Though it’s considered a form of alternative treatment, there are many people who have benefitted from acupuncture. It has been used in the treatment of a large number of ailments and for general relaxation. However, one of the problems that many people have with it is that they don’t understand it, and this is why they don’t take advantage of it. The most common reason for this is the fact that most people associate needles with pain. For this reason, they often think if acupuncture as more of a painful procedure rather than one that can help in the treatment of many ailments.
The truth of the matter is that acupuncture is often done with a great degree of technical expertise in order to avoid much pain. The techniques that are normally used include:
The way the needles are inserted into the skin always has an influence on whether the process will be painful or not. Before insertion of a needle, the acupuncturist is required to sterilize your skin to prevent the risk of infection. The needles are then inserted with the help of a guide tube made of plastic. There are various strategies that can be used at this stage, including spinning or flicking the needle to reduce the pain.
Physiologically speaking, the vast majority of receptors in the skin are located in the superficial layers of the skin. This includes those that perceive pain. One of the hallmarks of a high quality acupuncturist is the ability to exploit this. By making sure that the needle is injected into the skin as quickly as possible, they can bypass some of these receptors. This makes the acupuncture painless particularly if you get it done by a highly skilled practitioner.
The use of standard needles
The types of needles used in acupuncture can sometimes have an influence on whether it’s painful or not. Ideally, needles that are very thin should be used. These have a small surface area, which means that when they are inserted into the skin they are unlikely to excite more than a couple of pain receptors. This in turn means that you may have a large number on your skin, but feel no pain at all.
Another important strategy that can be used to minimize pain during acupuncture is proper site selection. Most high quality acupuncturists will find sites that have a relatively low concentration of pain receptors, which would then minimize the risk of pain. This is a skill that often requires a lot of experience and the right training.
A proper explanation
If you have never had acupuncture done before, one of the major reasons why you may end up finding it to be an unpleasant process is not understanding what is happening. This might have the psychological effect of reducing your pain threshold, and making you feel pain even when it’s technically not there. A high quality acupuncturist will strive to make you more comfortable by telling you exactly what will happen at every step of the process. However, this will only be possible if they themselves fully understand the anatomical and physiological basis of acupuncture, and strive to ensure that it’s done according to these principles.
In summary, you don’t need to be apprehensive about acupuncture on account of the expectation of pain. As long as you get the service provided by someone who is properly trained and who has a lot of experience, chances are that you will not find it to be painful at all. In fact, you may find yourself having the acupuncture done a number of times after that since the benefits will be numerous.