What is Intradermal Needling?
This post is in reference to the article: That looks like it hurts! Japanese runner has sticky plasters all over her tummy… but don’t worry, she’s not in pain, it’s ACUPUNCTURE to make her feel like she’s ‘soaking in a hot spring’
When you see this Japanese Olympic runner’s abdomen, you will wonder what are on her abdomen and why she wears them. They are a type of acupuncture therapy, called intradermal needles. Layman also calls this type of needles thumb-tacks. This type of needle is very short and thin. The diameter arranges from 0.18×1.35 mm to .22 x 1.50 mm and embeds in medical surgical tape. It will tape into the surface of the skin. It only penetrates the outside layer of the skin and may or may not produce a quick sting sensation while putting it in. As soon as it is in the acupuncture point or a trigger point, you usually do not feel anything. As a classic acupuncture technique, it stimulates sensory nerve neurons to send a single to your brain. The brain releases all kinds of hormones and bio-chemicals into the body to regulate your body to a better functional stage. This is the reason that many athletes, especially Olympic athletes use it.
This type of needling can treat nausea (all causes), stomachache, arrhythmia, headaches, bruises, and pain, etc.
The intradermal needles can be left on the skin for max 48 hours. It is fine to do swimming, running or showing with them. After 48 hours, it is better to remove them (on your own) due to hygiene concerns. It is safe to remove them at home. Because it is an acupuncture procedure, it will be done by a licensed acupuncturist.
Additionally, there is a similarity of this needling is magnet tacks. There is a small magnet ball replacing the needle that does not penetrate the skin and can be left on the skin for 4-5 days. However, the effectiveness is not the same.