AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine


Clean Needles for Acupuncture…


Clean Needles for Acupuncture Safety

Clean Needles for Acupuncture Safety

Acupuncture Today

June, 2010, Vol. 11, Issue 06

Clean Needles for Acupuncture Safety

By Michael Jabbour, MS, LAc, William Morris, DAOM, PhD, LAc and Steven Schram, PhD, DC, LAc

A recent article in the British Medical Journal by Woo et al. argues that infection from acupuncture needles is a serious problem.1 Pointing at 50 cases worldwide since 1970, the author implies that acupuncture is dangerous because the risk of infection is high and that acupuncturists are not using sufficient care to prevent infections.
Both assertions are patently false, the risks greatly exaggerated and, if anything, has clarified for the public how safe trained practitioners of acupuncture are. Every medical treatment from aspirin to brain surgery carries some risk and acupuncture is no exception. According to one study, "Although the incidence of minor adverse events associated with acupuncture may be considerable, serious adverse events are rare."

Will Morris is president of the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin and the past president of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM).
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