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Does acupuncture treatment hurt?

Acupuncture should not really hurt - some compare the intensity of sensation to what is felt when pulling out a single hair.  Any pain that is felt is typically only momentary. You may feel other unusual sensations such as pressure, heaviness, tingling or warmth - these sensations are to be expected.  People are often surprised by how relaxed they feel once the needles are in and the healing has begun. It isn't uncommon for people to actually sleep throughout their treatment!

In any case, the slight pain you might experience is usually far less unpleasant than the problem that made you consider acupuncture.

Why would I want to have an acupuncture treatment?

Here are a few responses to a question that may have hundreds of

  • to help you relax
  • to help you feel more energized
  • to help you avoid illness/injury
  • to help alleviate physical pain
  • to help you think more clearly
  • to help you stop thinking (especially around bedtime)
  • to help with digestive issues, including Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Gastro and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • to use alongside many conventional therapies/medications for the purpose of augmenting their effect and lowering doses
  • to add legitimate choices for your health care assistance

As acupuncture is part of a whole and logical medical system, there is almost always an approach for an acupuncturist to take in helping to manage a health problem (or even better, help you to remain pain- and illness-free).

In 1979, the World Health Organization published a short list of conditions seen as appropriate for treatment with acupuncture. This is not a complete list of conditions appropriate for treatment, but just some examples.

The list includes:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Addiction control
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Athletic performance
  • Back/neck pain
  • Blood pressure regulation
  • Bronchitis
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Common cold
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Gingivitis
  • Headaches
  • Hyperacidity
  • IBS
  • Immune system support
  • Indigestion
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Migraines
  • Muscle cramping/pain
  • Nervousness
  • Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
  • Neurosis
  • Numbness
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Poor vision
  • Postoperative pain
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Sinusitis
  • Stress reduction
  • Stroke
  • Tinnitus
  • Tonsillitis
  • Toothache


CAB does not provide primary care medicine or diagnose medical conditions!  Acupuncture is a wonderful complement to Western medicine, but it is not a substitute for it.  If you think you have a problem that is not “garden variety” (meaning you are worried that you might have a serious infection, a malignant growth, or an injury that won’t heal) or if you want someone more knowledgeable to go over the details of your medical history with you, you need to see a primary care physician (MD, DO, ND).  You must not expect us to diagnose and treat conditions that are or may become life altering or life threatening.  We can often provide supplementary care for conditions that require a physician’s attention but we need you to take responsibility for your own health.

How often do I need acupuncture treatments?

While the results of acupuncture treatment can seem miraculous, there are no magic bullets.  It is very rare for any acupuncturist to be able to resolve a problem with one treatment.  Most of the problems people seek treatment for have developed over an extended time period of several months or many years, so expecting immediate, lasting results is simply unrealistic.

In China a typical treatment plan for a chronic condition could be acupuncture every other day for three months!  Most patients don’t need that many treatments, but virtually every patient requires a course of treatment because acupuncture's effects are the result of therapeutic conditioning.   Acupuncture’s outcome can be compared to that of physical therapy or exercise in the sense that one of the most important factors that will allow you to achieve the best possible results is regularity.

If you don’t come in often enough or long enough, acupuncture probably won’t work well for you.  If you have questions about how long it will take to see results, please ask us, or if you think you need to adjust your treatment plan, please let us know.  We need you to commit to the process of treatment in order to get good results.  Remember, it is very rare for any acupuncturist to be able to resolve a problem with one treatment. 

Please follow the pdf link at the bottom of this page to see an informative chart of treatment recommendations.

Once your issues start to clear you can come less often or just for wellness.  People often look forward to their treatments and continue treatment even after their main issue has resolved in order to keep their body balanced while dealing with the stresses of everyday life.  

What happens during my first visit?

You'll need to fill out several forms, so please allow ample time before your consultationThese forms are available under the "forms" tab above.

After paperwork is completed, you'll consult with your acupuncturist to discuss confidentially your health concern(s) and a treatment plan will be recommended for you. 

You will remain fully dressed, but please wear comfortable clothing. You'll just have to roll your sleeves and pant legs up in order to get ready for your treatment as we use styles of acupuncture which allow us to select points primarily on the arms and legs.

Do you accept Medicare or XYZ insurance?

Acupuncture is not covered by Medicare and it is not a covered benefit in most insurance plans. Those plans that do pay for acupuncture often restrict what complaints can be treated while other plans offer a small discount off of the regular private treatment price ($60 - $120).  Accordingly, we do not accept any insurance coverage, but would be happy to offer a receipt for your visit so you may submit it directly.

We prefer cash or personal checks though debit card and Visa & MasterCard payments are also accepted. 


Please follow this link ( to get additional information about acupuncture.

Our clinic appreciates the diversity of human beings and we do not discriminate based on race, national origin, religion, age, height, weight, education, language, ability, marital status, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity or any other factor.

CAB is a community business and we greatly appreciate your referrals.

Robert Robles,
May 18, 2012, 7:43 AM