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$40 for an acupuncture treatment ($100 value)
$78 for three acupuncture treatments ($260 value)
As practiced in ancient Chinese Medicine, acupuncture rebalances the flow of energy through the body. Whether being practiced in its traditional or western forms, acupuncture uses fine needles to target the body’s 12 meridians and redistribute energy. Patients look to these treatments for relief from pain and allergies, to stimulate weight loss, or even to cope with stress and its related symptoms.
Although many fear hospital needles, those used in acupuncture are much less scary. Check out Groupon’s examination of acupuncture needles to ease any lingering aichmophobia.
Acupuncture Needles: Hair-Thin Instruments of Healing
Acupuncture generally doesn’t draw blood—a testament to the skill of professional acupuncturists but also to the special needles used. Unlike the needles commonly feared by hospital-goers, acupuncture needles are thin enough to slip through the skin without breaking any blood vessels. Although most are roughly the thickness of a hair or a pixie’s wand, they come in several varieties for different treatment types: thinner needles provide less stimulation and are therefore used for children or the elderly; shorter needles treat the head and face; and longer needles (up to 5") target the thighs and other fleshy areas to reach points along the theoretical energy pathways known as meridians.
Filiform needles are the most common, comprising a stainless-steel wire sharpened at one end and wrapped with wire at the other to form a handle. With a quick, skilled hand—or the aid of an insertion tube—practitioners insert the tip just beneath the skin’s surface, and although a small prickle may be felt, once the needles are in the patient shouldn’t feel them at all. Today, most acupuncturists use disposable needles for their safety and simplicity, but some may use reusable steel or even gold needles, sterilizing them between use in the same way doctors or guitarists do their instruments.
The practice of acupuncture stretches back more than 5,000 years, well before stainless steel was a household commodity. Archaeologists have dug up traces of the implements early healers used to get energy, or chi, flowing properly through the body: sharpened stones were a popular choice, as were delicate needles of bone.