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Acupuncture Needles - Are They Safe?

Understandably, many people are concerned about the safety of acupuncture needles.

With so many different communicable and deadly diseases in the world today, especially those caused by needles that are unclean, the safety of acupuncture needles is often one of the first questions posed by patients or potential patients. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has strict guidelines on acupuncture (and medical) needles, such as the requirement they be sterile and used only one time.

Of course, in spite of these safety mechanisms that are in place, some people will still be fearful at the thought of any kind of needles, including acupuncture needles. Choosing an experienced and reputable practitioner can allay some of those fears.

In addition to sterility, a patient may fear pain from insertion of the acupuncture needles. A search of various types of acupuncture needles shows the existence of even painless ones.

In many cases, any pain felt by the patient is actually more of a stress reaction to the anticipation. In fact, the needles used over the centuries in China are much larger than the needles inserted today.

Since acupuncture is new to many people in western cultures, they are often still apprehensive at the thought of sticking needles in their skin.

In addition to painless needles easing the stress level of the patient, the acupuncturist can avoid the possibility of an automatic reflex from the patient upon insertion of the needles. Painless acupuncture needles allows the patient more comfort during the procedure, thus creating a lower stress level that will allow the procedure to work more effectively.

The success level of any procedure is enhanced by the patient’s ability to relax. The endurance of painful acupuncture needles does not allow the relaxation of the patient, and therefore may not afford the same level of success as a painless needle.

Certainly this differs from patient to patient, but when you have someone who already fears needles, you are not going to help him or her by inflicting pain that is avoidable.

For some people the pain of the acupuncture needles is less than the pain of the condition from which they seek relief. They may consider the anticipated acupuncture pain worth it. For others, they are not seeking relief from pain by enduring more pain.

When you are searching for an acupuncture practitioner, and you have a problem with painful needles, you can ask about using painless needles. Depending on the practitioner, he may not have them in his office but may be willing to order them for you.

On the other hand, you may be able to choose a practitioner who uses nothing but painless acupuncture needles in order to assure the comfort of his patients. While acupuncture used to be a procedure that patients expected to be painful, new technology makes pain the exception rather than the rule.

In addition to the pain from acupuncture needles, some people may fear infection from unclean needles.

The same advice applies to choosing your acupuncturist as to choosing any physician or therapist. Seek out references and choose your acupuncturist carefully.

Visiting the office of the practitioner before treatment will allow a patient to ease fears and show him or her that the practitioner has a clean office and invests in sanitary, disposable acupuncture needles.

A caring acupuncturist will show a patient that he has concerns for the safety and well-being, both physical and emotional, of his patients. Developing a good repoir will ease the fears and tension of those patients he treats.

Without the tension or fear, a patient will respond better to treatment.

Sometimes we just cannot connect with another person, for no apparent good reason. As with any doctor or therapist, it is imperative that the patient selects an acupuncturist with whom he or she feels completely at ease.

Once you find an acupuncturist with whom you feel comfortable, you can begin to ask questions about the acupuncture needles and the rest of the procedure.

Once your fears are laid to rest, you will get the most benefit from your acupuncture treatments.