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Are Acupuncture Needles Safe?

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There are a lot of claims that says Miami acupuncture is safe and painless. But how can it be safe when acupuncture is an invasive procedure and it involves the use of thin acupuncture needles? Acupuncture needles are solid, metallic and hair-thin. The effect of acupuncture will vary from person to person, but mostly a lot would attest that the insertion of acupuncture needles has minimal pain or no pain at all. This usually depends on an individual’s level of pain threshold.

When it comes to the effects of acupuncture, it will also depend on each individual. Some people become energized by the treatment, while others feel relaxed. A person can only feel soreness or pain during acupuncture treatment if there is a defect in the needle or there is improper needle placement. This is the reason why it is important to seek a licensed acupuncturist for acupuncture treatment.

How safe is acupuncture?

In 1996, the US Food and Drug Administration or FDA approved the use of acupuncture needles by licensed practitioners. The only needles that are required by the FDA are nontoxic and sterile needles to be used and they should be labeled for single use by licensed acupuncturists only.

Since then there are have only been few complications related to the use of acupuncture needles which have been reported to the FDA. This is only 5% from millions of people who are treated with acupuncture each year. The complications only arise when there is inadequate sterilization of needles used and from improper handling or delivery of treatments. It is a rule that each practitioner should use new sealed package of needles for each patient and the site of treatment should be swab with 70% alcohol or any disinfectant before the needles are inserted. If the needles are not delivered properly this could result to serious side-effects like infection and punctured organs.

Before, acupuncture needles were deemed investigational but it has been recently declared as safe and effective. In 1973, the status of acupuncture needles in the US was somewhat shaky. During that time the use of acupuncture needles would mean that it is still a part of a research study with written protocols. At the same time, acupuncturists were advised in writing that the use of acupuncture needles was experimental.

Of course, there were cases that acupuncturist across the country ignored these legal requirements therefore placing themselves in great risks whenever malpractice is brought up to the FDA. This could be used by patients claiming that malpractice had occurred simply because they have received proper warnings and disclosures relating to the fact that acupuncture needles were experimental and investigational.

People nowadays shouldn’t be worried on how safe acupuncture needles are. Acupuncture needles are now reclassified by the FDA as Class II devices which are satisfied as safe and effective.

Written by Valerie

April 15th, 2010 at 12:29 pm