Subsiding Skepticism: What Acupuncture Really Feels Like

Subsiding Skepticism

Subsiding Skepticism

A common misconception that revolves around acupuncture is that it is a painful application. Acupuncture does not actually hurt; it causes other sensations in the treated areas.

These sensations are traditionally quite mild, and their occurrence is proof that acupuncture is working toward healing the body.

Considering opting for acupuncture, but uncertain about how it would feel? Here are the common sensations you will experience in your acupuncture session.

Pinch/ prick sensation at insertion

In most cases, patients barely feel anything when the needles are being inserted into the skin. In some cases, however, they may feel a brief pin-prick sensation when the needle breaches the skin’s surface.

The sensory nerves in your skin serve to detect pressure changes, and the level of sensitivity will vary depending on the area where the needles are inserted.

For instance, the skin on your hands and feet is more sensitive than the skin on the back.

Regardless of the area, the pricking sensation goes away once the needle is inserted. The intensity of the sensation will depend on how sensitive your skin generally is.

Mildly heavy and ache-y feeling

Once the acupuncture point is needled, some people may experience a dull, mild ache in the affected site. This sensation is actually a good sign. It indicates the “unblocking’ of the Qi (chee).

Qi is the energy that circulates throughout the human body, and this flow is balanced and improved when the inserted needles trigger the points that contribute to Qi.

The heavy sensation you feel in your muscles will be similar to the ache felt during a massage. The intensity of the sensation subsides after a while and will persist slightly throughout the acupuncture session.

Electrical and tingling sensation

This feeling can be described as a jolt. This feeling is a sign that your acupuncturist has found the energy point and triggered it. This sensation will go away almost as quickly as it came.

Another feeling you might experience is a buzzing sensation, similar to the “pins and needles” feeling you get in limbs when they become numb. Some people also feel a tingling sensation, almost electrical, traveling along the Qi path. Both of these sensations are quite mild.

A feeling of warmth/heat

Acupuncture is prompting improvement in the circulation of energy along your body, so it is only natural that you feel the warmth along the path of the meridian. This warming sensation can be quite relaxing.

Unnatural extra: Sharp/ burning sensation

If this feeling occurs, let your acupuncturist know immediately.

Acupuncture is not supposed to be painful. The prickling sensation you feel in the beginning should go away immediately. If that feeling or any other sharp feeling pursues, tell your acupuncturist, so that they may readjust the needles.


In general, many people fall asleep during their acupuncture sessions, as the experience is extremely relaxing and meditative. Many anxious individuals say that acupuncture is the only modality that helps them to relax.

The Acupuncture Center of Bradenton offers safe and efficient acupuncture to the community of Bradenton for relief of a number of health conditions, including pain management for injuries and chronic pains.

Get in touch with us to find out more about our acupuncture service.