Written by Integrative Today | Medically Reviewed by Deborah Farley | Updated on
An estimated 25% of adults have a fear of needles. This fear leaves people avoiding lots of helpful procedures in the medical, cosmetic, and therapeutic realms. A big one of these is acupuncture.
One of the ways you can get over a fear of needles is by knowing more about them. If you’re aware of the benefits of acupuncture but have been putting off booking an appointment, don’t worry! Once you learn more about the needles they use, you might realize it’s not as scary as it seems.
Keep reading to learn more about the different types of acupuncture needles.
Types of Needles in Acupuncture
Traditional Chinese acupuncture uses a variety of up to 9 needles. This range is because needles are specialized for different body parts and purposes.
Specifications like needle size and needle diameter vary across this range.
Acupuncture uses needles to treat a wide range of problems. Needles are inserted into the skin and into pressure points to help with a range of problems, from chronic pain to treatment for diseases, and now even to allergy treatment.
Popular Needles Today
There are 4 popular types of needles used in acupuncture today. The metal filiform needle is the main one, with other needles being used for specific purposes or body parts.
Metal filiform needles are typically between 0.01 and 0.4 millimeters in diameter. This is a fine needle, around the same size as a strand of hair. Fine needles are popular because of their easy insertion and ability to stay in place.
Other popular types of needles are the spade needle, the intradermal needle, and the press needle.
Spade needles, or three-edged needles, have a triangular shaft and a thick round handle. If you are undergoing bloodletting treatment, these would be the needles of choice.
Intradermal needles are thin and short. They are part of the treatment of chronic pain. They go into shallow areas like ears, where there isn’t much flesh, so regular filiform needles can’t work.
Press needles are very shallow. They are inserted then taped down with surgical tape or patches and left in the body for several days. These aren’t very common and are only used in situations that need long-term nerve stimulation.
Why Acupuncture Needles Are Safe
Hygiene is one of the most important concerns in acupuncture. Most acupuncturists use prepackaged and sterilized needles. These needles get disposed of after each patient.
This way you don’t have to worry about getting infections from the needles. They are completely hygienically safe.
Another big concern around needles is their pain. But since acupuncture needles are so fine, you shouldn’t feel more than a pinch when they are inserted into your skin.
Knowing Your Acupuncture Needles
Now that you know more about the different types of acupuncture needles, you can face your fear and finally book that acupuncture appointment! The needles are safe, and they don’t hurt when they’re inserted.
Enjoy the benefits of acupuncture by booking your appointment today! Contact us for more information!
Meet Our Expert: Deborah Farley
Founder of Acupuncture Works,LLC in Lynchburg Virginia. Deborah is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Medicine as a Licensed Acupuncturist (L. Ac.).
She is also licensed by the State of Florida as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM). Deborah is a Diplomate of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
She graduated from the East West College of Natural Medicine with a Master’s Degree in Oriental Medicine and a Bachelor’s Degree of Professional Health Sciences.