Safety

One of the benefits of acupuncture is the extremely low risk to adverse effects. The following studies demonstrate no adverse effects occur 99.8% of the time. Acupuncture is even safe during pregnancy.

  1. Frequency and Types of Adverse Events in 55,291 Acupuncture Treatments (Rosted, 1996 & Yamashita, 1998): 64 minor adverse events. 99.8% of these acupuncture treatments were performed without even minor adverse events; “The most frequent adverse event was failure to remove needles after treatment; no sequelae occurred after removal of the needles. The second most common adverse event was dizziness, discomfort, or perspiration probably due to transient hypotension associated with the acupuncture treatment.”
    1. The most serious adverse events during acupuncture are pneumothorax and septicemia. “Instruction is given by both lectures and practical training and includes information about anatomically risky depth of insertion and use of aseptic procedure for puncturing… Most important, no serious events such as pneumothorax, spinal lesion, or infection were reported… We may, therefore, reasonably conclude that serious adverse events in acupuncture treatment are uncommon in the practice of adequately trained acupuncturists.”
  2. Acupuncture Safety (White, 2001 & MacPherson, 2001): 2 September 2001 Studies of safety of acupuncture in the British Medical Journal; Details of 43 minor adverse events associated with 34,407 acupuncture treatments; 91 minor events in 31,822 acupuncture treatments; if combined with the other study above, minor adverse event incidence is 0.16%, no pneumothorax noted.
  3. Pregnancy and Acupuncture (Smith, 2002): In treatment for nausea and vomiting, “our findings suggest that no serious adverse effects arise from acupuncture administered in early pregnancy.” 593 subjects.