Does Acupuncture Hurt? – Oh Yes!

Acupuncture is a mixed bag. I find the whole experience barely tolerable and I’m dreading the thought of going back for another session. Apart from the general pain of having needles poked, twisted and worked in till each one hurts, the last time the needle in my hand near my thumb was particularly painful. Afterwards I could barely hold the wheel of my car driving home and the pain lasted all day. Not pleasant.

I say it’s a mixed bag though as I’m not sure, but I think my elbow might be marginally better. If there is any improvement, it’s only slight. It doesn’t really feel any better generally, but when I poke around at it, the pain seems a little less, I think, or am I just getting used to it / imagining it….?

Hardly definitive I realise, especially as I’m not doing acupuncture in isolation to other stuff, so it’s hard to tell. I need to decide in the next few days if I go back for another session or not.

I’m still trying to workout though.  So I got up with the post Easter guilty  intention of going for a run this morning.  Then I noticed how cold it was outside 😮 and decided better of it.  So instead I did a Split Half Angie, i.e.

  • 4 rounds of:
  • 25 sit ups
  • 25 squats

I figured it was be more intensive to split the 100 sit ups and squats into four 25’s.  I managed a respectable 6 mins 20, or faster than 2 secs per rep.  Would have done it faster but started to really slow down on the sit ups on the 3rd round.

It would be interesting to do a full Crossfit Angie sometime as rx’d, and also do a split version in quarters.  I suspect that with the Crossfit mantra of Intensity, the quartered Angie would be faster and so a higher intensity.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • maikahl webb 17 August 2010, 8:07 am

    Hello. I was reading your story about dealing with golfers elbow with interest. When I came to the story of your exeriance with acupuncture I was saddened to hear of your poor opinion of it. First, I have much experiance with acupuncture and acupreasure, (still in the schooling process) as well as eastern medical and psychological teachings. From my experiances personally and clinically, it sounds as though that you most likely did not receive treatment from the most experinced of practitioners. Unfortunately for the profession, it seems that the more the field is accepted- the more schools are able to quickly graduate students that (in my opinion ) are not yet qualified to effectively give the best of treatments. In my experiances I have felt discomfort in only a very few needlings, and in the majority of them, the feeling is not that of being stabbed/pierced, but rather more similiar to having a sore point in a muscle worked on. Acupuncture and bodywork has saved me having to have surgery on my dislocated shoulder and clavile, as also made the biggest difference in the rehab of my broken neck. Allergies, digestive and immunity issues, headaches and fatigue are all conditions that both diet change and acupuncture/herbs has personally very succesfully treated. I could literally put together a book of the effectiveness. Eastern medicine is no magic bullet, and required no belief system- scientific or otherwise.. If you were to familiarize yourself with eastern theory, you will find that there is actually a great deal of “scientific” validation/proof/study….whatever you feel is required to accept it. To some extent, it is similiar to the TV series House…where if it werent for many of the patients having the opportunity to get in to see him, they would die…and with acupuncture, there are also many levels of practitioners- and again, its not a matter of belief…do you “believe” in pills, has proof of its effectiveness been studied by you? We dont have to necesarilly understand, but rather be open to healing which includes outside help (drugs, surgery, acupuncture, bodywork) as well as inside help ( rest, proper diet, therapy. )

  • Colin McNulty 17 August 2010, 11:53 am

    Hi Maikahl and thanks for the comment.

    I am aware that acupuncture works for many people. Maybe I got a duff practitioner, I don’t know, all I know is that for me, it was a horrid experience and one that I don’t intend on repeating.

  • kyle 1 April 2011, 9:53 pm

    Sorry to hear of your bad acupuncture experience. I have found that it is hit or miss for sports injuries, sometimes it makes a big difference for me, other times not so much. If it’s working, there is usually a significant improvement after the first session which allows me to determine whether go back for another one. It DEFINATELY should not have been that painful. Sometimes a needle will have a sharp sting, but it never lasts long. That the practitioner was trying to induce pain was very troubling, I would highly recommend reporting her as she could seriously injure someone. I am not attempting to convince you to try it again, but what you described is certainly not how it should have been, at worst it should have simply been ineffective.

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