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In use for more than 2000 years, and considered a cornerstone of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is a popular and effective tool for managing a number of health conditions. But many patients want to know ‘does acupuncture hurt?’ before going ahead with treatment, even though one in ten Australians has had the procedure. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect from this procedure before booking a treatment session with a registered healthcare practitioner.


How Does Acupuncture Work?

Considered a complementary treatment, acupuncture is the practice of inserting very fine (acupuncture) needles into specific points in the body, in order to stimulate them. This may be combined with heat, electrical impulse or manipulation. Acupuncture has been practised in Australia since the introduction of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the 1880s and is widely embraced for the treatment of a number of health concerns.


What Can You Expect During Acupuncture Treatment?

Everyone’s definition of and the threshold for pain is very different but in the majority of cases, the word discomfort tends to be favoured over a word like painful. This is in part because the needles that are used for the procedure are very fine, much finer than those used to extract blood samples or administer vaccines. This is also due to the depth at which the needles are inserted.

You will have a discussion with your therapist about your health concern, and he or she will brief you on what to expect, including the parts of the body that the needles will be inserted into.

Once the needles have been placed you will lie still for a period of time.

Your practitioner may adjust or move them from time to time, and this aspect might seem a little more uncomfortable.

Is Your Acupuncture Treatment Going To Be Painful?

Some patients report that their first session is more uncomfortable than subsequent treatments. It is believed this could be because energy points are being activated for the first time. It is also possible that the symptoms of the condition for which you are being treated may get a little worse after your treatment before they improve.

Acupuncture treatment is indicated in a number of pain-related conditions such as arthritis, osteoarthritis and chronic pain conditions like headaches and migraines. It is often turned to in scenarios where other pain management techniques have not been effective.


How Can You Ensure Your Acupuncture Session Goes Safely?

There are some measures and controls you can take to ensure your session is as safe as possible. These include

  • Working with a practitioner who is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
  • Giving your Traditional Chinese Medicine specialist or healthcare practitioner your full medical history. This includes telling him or her about any medication you might be taking, as well as any allergies you may have.


Do you still have questions about ‘does acupuncture hurt?’ and what you can expect from the treatment process? It’s always best to consult a registered professional. Please contact us at (07) 5613 1531 for information or a convenient appointment: