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Acupuncture Hurts?

Discussion in 'Injury Recovery Rehabilitation Massage' started by Maui Guy, Feb 6, 2012.

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  1. Maui Guy

    Maui Guy Member

    Feb 9, 2010
    Hello all,
    This may not be the right section t put this in, so if it is, I apologize in advance.

    I went to an acupuncturist for the first time a few days ago.
    Some of the needles hurt going in. When he took it out, I was bleeding in the areas that stung going in.

    In one spot on my inner wrist, one of the veins was swollen. It was very sore and is black and blue.

    As an energy worker I understand about "stuck" areas and "blockages" that can cause discomfort. But...:shock:
  2. hidden

    hidden Member

    Aug 22, 2009

    hm, my acupuncture treatments have been uncomfortable at times - but in an energetic way... I could feel intensity at the point, and often waves of energy moving through where the needles were. The needles didn't really hurt going in - only when they hit the right spot, there was that "intensity".
    I've never experienced bleeding or bruising. I am however, new to acupuncture as well and have only received a few treatments. Am interested to hear others' take on this.
  3. J09

    J09 Member

    Jan 19, 2010

    Either #1, you are VERY out of balance, or #2, you need to change acupuncturists. Sometimes you'll get one who uses too big needles, or isn't very good or very sensitive, and they mistake things like veins, tendons and ligaments for xu or shi chi. They stick the needles in and it hurts like a #@$^%!!! It can leave bruises if they hit a vein in just the right way, sometimes the needle will hit a nerve and you can get the tinglies for a few hours. (Once mine lasted for two days.)

    On the other hand, these can all be symptoms of excess or depletion, blood seforum.xxxnation, or other valid reasons to have needle reactions. Sometimes during a really good session I will get halos around my needles, or the needles will wiggle visibly. I occasionally get bruising around my liver points in the lower legs and feet. They look like little purple bullseyes. If you bruise easily for acupuncture, they can press a finger over the needle site as they pull them out to lessen the bruise marks.

    If you feel like the acupuncturist is a good one, and is helping you, ask if you can have much smaller needles for the next session.
  4. Hoof Hearted

    Hoof Hearted Member

    Sep 20, 2009

    Thank you both for your comments. I'm new to it and don't know what the norm is.

    I think he hit the vein on my left wrist. It has the same look and feel as when someone tried to draw blood and messed up. Yes, we were working on the heart, so I'm sure the energy was challenged, but I think he goofed. I'll give him another try to see if it happens again.
  5. Anna C

    Anna C Member

    Oct 2, 2009

    Just as MTs can, acupuncturists usually like to hear about your experience with them. Mentioning this will give him an opportunity to either correct things or at least explain to you what those sensations meant.

    I like to watch the needles wiggle, too. :lol:
  6. purpleshamrock

    purpleshamrock Member

    Jul 19, 2010

    While we are on the subject of acupuncture, I have a thought/question for you all. My dad wants to get acupuncture for his lower back pain but we cannot find any oriental practitioners. Is it imperative to have someone of oriental lineage to do this type of thing (acupuncture)? If not, how are a lot of the people any of you may have seen in the past? Thanks :D
  7. johhny boi

    johhny boi Member

    Aug 27, 2009

    You don't have to be Asian or of Asian descent to do acupuncture. What you are looking for is licensure.

    If he particularly likes the idea of seeing someone who was trained in China, he can mention that when he calls practitioners. Some acupuncturists do go to China for some training. I have never found this to be necessary in finding an effective practitioner though. There is active debate in the acupuncture community about whether U.S. training is less rigorous than Chinese training and how that is affecting the quality of TCM care here, but I don't have enough experience to have an opinion on that.

    Here are some sites you might like:



    http://www.aaom.org (American Association of Oriental Medicine)

    All have practitioner locators.
  8. boo7

    boo7 Member

    Nov 8, 2009

    The best acupuncturist I've ever been to was a Caucasian woman who became interested in acupuncture as an adult, then went to school.

    What matters is intuition, "feel," training and innate talent, not necessarily ethnic herieforum.xxxe.


    Aug 8, 2009

    Thank you both so much, I will pass this info onto my dad!! :D
  10. eelfins

    eelfins Member

    Dec 2, 2009

    I get bruising sometimes after acupuncture, particularly around my wrists, like P6. Applying a mix of helichrysum oil in rose hip seed oil after does wonders.

    Sometimes the needles do hurt going in... sometimes they hurt during the session. Certain points are known for being painful, e.g. SI 3 at the base of the pinky or LI 20 on either side of the nostrils.

    BLACKHAWK Member

    Apr 21, 2010

    I had acupuncture four times last week to try to ease pain and spasming from what appears to be a herniated disk. Three sessions were with needles, one with laser. The last session with needles was more painful and many of the sites on my torso are still tender 5 days later. Sometimes it almost feels like the needles are still in there.

    Has anyone come across this?

    btw, this is the second week that I haven't worked, and I move house in less than a month. I have never had pain like this and all it took was waking up on Monday morning last week.

