Fine (sterile / single use) needles are tapped virtually painlessly into the skin, sometimes through a plastic tube. The needles may be left in the muscle for a few seconds and up to 1 minute. After insertion the needles may be stimulated – either twisting manually or using electrical stimulation and a feeling of heaviness, numbness or tingling may be felt in that area.
Extensive research has shown stimulation of very fine nerve endings provides both a local pain blocking effect and also changes in blood chemistry due to the release of pain relieving hormones from the brain, which reduces pain and may influence healing. The insertion of needles into tight muscles also has a local relaxation effect.