How Long Should Needles be in for Acupuncture?
Acupuncture needles are left inserted into acupuncture points on the body for between 1-60 minutes, depending upon the type of acupuncture being practised and the health problem being treated.
In Japanese acupuncture, the needles are inserted briefly and then removed. In Western medicine acupuncture, which isn't recognised in China, the nerve is stimulated to relieve pain. In Chinese acupuncture, the needles are left in for around 20-30 minutes.
Fine needles which are pre sterilised are inserted into areas of the body where the energy can be influenced. Traditional acupuncture treatment has made a beneficial effect upon the body as soon as the acupuncture needle in inserted into the channels called meridians.
Generally, most traditional acupuncturists who are members of the British Acupuncture Council leave the needles inserted for around 20-25 minutes. Having the acupuncture needles left in for longer than this can help person who are feeling stressed or anxious. Most people like to spend between 30-45 minutes relaxing on the treatment couch with the acupuncture needles in.
If a person's energy is weak, it's better for them to have less treatment time, so as to not damage their energy (qi).
What happens if acupuncture needles are left in too long?
Nothing serious will happen to you if acupuncture needles are left in for a too long. You might feel tired as over stimulation of the points can drain your energy. Currently there is no statutory regulation of acupuncture so anyone can pick up a needle and insert it and call it acupuncture.