Acupuncture needles are solid, very thin, and made from stainless steel. Unlike a hypodermic needle, which is hollow and has a cutting edge, an acupuncture needle has a smooth point and insertion through the skin is not as painful as injections or blood draws. Also the risk of bruising or skin irritation is unlikely. Most patients feel only minimal discomfort or nothing at all as the needles are inserted. Once the needles are in place, they are rarely noticable and some people have a tingling sensation, numbness, heaviness, or a warnth that travels from the needles. Sometimes electrical stimulation is applied to the needles (similar to a TENS unit). Patients may report a tapping or buzzing sensation. Most people find the treatments are not uncomfortable and look forward to them and the results they achieve. The needles are sterile and disposable and are never reused. There is no risk of infection or cross-contamination from other patients.
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