By: Stephanie Curran Nov 01, 2012

Does acupuncture hurt? What does it feel like?

Worried acupuncture is going to hurt? Here's how to ease those fears.

There is certainly some sensation with acupuncture, but it isn’t pain. Acupuncture needles are not like the ones used when you get an injection or give blood; they are much smaller than that. You can usually fit two or three acupuncture needles in the same space as a needle you would get an injection with.

There is some sensation when the needles are inserted, but it’s not painful. It’s more a sensation of activity or a bit of pressure. Some people might feel a bit of achiness, or some will feel a sensation that there’s some activity through the body. If it does hurt, the practitioner should take the needle out immediately. Any sensation is gone immediately once the needle is removed. You are not going to feel pain endlessly for hours or days afterward.

Stephanie Curran, R.TCM.P, graduated from the International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Vancouver in 2000 with a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine Diploma. Stephanie furthered her studies with advanced acupuncture training in China, where she completed a hospital internship program. Stephanie has been in private practice in Victoria, B.C. since 2000 and founded the Elements of Health Centre in 2006. She has devoted much of her practice to treating women’s health issues and has completed many specialized courses in the application of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for treating reproductive and pregnancy conditions. Stephanie has studied under notable TCM gynecology and infertility experts such as Dr. Randine Lewis, author of “The Infertility Cure,” Bob Flaws, author of “Fulfilling the Essence: Chinese Treatments for Female Infertility” and Jane Lyttleton, author of “Treatment of Infertility with Chinese Medicine.” She is a past instructor at the Canadian College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Victoria, where she taught a course in blending both eastern and western sciences to treat sports injuries and soft tissue pathologies. Learn more at