Firstly, you never have to be stock-still and rigid. You can relax without hurting yourself during an acupuncture treatment. Most people find treatments to be very calming, and often fall asleep on the table. I treat people lying face-up and/or face-down, depending on what’s needed.
Though the length of time needles are retained depends upon the type of treatment, an average answer is about 20 minutes. For certain types of muscular injuries, pain, and sleep problems, I might do a treatment in which I’m in the room with you for almost the whole hour, putting in needles and taking them out – leaving you to rest for 10 minutes or so with a few needles that are retained.
For other types of issues, such as menstrual problems, infertility, prostatitis or certain mood disorders, the needles may stay in for 40 minutes from the time of the first insertion.