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Are Acupuncture Needles Reused?

This is a question I get asked a lot.  I have been in practice for around 15 years and I have been asked this question enough to warrant a blog post.  Prior to opening my acupuncture clinic in Mamaroneck I was seeing patients in various locations in New York City.  Frequently patients would ask if needles are reused.  Currently in the United States most acupuncturist use single use acupuncture needles.  I am one of these acupuncturist.  All of the needles I use are packaged in individual blister packs.  I open the package.  Then I insert the needle.  Once your treatment is over the needles are removed and disposed of in a sharps container.  The same type of sharps container used in hospitals and doctors offices all over the country. 

 

Single use acupuncture needles used by Ira Wahrman licensed acupuncturist
Single use acupuncture needles

Sharps Container used by Ira Wahrman acupuncturist
Sharps Container

 

 

When I was living and studying in China things were a little different.  A lot of the clinics I visited in Beijing the doctors were not using single use needles.  They were using reusable needles that were first soaked in alcohol and then sterilized in an autoclave.  An autoclave is used by dentists and other medical professionals to sterilize their instruments.  When used correctly an autoclave can sanitize acupuncture needles.  It is just expensive, time consuming and ittakes up a lot of space in the office.  That is why most acupuncturist in the West do not use them.  

 

Ira Wahrman L.Ac uses only single use acupuncture needles that are disposed of after every session.

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