Needles do not have to be used in acupuncture! Some other forms of acupuncture stimulation include laser light, electrical impulses, firm rubbing or pressure, tapping the point, or taping an object to the point such as a small metal ball.
The needles used in acupuncture are very small compared to needles used for getting shots or drawing blood. 6-10 acupuncture needles will fit inside a standard hypodermic needle used for drawing blood. They are very thin and, depending on the style of acupuncture used, can be inserted a couple of millimeters or a full inch into the acupoint. Many people do not feel the needles when they are inserted. Those that do feel any discomfort equate it with that of a small pinch.
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