Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine, sterile, single use (disposable) needles into specific points on the body to alleviate pain and other symptoms. 

Acupuncture needles are very fine, much thinner than an injection needle, so only slight discomfort is felt when the needle is quickly inserted. Once inserted, the needles are left in place for a period of time from 10-30 minutes and are sometimes stimulated by rotating the needles. This is not generally uncomfortable. Different sensations can be experienced, such as warmth or pressure around the needle or within the body tissues. This is known in Traditional Chinese Medicine as De Qi (pronounced Der Chi) and is a good sign.

The points into which acupuncture needles are inserted are situated along meridians or energy channels. These points are linked to each other and to the internal organs of the body by energy lines. In the Western approach to acupuncture, practitioners look to how these points relate to the joints, muscles, nerves, blood vessels and other structures and systems in the body. Sometimes sore areas on the body, unrelated to acupuncture points, are also needled. 

Acupuncture is generally a very safe procedure. Some side effects can occur such as drowsiness, fainting and minor bleeding or bruising but these are not common. More serious side effects are very rare. Although benefits can vary from one individual to another, most people find their experience of acupuncture to be positive and beneficial to their symptoms.