​Donald K. Liebell, DC, BCAO

477 Viking Drive Suite 170

Virginia Beach VA 23452 
8:30AM - 6:30PM M,W,F 

(By Appointment Tu, Sat) 


The Liebell Clinic: Chronic Pain & Wellness Solutions

Natural & holistic, whole-person, wellness-based Healthcare - Drug-Free & Non-Surgical Pain Relief


Types of Acupuncture Needles

Used at The Liebell Clinic   

   By Dr. Donald Liebell

   Acupuncture has been a major part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for several thousand years.  However, this healthcare approach has been embraced by many Western medicine practitioners.  Many doctors of chiropractic, in particular have latched on to acupuncture because its natural healing philosophy has many similarities.  Many such as myself, have dual licenses in chiropractic and acupuncture.  The insertion of acupuncture needles is intended to unblock disturbances to the flow of energy in the body, and support normal function.  

   ​Let’s take a moment to discuss needles.

    Acupuncture needles could more appropriately be called filaments rather than needles.

I realize that people don’t like the idea of needles.  In medicine, needles are hollow, fairly

thick, and pointed instruments used for drawing blood or giving a shot.  By contrast,

acupuncture needles are solid, hair thin—usually without much of a point.  They are designed

to penetrate the skin without cutting it.  Most acupuncture needle insertion does not hurt.

  There are many types of needles, as well as various techniques of usage… therefore, how

acupuncture treatment feels depends upon factors including the type of needles used, area

of the body or point receiving treatment, the skill of the practitioner, and the sensitivity of the

patient.  There are many different approaches to acupuncture used today, developed in countries

such Korea, France, Germany, and the United States.  There are numerous types of acupuncture

needles.  They come in all different sizes, materials, and gauges (widthw).  Most are composed of

stainless steel.  They are sterilized and packaged, and are disposed of after a single use.  

  Safety & Effectiveness

   It can’t be stressed enough that acupuncture is generally not painful—perhaps it just looks like it might be.
  In reality, most people find it relaxing.  Caricatures of acupuncture depicting scary and painful insertion of needles, may indeed be funny; but if they scare you away from safe and effective treatment—that’s not funny at all.  Acupuncture is a safe way to promote healing and wellness, and has millennia of history of effectiveness.  All acupuncture needles used at the Liebell Clinic are FDA cleared, sterilized, packaged, properly disposed after usage, and never shared or reused.  

   How long are the needles left in for?

   The length of time of needle insertion various tremendously.  Some are left in for a matter of seconds, where others are left in for 10-30 minutes.  Semi-permanent ear acupuncture needles are tiny (3 millimeters long).  They are inserted, covered with surgical tape, and left in for days or even weeks.  
Spinex Semi-Permanent Intra-dermal Acupuncture Needles are the type of acupuncture needle I use most often on the ear. 

    Many acupuncture treatment protocols require 1-2 session per week for several weeks.

However, with these semi-permanent ear acupuncture needles, one treatment may be

all that is necessary for a long period of time.  

   This is extremely effective, convenient, and very economical for patients, who travel from

out-of-state to see me.  They leave my office with these ear acupuncture needles carefully

inserted horizontally, under the skin, with only the tiny circular handle visible beneath the

protective tape.  The tape is further secured by administering a clear, non-toxic medical

adhesive called Mastisol, which is used for hospital dressings of wounds.  It is not soluble in

water, thus it helps keep the needles secure for long periods of time. 

Semi-permanent needles may stay in place for many weeks, delivering health benefits. This enables my patients to have ongoing ear acupuncture point stimulation without the need for a program of multiple acupuncture sessions (and the associated costs). 

   Nogier ASP Ear Acupuncture Needles

                                                           I also use specialized gold plated or stainless steel needles called ASP.  These ear acupuncture                                                                 needles were invented by Paul Nogier, MD, the father of Auricular Therapy.  They are used in the                                                               Battlefield Acupuncture technique, championed by Richard Niemtzow, M.D., PhD (Colonel USAF,                                                                 Ret.).  Each ASP needle is applied with its own sanitary pressure applicator.  They are seen on the                                                             skin as tiny metallic, cylindrical studs.  They stay in place between 3 days and one week.  


    Seirin "J-Type" Acupuncture  Needles

   This is a more standard type of acupuncture needle: a hair-thin filament,

which is inserted for temporary use, and removed at the end of treatment session.  

The Seiren "J-Type" needles come in various lengths and thickness for different

treatment purposes, including Facial Rejuvenation acupuncture, Ashi Trigger Points,

and Distal Acupuncture

                           Dr. Donald Liebell 

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advice for specific medical treatment or diagnosis

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