When people get acupuncture for the first time, they will often admit to being nervous about the needles. Which isn’t surprising, they’re probably imagining a hypodermic or a sewing needle, when in actual fact, an acupuncture needle is about the thickness of a cat whisker. It’s extremely flexible and when you look at one up close and maybe even flick it with your finger, its harmless nature is revealed.
Harmless but not powerless. Those little needles, placed just so, all working together can accomplish amazing things. They can ease pain, calm an anxious mind, increase circulation, decrease inflammation, stimulate a sluggish bowel or slow an overactive one, and on and on the list goes.
I’m hesitant to compare acupuncture and sewing for fear of fanning the flames of needle fear, but they have some beautiful similarities. A row of tiny stitches can heal the hole in the toe of your favourite sock and make it stronger just as a few acupuncture needles correctly placed can mend your body’s pain. In both, something tiny and precise can be used to strengthen a weak portion of the whole.
Similes are fun! Here is another one: acupuncture is like DJ’ing. Huh? Well, both use needles to create cohesion. A DJ will use the turntable needle to line up the next song and create a seamless transition (hopefully), melding the two together. Similarly, an acupuncturist uses their needles to establish consistency; regular acupuncture treatments over time can nudge the body into a new, more balanced pattern, one that is free of pain. Like two perfectly synced songs, pain dissolves into pain-free, almost without the patient even noticing.
And why would they notice? Acupuncture needles are silicone coated for patient comfort and are extremely delicate. Did you know that you can fit forty of these little guys inside the opening of a hypodermic needle? Forty! So that gives you some perspective on whether or not to be nervous about acupuncture.
Our advice: don’t fear the needle. And if you still do, even after reading this post, just sing that phrase to yourself a few times. Here is some back-up musical inspiration to help out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUO_5EALZoM
Learn how acupuncture treats pain, depression and other health problems. Listen to testimonials from acupuncture patients at Minneapolis clinic Complete Oriental Medical Care. Licensed acupuncturist Steven Sonmore explains acupuncture and Chinese medicine.