Are Acupuncture Treatments Painful? Debunking the Myths


Acupuncture is an ancient healing technique effective to address many physical issues.

However, during the first consultation, many of my patients are daunting about the pain due to the needle insertion into the body.

Is acupuncture treatment painful? It’s a common question among those considering to be treated with acupuncture

Let’s delve into this question and debunk some common myths surrounding acupuncture discomfort.


The Sensation of Acupuncture

Acupuncture needles are incredibly thin, much finer than hypodermic needles used for injections. As a result, most people feel little to no pain during needle insertion. For this reason it is common to hear my patients snoring during the treatment with needles reflecting their state of relaxation.


Dealing with Needle Insertion

When an acupuncture needle is inserted, you may feel a slight pinch or a sensation similar to a mosquito bite. This sensation is often fleeting, and any discomfort typically subsides within seconds. The needles are gently inserted into specific acupuncture points, which are carefully chosen according to every patient specific condition.


Deeper Sensations

In some cases, you might experience a deeper, dull ache or tingling sensation at the insertion point. This sensation is short lived and it is a sign that the needle has stimulated the acupuncture point and is working to promote the body’s natural healing processes.


Pain vs. Discomfort

It’s important to distinguish between pain and discomfort. While acupuncture might cause some momentary discomfort for some individuals, it’s not the same as pain. The overall experience should be tolerable and for the majority quite pleasant.


Individual Experience

Everyone’s experience with acupuncture is unique. Factors such as individual sensitivity and the specific acupuncture points being used can influence the sensations you feel. Some individuals don’t feel anything at all, while others may feel more pronounced sensations.


Benefits Outweigh Discomfort

It’s essential to remember that the potential discomfort or sensations experienced during an acupuncture treatment are outweighed by the potential benefits. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in managing various health conditions (even the chronic ones), from pain relief to stress reduction and improved overall well-being.



In most cases, acupuncture treatments are not painful, and any discomfort is usually minimal and short-lived. The unique sensations experienced during acupuncture are often seen as a small price to pay for the potential health benefits it can offer. If you’re considering acupuncture, it’s advisable to consult with a licensed and experienced acupuncturist who can address your specific concerns and ensure a comfortable and effective treatment.