Are there any potential side effects from the acupuncture needles?
The most common concern about the side effects of acupuncture is pain. This has been covered in detail under the frequently asked question: “Does acupuncture hurt? If so, how much does it hurt?”.
The pain involved in acupuncture is nothing more than a slight sensation of a pin prick. Many patients are able to receive an acupuncture needle and not even realise it. Please forget about the dermal needles you receive from your doctor or dentist, acupuncture needles a far thinner and much less invasive. Dermal needles are hollow to allow fluid to be injected. In contrast, acupuncture needles are solid and are consequently much thinner. In fact, multiple acupuncture needles can fit into a dermal needle. Unfortunately for us acupuncturists, the word “needle” tends to be a misleading turn off for many potential acupuncture patients.
Another possible side effect from receiving acupuncture is mild bruising. This happens rarely and it usually is only occurs when certain acupuncture points are needled. Any bruising will be contained close to where the needle was inserted. Very slight amounts of bleeding may occur when the acupuncture needle is withdrawn. At most this will only produce a very small speck of blood.
When acupuncture needles are inserted, the intention is for the needle to influence the energy flowing in the acupuncture channels. As a consequence, when acupuncture is administered well, it can create a sensation called “de qi”. An acupuncture patient experiences de qi as an electric sensation which will move along the pathway of the acupuncture channel. This is mostly not painful, and it usually only occurs when select few number acupuncture points are needled.
If you have any concerns about how it will feel to experience acupuncture, or if you would like to know more about possible side effects of receiving acupuncture please phone Dr Kirk Wilson on 9231 3377.