Does Acupuncture Hurt ?

No, acupuncture does not hurt because the needles are very fine and inserted superficially. Almost little or nothing is felt. As the needles are energized, a sensation of numbness, soreness, or heaviness may occur. This sensation is called “Deqi”


Deqi is the feeling evoked when the needle is inserted, and is the normal reaction to acupuncture. This sensation varies with the constitution of the patient and the location of the point. Points on the face may have a feeling of distention, while a thick muscle may have a feeling of soreness. Points on the palm, sole of the foot, and tips of the fingers and toes may have a momentary sharp sensation. Points of the extremities may have a temporary sensation of electric flash which is radiated distally. This is a normal phenomena and is closely related to the effectiveness of the treatment. Usually, if such sensation is felt quickly and is readily conducted, the result is likely to be satisfactory.


There are about a thousand or more acupuncture points which the Chinese classified into twelve main groups and a few lesser groups. All the points belonging to any one of these groups are joined by a line, which we call a meridian. The meridians on one side of the body are duplicated by those on the other. In addition, two extra meridians run up the middle of the body.

Each meridian is named after an organ and connects to a solid and a hollow organ. All the points on that meridian affect the organ after which it is named. The meridian can also influence diseases related to both organs by physiology, embryology, anatomy, function, etc. Any condition related to a specific organ directly or indirectly may be treated by needling a point or points on that organ’s meridian.

The Chinese call the meridians the paths of the action of “chi” or life energy. This energy circulates throughout the body and is essential for health and absence of disease. The treatment of specific points on the meridians acts to regulate or restore the energy circulation, which in turn relieves pain or restores function.