“I HATE needles!!!!”
_ This is one of the most common things I hear patients (or potential patients) say. I’m sure I’m not the first licensed acupuncturist, or the last, to hear those words. The truth is NO ONE likes needles. But there are many solutions to this; the first, of course, being that you have to change your perspective about what needles are. For most people the only experience they have with needles are with hypodermic needles used by doctors or nurses to give immunizations or take blood. Those needles are hollow, have large diameters, ridged structure and have jagged tips and edges. They are also designed to puncture veins and access deep layers of muscle tissue for proper absorption and circulation of medications. That basically means they are the complete OPPOSITE of acupuncture needles. Acupuncture needles are called filiform needles, meaning “thread-like.” They are solid, hair thin, have a flexible structure with smooth edges and tips and they are designed to puncture the epidermal layer of the skin painlessly. Acupuncture points are NOT generally located over veins and it is NOT the goal of an acupuncture treatment to penetrate a vein- or any vessel for that matter. For this reason, acupuncture needles RARELY draw even a single drop of blood when they are inserted or removed.
The second solution is that acupuncture can be performed without traditional needles. (“Traditional” meaning needles that are inserted into the skin.) I bet you weren’t expecting to read that?!?!?! Treatments can be performed using single use, non-insertive needles. These needles have rounded edges, do not penetrate the skin and are held at acupuncture points. One single needle can be used on a patient to treat the entire body. AND they can still stimulate the system without causing unwanted pain.
A third option is to use a teishin. A teishin is an instrument used for acupuncture treatment that can be made of a variety of metals, stone or other minerals. These are re-usable, blunt-tipped and for lack of a better word- “probes.” They are used, similarly to non-insertive needles, to gently stimulate acupuncture points and meridians along the body. They have a rounded end and a pointed end which can be alternated depending on which type of treatment each specific point or area requires,
The forth option, one that is commonly used for infants and children, is to utilize acupressure or tui na techniques at acupuncture points or along meridians. This is also a viable option for people with serious metal allergies and certain bleeding disorders. If you are skeptical of its efficacy, don’t be! As an acupuncture intern in a hospital setting, I often treated infant children in this manner. They were always hooked up to breathing and heart monitors throughout their treatments. I was able to see week after week the positive effects the treatments had on their vital sign readings.
So, what are you waiting for?! Book an appointment. You have many, many options and your comfort is ALWAYS taken into consideration at Bella Acupuncture.
Best of Health!!