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How Acupuncture Feels – And Other Questions Answered

How Acupuncture Feels - And Other Questions Answered
Images via Vive Detox

Last week, I attended the Vive Detox launch event at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn. I’ll be sharing more about this new brand soon, but today I wanted to share an interesting experience I had at the event. I tried acupuncture for the first time! I’ve always wondered what acupuncture feels like and jumped at the chance to try a mini treatment for free. While I sat (very still) with the thin needles in my hands and feet, I asked the acupuncturists endless questions about the benefits of the treatment. Later, I found this picture of me. After posting it to Instagram, a number of friends commented on the picture saying that they’ve used acupuncture as a natural remedy for everything from injuries to migraines to anxiety. Here are a few things I learned from my first experience and from Paige Bourassa’s website:

What exactly is acupuncture?
“Acupuncture theory is based on the flow of ‘Qi’ through twelve meridians or channels. Each of the twelve channels corresponds to a different internal organ…These twelve channels can be thought of as a highway network that runs through the body, intersecting and cycling from one channel to the next. This way there is always a free flow of Qi circulating through the channels, keeping the body in a healthful, balanced state. The acupuncture points on the channels can be thought of as rest stops on a highway, where Qi pools and gathers before linking to the next point along the channel. Each acupuncture point carries a specific function related to the channel on which it is located.” – Paige

How do acupuncturists know where to put the needles?
“There are 359 standard acupuncture points on the body from which the acupuncturist can choose to formulate a acupuncture treatment tailored to your individual condition. The average number of acupuncture points selected for a treatment ranges from 2-40 needles depending on the style of the practitioner and needs of the patient.” – Paige

How does acupuncture feel?
The first thing the acupuncturist asked me was where I wanted her to put the needles. I had no idea, so she defaulted to the tops of my hands and feet. I was nervous that getting the needles put in would hurt. No one likes needles. I was assured that acupuncture needles are shaped differently than the types of needles used to give shots, so I took a deep breath and went for it. I felt a tiny pinch when the needle went in, then felt a ripple-like current start to flow under my skin. It the first time I had ever felt a sensation like that. If I moved too much I could feel the needles, but they weren’t uncomfortable. The acupuncturist removed the needles after about 15 minutes, leaving me calmer and less tense than before. Since the treatment was so short, I don’t think I felt the full effects of the acupuncture, but I felt enough to be enticed into a full 90-minute treatment. Maybe halfway through race training?

How Acupuncture Feels - And Other Questions Answered

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