I tried meditation literally just now...Monday 24 November 21:00 UK time. This is the second time I have ever tried it... literally twice this evening. I have tried before lying down in bed etc to see if I could get out of body experiences but no luck. So tonight I had nothing to do and tried sitting up (the classic meditation look.)

I sat in a dark room with low level background sounds. My mind went blank and concentrated on my breathing which went super super slow. Then my airways opened up...i heard my air passages "click." Then i felt slight tingling. Then the tingling seemed to travel over my whole body then it was REALLY REALLY itchy tingling or "pins and needles" darting over my whole body...I had to stop as it was starting to hurt a little!!!!! After I started itching...mainly my back area and got a bit blotchy. I have just had a hot shower to help with the itching.

As I know NOTHING about what Im doing, Is it normal to have that experience? I literally could not carry on. What would happen if you forced yourself to carry on? What should I be looking for when trying to meditate?

Any help or information would be greatly appreciated. This isn't my scene really but Im interested in learning more.

Thanks for your time.


  • Can you describe how you sat? Did you sit on the floor? If so, what was the position of your legs? Did you sit on a cushion? When you stopped your back was straight or hunched?
    – eric
    Dec 1, 2014 at 20:45
  • I’ve read the answers above... and I can tell you they were not the “pins and needles” that you experience when applying pressure on hands and feet or from poor blood circulations... my arms and hands are hanging freely, yet the “needles” starts randomly here and there... I had the similar experience. I just want to clarify the experience as they were not from applying pressure or poor blood circulations... Sep 14, 2019 at 14:11

3 Answers 3


Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice by Shunryu Suzuki is a very good way to start. Read as many books as you can on all the wonderful schools of meditation. From my experince the sensation of pins and needles has to do with poor blood circulation resulting from blockages of different parts of your meridian system. Tai Chi or Yoga can help prepare you physically and mentally for sitting meditation. You may want to consider standing or walking meditation as an alternative. i commend your spirit your practice is well on it's way. i applaud your questions you show real insight. Our teachers first question after sitting was.. Please share with us what you felt? Your question was one of the most common physical sensations shared among beginners. May i suggest that you look for a teacher.... that in it's self can be a fun journey. OVER&OUT

  • Very good answer, although I would add that it's not blood circulation that causes pins and needles but rather nerve impingement. You can also get a similar sensation when otherwise tense muscles start to relax. That might have been the "whole body" pins and needles OP was experiencing.
    – user698
    Nov 25, 2014 at 2:57
  • @enenalan Greetings Enenalan, thanks for the respose "I would add that it's not blood circulation that causes pins and needles but rather nerve impingement." Ummm...."Paresthesias of the hands, feet, legs and arms are common, transient symptoms. The most common, everyday cause is temporary restriction of the blood supply to an area of nerves, commonly caused by leaning or resting on parts of the body such as the legs; Paresthesias.[1] Wikipedia ...."the sensation of pins and needles has to do with poor blood circulation resulting from blockages of different parts of your meridian system"Thanks
    – Marcus
    Nov 25, 2014 at 16:43
  • The same article says "Other common examples occur when sustained pressure has been applied over a nerve, inhibiting/stimulating its function." Sitting meditation is a notorious applier of sustained pressure! And I can also attest that getting whacked in the forearm on one of the meridian lines will numb your hands. One of my fellow martial arts students is quite fond of doing that to me. ;-) But it doesn't have much to do with loss of blood flow.
    – user698
    Nov 25, 2014 at 19:26
  • Yes, "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" is great. The first chapter has instructions about how to meditate. And it is appropriate even for beginners.
    – eric
    Dec 1, 2014 at 20:38

This is normal. Every one gets a different type of experience, so based on your accumulation of fabrications this is the experience you get. Do not like it or be averse towards it. Just accept it as this is what you are experiencing now.


pins & needles, the feeling of ants crawling over your face, or all over your body, body shaking, bodily pleasureful sensations, bodily painful sensations in localized spots only during meditation, those are all normal byproducts of correct meditation, nothing to worry about.

Normally, people are tense and thinking too much, it constricts the energy flow (not just blood) in the body.

In correct meditation, when we break out of the normal habits of mental and physical tension and instead relax deeply, a force permeates the entire body, and massively increases circulation of blood, lymph, qi. Wherever there are blockages that the force runs up against, you'll feel it as itchy, painful, tight, uncomfortable. If you persist long enough in meditation (days, weeks, months, years), once the blockage starts to melt and clear out, then pain and discomfort fade, the brain pleasure chemicals start to fire, and you feel it as physical pleasure, bliss.

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