What to expect from Acupuncture Sensation?

A client came in last week; she had some acupuncture treatments a long time ago and knew what to expect from an acupuncture treatment. Because this was her first treatment with me, I decided to give her only a few needles, so as not to overwhelm her. After fifteen minutes of acupressure and tui na (Chinese style of massage), she received her first needle. She was very surprised; from her previous experience, she thought she was not supposed to feel anything from the needle manipulation.
I told her, “Welcome to Chinese acupuncture.”Acupuncture Needle Sensation
In the U.S., most acupuncturists practice the kind of gentle acupuncture, localized, limited sensation. For example, Japanese style of needling is much more superficial and required less manipulation. In my earlier career, I traveled to China to receive further training. I remember working on a lady for only one minute, before she demanded to have her treatment done by my teacher, the head acupuncturist in the department. “I can’t feel much from your needle stimulation,” She told me. The minute my teacher stimulate on the needle, she was much more satisfy, “Yes, I feel it now.” In China, people expect great sensations from an acupuncture treatment in order to relieve their ailment.
Chinese acupuncture gives patients a distinct feeling of energy moving through specific points in their body. Many of my clients reported their acupuncture sensation as electricity traveling to certain area of their body, warmness or coolness on certain parts of the body, and relief in their tight sections. For example, treating Sciatica, needling Acupuncture Point GB30 where located on the lateral aspect of the hip joint, an effective needle will ensure radiation of sensation from hip to lateral of foot, GB 42 area.
Strong Qi Sensation can most likely be achieved by Chinese style acupuncture. If patient would like more gentle and relaxing kind of approach, Japanese style of acupuncture is the way to go. In my practice, I adopt a patient-centered approach. Depends on each individual, I can adjust my treatment to suit their needs, whether it is Japanese style or Chinese style.