One of the great advantages of acupuncture is that it is largely accepted as a safe treatment option with minimal side effects. All needles are disposable, one-time use, sterile, FDA approved, medical devices. Licensed acupuncturists undergo years of training in safe implementation and are trained in exact location, angle, as well as depth of insertion of the acupuncture needle to avoid injuries. Acupuncturists must also be tested and certified in Clean Needle Technique for national and state licensure.
Commenting on the relative safety of acupuncture compared with other treatments, the National Institute of Health (NIH) consensus panel stated “adverse side effects of acupuncture are extremely low and often lower than conventional treatments.”
The NIH also stated:
“The incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same condition. For example, musculoskeletal conditions, such as fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, and tennis elbow… are conditions for which acupuncture may be beneficial. These painful conditions are often treated with, among other things, anti-inflammatory medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) or with steroid injections. Both medical interventions have a potential for deleterious side effects but are still widely used and are considered acceptable treatments.”