Acupuncture needles -DO THEY HURT?

I’ve been in practice for over 14 years and I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard the question, “Do they hurt?”

It is one of the biggest objections we hear from people about trying acupuncture. It keeps them from being patients because they just don’t know much about our tiny, pointy tools!In fact, I would venture to say that this is the single most common objection to acupuncture. I am sure you have heard the same thing – possibly over and over again.

Here are a few things that you can do, in your clinic right now to help abate any needle phobias.

  1. Buy a box of 28 gauge, 6” needles and when patients ask about hem, whip one of those out. You’ll get to see the whites of their eyes and a gasp of surprise. Then let them know that those are for horses and the ones you are using on them are much smaller. Then show them a 34 gauge, 1 inch needle. It’s a bit startling, but a great way to break the ice.
  2. Purchase a 7 or 6 gauge hypodermic needle, place as many 36 gauge acupuncture needles inside of it to show them how small our needles actually are.
  3. Show them the Seirin red ear needles. They are so tiny that people are surprised they actually work.

Patients assume that acupuncture needles hurt just like hypodermic needles do, which as we all know, are in fact are hallow, rigid and so much thicker than acupuncture needles. That’s why I created a brochure that shares the facts about acupuncture needles and discusses various forms of acupuncture needling that patients may be unaware of. The goal is to educate and inform prospective patients and encourage a discussion around this fear with the practitioner.

Here are a few ways you can use this brochure to raise awareness and promote your practice:

  • Display and hand them out at external events such as health fairs, wellness workshops, presentations, networking events, health classes for patients etc.
  • Mail it to MD’s with whom you are interested in building referral partnerships along with the “Acupuncture & Modern Research” brochure. This tactic eliminates two objections: “Needles cause pain” and “Does acupuncture really work?”
  • When you give Health Passes to your patients to handout to friends, coworkers and family members, staple it to the brochure. This way the receiver of the health pass will have his/her questions answered before making an appointment with you. Apply the same rule for those who buy Gift Certificates.
  • Personalize them with a label or a stamp. Be sure to include your name, clinic name, website and/or contact phone number. You would be amazed how many calls we receive from potential new patients trying to make an appointment with us when they really want to contact YOU– the acupuncturist who gave them the brochure!
Click here to see our new brochure – Acupuncture Needles- Do they Hurt?
Let me know if you have any other ways to help your patients get over the fear of needles!Until next time!