Q: Does it hurt?
A: No! The needles are very, very small. They are nothing like the hollow needles that are used in blood draws and injections, as they are solid. In fact, they are so thin that they bend. At worst, you might feel a small pinch when the needle goes in, but as soon as it is beneath the surface of the skin, you typically won’t feel the needle at all. Sometimes people feel a heaviness, or tingling, or even a “wooshing” feeling – these are all normal, and mean that your Qi (energy) is going to or being moved by the needle.
Q: Are the needles clean?
A: Yes! All acupuncture needles are sterile, single-use, disposable needles, made of stainless steel. After use, they are disposed of as medical waste. Acupuncture itself is not a sterile procedure (that would require an operating room), but instead is what is known as a clean procedure. We wash our hands, or use hand sanitizer, before and after inserting or removing the needles. We clean the skin with alcohol before we insert needles, and we never touch the part of the needle that goes into the skin (only the handles).