The Size and Gauge of Acupuncture Needles
The size and gauge of the acupuncture needle used for therapy may seem trivial, but choosing the right size and gauge of the needle is essential because it could determine the success or failure of the acupuncture treatment. Chah Acutherapy makes sure to use the proper needle gauge and size for every treatment.
Acupuncture Needles Come in a Variety of Sizes and Gauges
Acupuncture needles come in various sizes and gauges, which may not be common knowledge to the public. Each needle size and gauge have specific functions in acupuncture treatments. These needles are made of stainless steel and range from 0.5 to 2.5 inches, and gauge sizes are from 26 to 40. They are called “harmless needles” because they are so tiny and blunt.
Another benefit of an acupuncture needle is that it has a blunter-edged tip than a standard needle of the same gauge size, making it harder to cut the tissue once it penetrates the tissue. The length and gauge of needles are designed to penetrate soft tissue or shallow bony tissue.
Longer Needles are Inserted in Softer Tissue
Yes, it is the case that longer acupuncture needles are inserted into thicker tissue such as the abdomen and stomach regions. The reason is that longer needles can penetrate the deeper, softer tissue regions safely without causing pain to the patient.
Acupuncture For Digestive Issues
It is reported that an overwhelming 60-70 million Americans suffer from some digestive problems. Unfortunately, 72% surveyed also had lower back issues despite not being clinically diagnosed with these lower back issues.
Some common digestive problems are obesity, lack of exercise, stress, and insufficient sleep. Acupuncture plays a significant role in relieving these problems as it helps with constipation, colitis, Crohn’s disease, weight fluctuation, nausea, and other digestive issues. It can also bring both temporary and long-term relief.
Unlike Western medicine (which treats the body as compartmentalized units), acupuncture treats the body as an entire connective unit. Acupuncture helps digestive issues by controlling imbalances in the endocrine and nervous systems. It does this by needles being inserted at points observed to be ideal places to insert the acupuncture needles.
These pressure points will help the digestive process by increasing metabolism, reducing gas and acid secretion, and will control small and large intestinal functions. If these physical processes are out of balance, they will all cause digestive issues. Acupuncture brings the processes back into balance and functioning normally to alleviate digestive problems.
Acupuncture and Back Pain
Supposedly, 8 out of 10 people have or will have lower back pain at some point in their lives. How can acupuncture help lower back pain? Now, this is where the shorter acupuncture needles come into play.
Acupuncture can bring short-term relief for chronic back pain, and acupuncture is more effective over the long term than “sham” acupuncture. (Sham acupuncture moves away from the traditional pressure points and doesn’t incorporate stimulation or manipulation).
Acupuncture is said to help back pain in one of the following ways:
- Stimulate the nervous system by triggering it to release chemicals into the spinal cord, brain, and muscles. Indeed, this will remove the pain or help the body to move into a state of well-being.
- It can start the flow of pain-killing chemicals(such as endorphins) to help relieve lower back pain or release immune cells in the body to battle back pain.
The needles are used to stimulate areas of the body at the pressure points that need to be stimulated to fight the pain or disease, whatever the case may be.
Larger Gauge Acupuncture Needles relieve energy blockages and increase energy in people with low to zero energy levels. These needles have a gauge range between 30-40. For example, the larger-sized 32 gauge needle is used to control pain. It does this by breaking up stagnation and diffusing muscle spasms, increasing energy levels in the body.
20 Minute Cycles Preferred
It is standard to keep the acupuncture needles in the selected pressure points for 20-minute cycles. The blood will take 20 minutes from inhalation to exhalation to flow entirely through the body.
The exception to this is when the acupuncturist is trying to achieve a quick energy response in the patient; then, the needles will be kept in for shorter cycles. The purpose of the shorter cycles is also used to avoid the patient from experiencing a healing crisis.
Acupuncture Needles- Size Is Important
Needle size is essential because depending on where the disease or pain is centered in the body will determine the size of the needle to be inserted into those specific pressure points. You will not insert a 32 gauge needle into the neck or back regions. Likewise, you won’t insert a 20 gauge needle into the stomach or abdominal areas.
Also, depending on the type of therapy required and condition of the patient will determine the size of the needle to be inserted into the body. If a person is suffering from chronic back pain, the acupuncturist will insert a shorter needle into the spinal pressure points because usually there’s less body tissue and more muscle mass exposure. Likewise, if a patient is battling digestive issues, a larger-sized needle will be inserted into the abdominal regions at specific angles only if there is ample amount of body tissue in this area.
Acupuncture Needles- Only Used Once
Chah Acutherapy uses clean, sterilized single use needles on every patient and in every session. Used needles will never be reused or shared because at the end of each session, all used needles are carefully disposed into a marked biohazard container to the strictest safety measures. This is to reassure avoidance of any cross contaminations.
Finally, the size and gauge of acupuncture needles are significant in treating specific areas of the body. The stomach area will require a longer needle to penetrate the thicker tissue and a shorter needle is required to penetrate bony areas such as the spinal region. Acupuncture has been proven to help relieve both lower back pain and digestive issues.