  12. Fireball

    Fireball Member

    Sep 11, 2009

    Marion, I'm so sorry to hear about your injury. I'm sending healing wishes your way! Regarding acupuncture, it really shouldn't hurt that much, and certainly not 5 days after treatment. If I were in your shoes, I'd switch to a different acupuncturist.

    I have some tips from friends who have had herniated discs. These tips aren't cures, but they can provide temporary pain relief. First off, limit sitting as much as possible. Standing, walking & lying down are all better than sitting. If you do sit, stand up every 15-30 minutes and walk around the room before sitting down again.

    Also, putting the back in extension takes pressure off the disc. Here are 3 sample stretches:
  13. NocturnalWitch

    NocturnalWitch Member

    Oct 2, 2009

    Marion, that's awful! :smt056 Has it been definitively diagnosed as a disc issue, or are you still waiting for imaging?
  14. Pashy

    Pashy Member

    Oct 27, 2009
    Acupuncture Hurts?

    Leener, I am SO sorry this happened to you!

    I've gone for acupuncture MANY times, starting when I was 14. I have to say that what you experienced was NOT correct. The needles should never hurt while going in, except maybe the ear cartilage. (The needles have to be extremely sharp and thin, and NOT the slightest bit dull.) Like others said, they might feel a LITTLE uncomfortable while they're in there, as the energy moves around and re-situates itself, but you should not go through what you went through! You should NEVER come out of a session bleeding, bruised, or hurt as much as you were! I would definitely find another acupuncturist and yes, check for licensure.

    Marion, I'm sorry about your experience, too! I have no idea what to say, though. At this point I am concerned that the needles may not have been completely sterilized? It's possible that even semi-contaminated needles may have introduced some bacteria into the insertion site? I have no idea, since like I mentioned above, I've never experienced any pain with acupuncture.

    BTW, my acupuncturist was also my chiropractor growing up who was a gifted man who is probably the reason I am walking upright and am fully functional today. :)

    Gosh I hope y'all find some good practitioners! Good luck!
  15. Fletcher

    Fletcher Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Acupuncture Hurts?

    I think for most people the needles should never hurt, and yes they should be sharp and thin. If the LAc is not using needles from sealed one-use packages, change therapists. There are a few old-school acupuncturists around who still re-use and follow sterilization protocols for existing needle sets, but in most places it is uncommon if not illegal.

    Some people though are very sensitive and the needles do hurt, even when insertion is done perfectly. I have NEVER had a session where none of the needles are painful, there are always at least a few that hurt like crazy (usually in the feet, some liver points, and Bai hui in the top of the head.) It usually feels like a horsefly bite or bee-sting, and the pain diminishes after a few seconds. Occasionally it is intense enough and doesn't settle down, so the needle has to be removed after a very short time.

    Some people experience nausea during needle placement, and the acupuncturist should be alerted, since there are points that deal with that. In some conditions, there will be significant bruising around a few needle sites, especially in cases where the diagnosis includes liver shi or blood seforum.xxxnation. In these cases (and others,) there may be a few needle sites that bleed a couple of drops on removal. Also in certain cases, bleeding a few drops of blood at the needle site is a desirable reaction and can relieve a great deal of congestion/seforum.xxxnation/excess.

    My last session, I ended up very sore and bruised in two points, Lv2 on my right foot, and LI4 on my right hand. The LI4 point stayed sore and bruised for 5 days or so, and I know she did the points right. There was some discomfort with the insertion, but she didn't hit veins, the needles were the smallest they make, they came from the steri-pack, and in both spots, the needles were inserted less than 1mm. I've been dealing with excess heat, and those two points are draining. As well, I have a ganglion cyst in my right wrist, (also a sign of excess heat,) and though there has been lots of improvement, after this last session, (with the monster bruise,) the cyst is nearly gone- I have to hunt for it with my wrist flexed just so, and the pain is completely gone.

    I'm curious to hear if you did have another session with the same LAc or if you switched, and what the difference was this time.
  16. Pompal 09.

    Pompal 09. Active Member

    Feb 9, 2011

    I have had acupuncture from 4 different therapists. The first two I never had anything but a quick pinch from the needles. I also had so-so results from them.

    The 2 I see know are beyond the best. The results I have gotten, I must say I don't even feel the need to get massage!

    As for the pain, my newest therapists are different in their style of needling. One does a quick sometimes small amount of pain but nothing while the needle is in. (minus a few sensitive area's). They both at times do a special trigger point technique that is VERY painful. Luckily I was warned and feedback is essential. The go to the poiint I yell no more. And yes, there is always bruising in those spots. Mostly they are releasing GB21. The results have been the best so far, I actually travel 3 hours to see them. But there is more to their technique then just the acupuncture.

    So yes it can hurt, my daughter gets is also (she is 16) and she had her first painful needle.... I think they used a normal size needle that time instead of a tiny tiny one. lol Her comment... It was worth it!
  17. lololo

    lololo Newbie

    Oct 16, 2013
    I've heard it hurts but, bruising is it normal?

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