Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles in specific points of the body. Research has found evidence that acupuncture points are strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals. Stimulating points along the meridian enables these electromagnetic signals to be relayed at a greater rate than under normal.
Unlike hypodermic needles, acupuncture needles are ultra fine like a cat's whisker or a little larger than a human hair, and depending on the location, are usually painless. You may feel some heaviness, distention, heat, tingling, or electric sensation either around the needle or traveling up or down the affected meridian. However, you should feel relaxed during and after treatment. California law Section 1399.454 requires acupuncturists to use only sterile needles labeled for single use. It is unlawful to reuse acupuncture needles. This makes acupuncture a very safe modality with little danger of infection, and no side effects.
The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture's effectiveness for over 40 common disorders (ENT, Respiratory, Gastrointestinal, Circulatory, Urogenital, Gynecological, Musculoskeletal, Psychoemotional & Neurological). Acupuncture originated in China but spread to other countries where different styles were developed based on differing opinions of theory and technique. Therefore, the style of the acupuncturist will have an effect on the patient's comfort. You should speak with your acupuncturist about their particular style to determine whether that practitioner is right for you.