Does acupuncture hurt? How can it help?

by | Jan 16, 2018 | Acupuncture | 0 comments

Acupuncture involves needling. It is, after all, acu-PUNCTURE. And this can really freak some people out. I get it, needles aren’t fun. Except, I am here to tell you, if they’re acupuncture needles. Acupuncture needles are rad.

During a treatment, I use super-fine pins: the gauge varies from 0.18-0.20mm… which is 1/5 of a millimetre… which is very, very thin. Needle insertion is quick, and shouldn’t be painful or uncomfortable. Pain is not the aim of a treatment… in fact, quite the opposite! However, that doesn’t mean you won’t feel anything. During an acupuncture treatment, it’s quite common to experience a sensation of heaviness or pressure around the area needled, or a distending feeling along your limbs. This can be weird, particularly the first time you experience it, but it’s not bad! In fact, treatments are usually very relaxing… and some people find themselves dozing off while they’re on the table!

Acupuncture points have an influence over the area directly around then – for example, releasing pain and tension in the lower back by needling the affected area. An acupuncture point can also have an influence over areas far removed from the actual point being needled – for example, needling points on the ankle or foot to alleviate neck and shoulder pain.

Acupuncture may also be combined with moxibustion (a warming therapy), cupping (a technique to release musculoskeletal tension), guasha (‘scraping’ a myofascial releasing technique to relieve tight muscles) or acupressure (specific massage using acupuncture points). It all depends on the individual!


Acupuncture is part of a greater system of medicine known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM); which, like any holistic medicine system, aims to address the underlying cause of disease, as well as the presenting symptoms.

Both naturopathy and acupuncture can be used to support general health and prevent the progression of disease. They can also be used to manage and relieve a variety of conditions, such as:

  • Digestive complaints such as bloating, pain, flatulence, dyspepsia, constipation and diarrhoea
  • Stress and fatigue
  • Anxiety, depression and mood disorders
  • Cognitive issues including poor memory and recurrent headaches
  • Neurogenic conditions including migraines, stroke, toothaches, facial and inter-costal neuralgia (pain), trigeminal neuralgia (pain), some forms of paralysis, peripheral neuropathy and Meniere’s disease.
  • Immune dysfunction, including recurrent infections, allergies and autoimmune conditions
  • Respiratory conditions including sore throats, colds and flus, asthma, bronchitis, tonsillitis, rhinitis, and sinusitis
  • Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis
  • Skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and acne
  • Menstrual complaints such as PMS, irregular cycles, pain and heavy bleeding
  • Infertility and preconception care
  • Pregnancy, breastfeeding and postpartum care
  • Menopause, andropause and healthy ageing
  • Chronic degenerative disease
  • Musculoskeletal conditions including neck and shoulder pain, tension headaches, lower back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica, frozen shoulder, and tennis elbow.

If you wan to know more, or want to book in for a session, feel free to call us at the clinic on (02) 9660 7222 or shoot me a message via the contact form on my site.


Here I am, interning at the TCM hospital in Guangzhou last year… where the treatments were fascinating, but sometimes a bit more intense than we’d use in Australia! Still, this experience, alongside countless hours of theoretical study and hundreds of hours’ clinical placement [in Sydney and Melbourne], was essential to my training.