Odd as it may sound, acupuncture is a gentle practice, and needles can be adjusted to accomodate varying individual sensitivities.
Acupuncture needles are solid, flexible, and quite thin. Acupuncture is considerably different than getting a shot with a fat and hollow hypodermic syringe.
Most commonly people feel a tiny and brief prick when needles are inserted.
This might be followed by an ache, a quick electrical shock which subsides, a slight itch, or merely a tingle.
People often express surprise when they cannot feel a needle at all, but some acupuncture points may provoke a strong reflex sensation. This arrival of qi (chee) often occurs suddenly, after which it gradually calms.
Therapeutically, the arrival and movement of qi is a positive signal and an indication of vitality and positive life force.
Since acupuncture needles are used to move energy, first timers frequently tune into that movement with amazement and curiousity. Once the needles are in, most people relax and take a well deserved and much needed nap.