One of the most popular therapies for pain management today, acupuncture has earned a strong reputation for itself for being highly effective. No wonder millions of people turn to clinics that offer this therapy as a service. However, even with so much awareness about acupuncture itself, there are many misconceptions floating about. The biggest one of them all is that acupuncture hurts.
It’s easy to see why people believe this is true. After all, if you’ve never heard of acupuncture and are told that the therapy entails inserting needles into your skin, you’d be a bit worried too! However, what people often don’t realize is that acupuncture needles are very, very thin and you can hardly feel them being inserted.
If acupuncture does not hurt, how do you explain the sensations you feel when needles are used?
People report feeling a whole range of things when they begin their acupuncture sessions, but it is important to keep in mind that none of these sensations are pain. Often, people may feel a sense of pressure or a dullness at an insertion site. Contrary to popular belief, this does not occur due to it hurting – it is simply the sensation of different nerves being activated.
Interestingly, some people also have a very emotional response to acupuncture. They may feel a rush of happiness, sudden sense of sadness or even calmness while getting the therapy. This generally occurs because certain meridian points are being activated for the first time – it’s completely normal to feel any of these sensations.
Apart from these, you may experience throbbing, warmth or even a jumping sensation in the muscle. All of these are well-within the range of normal responses to acupuncture and you must not feel worried if you experience any of these during your session.
What does it mean if the acupuncture hurts?
There are rare cases when someone may feel pain while going through an acupuncture session. This can mean that the therapist has inserted the needle too far into the skin. Conversely, it can also mean that the therapist is using a heavy-gauge needle as opposed to one that is super thin. Sometimes, such needles or forceful techniques are a part of the session and are recommended for very specific instances. However, most licensed practitioners prefer to administer lighter therapy where there is absolutely no pain involved.
Mild discomfort is understandable but if you are feeling pain, you must speak up and tell your practitioner to be more careful.
Of course, there are also a few pressure points in the body that can cause pain due to their location. In such cases, you may feel a sharp jap that subsides almost instantly. For instance, acupuncture points that are close to the nails are bound to feel sharper sensations as there is lesser flesh in that area. On the other hand, fleshier areas like the stomach or thigh experience very little sensations when the needle is inserted. As stated earlier, anything that lasts most than a few seconds should be brought to the attention of the practitioner!
How long are the needles left on the body?
Typically, an acupuncture session can last anywhere between 30-90 minutes, depending on what your needs are. Your practitioner will first speak to you about everything that needs to be done and then administer the therapy, and the time taken to talk is generally counted as a part of the therapy on the whole.
Based on your needs, practitioners can leave the needles in for 10-30 minutes at a stretch. During this time, they generally leave the patient alone so that they can relax and fall asleep – a response that is fairly common!
Is there any pain after the treatment is completed?
The success of most treatments and therapies varies with the after-care that the patient provides. It is very important to follow all the instructions laid out by your practitioner. For starters, no matter how energized you may feel once the treatment is over, you must still take some time to rest. This is because the practitioner has activated various meridian points in the body, and this can take a while for your body and mind to get used to.
For the first 24 hours after your treatment, you should not drink alcohol or have caffeinated drinks. You should also eat healthy fruits and vegetables to give your body the energy it needs. Do not apply any ice packs to your body (even if you feel sore) as this can interfere with the overall flow of energy.
The minute your treatment stops, you should not experience any pain or discomfort. However, you can expect mild bruising at times. Do not be alarmed if this happens, as it sometimes is a natural result of the therapy itself.
However, if you experience intense pain or odd symptoms such as the shortness of breath or tightness in the chest, then you should get in touch with your physician immediately. It could indicate that the needles were pushed in a little too far and this may have caused a few complications.
How can you completely reduce the risk of complications related to acupuncture?
With so many innovations in the market, it is now possible for people to enjoy the benefits of acupuncture without having to rely on needles. After all, the therapy is about the stimulation of certain nerves rather than just inserting needles!
TheraPen is a wonderfully innovative device that lets people avail all the health benefits of acupuncture, without needles. It administers a carefully controlled electrical impulse wherever applied and helps your muscles relax just like they would after a regular acupuncture session. TheraPen has done wonders for people looking to manage chronic pain such as pain in the neck, lower back, legs, shoulders, and even menstrual cramps.
By using TheraPen yourself, you can be in charge of your own acupuncture therapy from the comfort of your own home!
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