How big is an acupuncture needle?

This is a question I'm frequently asked. When you think about needles, the first image that often springs to mind is that of the medical hypodermic needle that a doctor uses to draw blood or to administer an injection. 

People are often very surprised to discover that (depending on needle gauge) between 10 and 20 standard acupuncture needles would fit inside a hypodermic needle, and that most acupuncture needles are no thicker than stand of hair.

It is due to the combination of needle size and an acupuncturist's skill that most often the needles are inserted painlessly into acupuncture points. 

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The photographs above illustrate quite how small the acupuncture needle really is!

Needles are available in varying lengths, ranging from detox needles no longer than 10mm, to 50mm needles used for treating muscular issues. They come is various  gauges and are frequently manufactured from stainless steel that is pre-sterilised before being individually packaged for single use. However, there are some needles available made from gold or silver!  

Some have a coiled copper handle, some a smooth stainless steel and others sport a colour coded plastic handle. Some needle shafts are silicone coated for a smoother insertion, others are not. The choice of needle gauge will depend very much on how and what the acupuncturist is treating you for, and the type is very much a personal preference. 

If you wish to have a look a needle before your first treatment, you are most welcome, please just ask.