The needles used in our clinics are made of solid stainless steel and are sterilized by autoclaving under steam and pressure, the same methods used to sterilize hospital instruments. The sterilization techniques at the Washington Acupuncture Center are especially stringent. The Center has developed and implemented a dual sterilization system whereby all needles are sterilized two times, both before sorting and again after sorting and wrapping. Disposable needles are also available. The insertion of the needles is practically painless. Nothing is injected into the patient’s body, and there is usually no bleeding. The placement and number of needles required to treat a specific condition depends on the nature and location of the condition or pain.
CAN ACUPUNCTURE CAUSE BLEEDING?
No, acupuncture does not cause bleeding. However, it is sometimes impossible to avoid superficial capillaries lying close to the skin surface, in which case a drop of blood or a slight discoloration of the skin may occur upon needle removal. This is especially likely to happen to patients who are taking blood-thinning medications or to elderly patients whose blood vessel walls are less elastic. This is a normal occurrence in acupuncture treatments and will disappear by itself. Vitamin C may be taken to speed the absorption of any discoloration.
HOW LONG IS EACH TREATMENT?
Needles are usually left in place for twenty to thirty minutes at each treatment. During the treatment most patients experience a deep relaxation and a sense of well-being, sometimes even falling into a deep sleep.