Is acupuncture safe? What are the possible risks or side effects?

Yes, acupuncture is very safe. There is a reason why Acupuncture has been the default solution for thousands of years in China and have had such a success expanding into the science-oriented Western World.

Acupuncture is not only safe, it generally does not hurt either (often to the surprise of new patients). The needles are so thin that the nerve does not feel pain when it is applied through the skin. Some patients even wonder when will the needle be applied when the needle is already in the body.

Of course, we want to be fair and share about all the information and potential risks of acupuncture, however unlikely they are to happen.

  • Pressure Points:

Most of the acupuncture points are in between muscles, the needle does not go too deep into the body. Before needling, acupuncturist will press around the acu-point to get an idea of the thickness of the muscle, then decide how deep does the needle needs to go. At this point, you might already feel some stimulation on those points.

For example:

LI 4 (He Gu) pint on large intestine meridian is often used on pain syndrome and digesting system related syndromes

UB 23 (Shen Shu) point on bladder meridian is often used on low back pain and urination related syndromes

  • Needles from Acupuncture Orange:

The needles we use are sterilized, disposable, one time use stainless needles. They are as fine as one or two strands of hair, yet flexible and hard to break.

  • Techniques from Acupuncture Orange:

Every California licensed acupuncturist are requested to pass the Clean Needle Technique Exam (CNT), and it covers the knowledge of infectious diseases and standard technique to avoid infection. When you visit any acupuncturist, make sure that the acupuncturist is legitimately certified.

  • Potential Side effects of Acupuncture

Skin reaction, dizziness, sweating, fainting, muscle spasm, bruising, bleeding, nerve damage and accidental injury to internal organs are some possible risk or side effects of acupuncture.

Most of the side effects are due to over reaction to the stimulation, or fear to the needle, like skin reaction, dizziness, sweating, fainting and muscle spasm.

To avoid over reaction, we suggest patients who decide to do acupuncture get some good rest, and to have a small meal or few sweets before coming for an appointment. Keeping yourself warm can also help to aviod muscle spasms. If you are afraid of needles, which most people would the first time, make sure your acupuncturist knows  that so he will be more gentle. Taking deep breathes while the acupuncturist is doing is work.

Due to different conditions of each person and each body part, bruising and bleeding are sometimes harder to avoid, but even in the case bruising and bleeding occur, it will be very minor.Bleeding usually stops within 30 seconds to a few minutes, and bruising would recover in a day to a couple weeks.

Acupuncturists are trained to avoid these risks and side effects, and with a well-certified doctor, this should not happen.

In summary, Acupuncture is very safe (and generally does not hurt), as long as you are being treated by an experienced and certified acupuncturist. Find out about all the great things that it can do for your body and resolve a great amount of diseases that cannot be cured by Western Medicine.

– ORANGE ACUPUNCTURE, WINSTON WANG  

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