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
and Distal Acupuncture.
Dr. Donald Liebell
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The Liebell Clinic: 477 Viking Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23452 (757) 631-9799 www.LiebellClinic.com