Most people who have had acupuncture would describe it as virtually painless or far less painful than plucking out a hair. The sensations that follow range from nothing at all, to mild tingling, to slight numbness/achiness, to electrical pulsations in areas distant from the site of insertion. All these sensations usually subside once the needles are removed.
The needles used for acupuncture are much smaller than the standard hypodermic needle (only 2 times the width of a single hair), do not draw blood and are solid, not hollow.
Most patients are surprised to discover that treatments involve little or no pain, and are usually quite relaxing.