time.  

According to a very recent Huffington Post blog, there are 5 common sensations commonly used words to describe the sensation of acupuncture:  heavy, achey, tingly, electric and warm.  (Notice the absence of the word “sharp”).  

Is it best to feel nothing at all?  

Not necessarily.  One of the more famous instructors I had would let his patients choose what gauge needle he would use.  His experience told him that the thicker needles cause quicker results.  

In my experience, I have found that getting a comfortable dull spreading sensation (it’s known as “qi” sensation) is desirable.  I do, also, enjoy the positive reputation of  providing my patients with a comfortable, enjoyable, painless experience. My view is if the body is uncomfortable it will be in a state of contraction, and optimal healing comes when the body, mind and spirit are relaxed.

In sum, virtually all of the “pain” experienced with acupuncture is the mental “pain” we put there by comparing the acupuncture experience with the vastly different hypodermic needle experience.  

My advice: don’t let a mis-association take you out!  Enjoy what this thousands year old healing art and science has to offer your health and longevity!

Welcome to AcuVitale! Your source for drug-free, surgery-free healing!

Welcome to AcuVitale! Your source for drug-free, surgery-free healing!people-821624_1920

It is my great pleasure to be in my 18th year of assisting my patients in enjoying longer healthier lives free of unnecessary drugs and surgery.kayaking-569282_1280

We live in a time where a surprising number of people die or become incapacitated by the very medical care they receive. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that an astonishing 225,000 deaths per year are CAUSED by their medical care! That number is more than a 747 full of people “crashing” every single day. How long would the aircraft industry be in business with a track record like that?

These fatalities include unnecessary surgeries, hospital infections, hospital errors, medication errors and an astonishing 106,000 deaths from the negative effects of medications.

I am happy to see a trend of more and more people making safer healthier choices by seeking healthier diet and lifestyle alternatives.

More and more safe, holistic healthcare choices are being made by people whose careers depend on looking and feeling their best. Celebrities like Gwyenth Paltrow, Jennifer Anniston, Jessica Simpson and David Arquette are all fans of the odd but effective asian medical treatment of cupping. Cupping is were suction is applied (most typically to the back and neck area) often leaving a tell-tale mark that can last days or weeks. Jessica Simpson even tweeted to her followers “Love It!” regarding it’s tension and detoxing effects. meditation-972472_640

In addition to it’s undeniable pain relief effects (It’s well known that it can be used in lieu of anesthesia for many surgeries), acupuncture benefits extend to conditions such as weight loss, anxiety and fertility.

In my next blog, we will ask and answer the most common question I hear from prospective patients, “does acupuncture hurt?”.

In two weeks, we will be exploring and answering the complex and mysterious question, “how does acupuncture work?”.