Each person is different. For most people, acupuncture causes minimal to no pain. Unlike hypodermic needles that are used for injections, acupuncture needles are solid, remarkably thin, and therefore cause very little pain. During the insertion of needles, some people feel nothing, while others experience a quick twinge, which may be followed by tingling, numbness, heaviness or warmth. This is a desired affect and should not be uncomfortable.
Often, during an acupuncture treatment, a patient feels so relaxed that he or she will fall asleep. Needles generally remain in place for 15 to 40 minutes, depending on the patient and overall treatment plan. At the end of a session, the acupuncturist quickly removes the needles – this is painless. Symptom relief may occur immediately, or in the few days that follow a treatment. For complex, longstanding complaints, more than one treatment is required.