"Primum non nocere" - First, Do Ho Harm - should be the guiding principle framing all medical interventions. We carefully chose the safest treatment approaches we can, and employ with great mindfulness and precision, both time-tested and more modern techniques with the patient's safety our highest priority.

Acupuncture is an invasive procedure requiring the penetration of the skin with a needle so adverse effects are not unheard of, just exceedingly rare.  The general consensus within the medical community is that it is very safe when performed by well trained practitioners using sterile disposable needles.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners, requiring that needles be manufactured and labeled according to certain standards - sterile, nontoxic, and labeled for single use by qualified practitioners only.  We use only sterile, disposable, one-time-use surgical stainless steel needles, and typically use what are widely accepted as the finest, sharpest, and smoothest needles on the planet: Seirin®™.

The vast majority of adverse events from acupuncture are minor, and are estimated to occur in approximately 7% to 12% of treatments, with the most commonly reported occur at the site of needle insertion - minor bleeding, hematoma, and pain from needling.  Light headedness, dizziness, and fatigue are also possible.

Serious adverse reactions are exceptionally rare - on the order of 1 in 10,000 treatments - and include infection, pneumothorax, organ puncture, and nerve damage. These are nearly always associated with poorly trained practitioners and/ or use of unsterile needles.

See also: The York acupuncture safety study: prospective survey of 34 000 treatments by traditional acupuncturists

Bottom Line:  Acupuncture is the safest invasive medical procedure on the planet when performed by highly trained practitioners using sterile disposable needles.

Piedmont Acupuncture + Oriental Medicine 1415 West First Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101  336.777.0037

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