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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.

Ira Wahrman L.Ac Testimonials

Allergies, Sinusitis, Back Pain

I started seeing Ira about 4 years ago in Manhattan, I was being treated for severe sinusitis, horrible allergies, anxiety, spinal issues with loads of back pain and digestion. I was treated by him for about 2 years and during that time I had no need to take a pill to alleviate any of my troubles because he pretty much “fixed me”…. due to his change in office I lost contact and it has been a rough time, now back to western “stuff” to keep my sinuses clear and back pains at bay…. luckily a month ago I was desperate and decided to run a google search for Ira and I found him! So I’m very ecstatic to say that I now travel from Manhattan to Westchester twice a week to get treated and after a few sessions I’m starting to feel like I’m back on track! Ira has great bedside manor, he listens to your concerns and makes you feel comfortable, he explains everything he does and is super caring about his patients. I absolutely recommend Ira 120% to anyone who is suffering from any of the things I do, I can honestly vouch that you will feel great in just a few sessions!

– Marcella. C

Headaches, Lower Back Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Ira Wahrman is one of the most gifted healers whose patient I’ve ever had the pleasure of being. He is a natural at his art. His practice of both acupuncture and Chinese medicine are profound and in just the first several sessions I’ve had with him, my pain symptoms have largely decreased and my level of wellness has dramatically increased. I went to him primarily for lower back pain. As mentioned previously, my pain has largely decreased, as has the pain from my chronic headaches. Every acupuncture session ends with me feeling relieved, relaxed, and enlivened. His expertise in acupuncture has also helped me with depression, anxiety and a cold I may be temporarily be experiencing. He gave me a recipe for Congee, a Chinese rice soup that helps relieve cold and flu symptoms. The recipe worked with lots of success. I plan to continue my sessions with Ira on an ongoing basis and I HIGHLY recommend him. Words can’t express the degree to which he’s helped improved the quality of my life. I’m eternally grateful that our paths have crossed. His wisdom and intelligence will serve your health and well-being to degrees you can’t even imagine.

-Mike B.

Hormonal Imbalance, Digestive Upset

I really can’t say enough good things about Ira, and I’m so glad we found him. I’ve received a lot of bodywork and acupuncture over the years, and I’m incredibly picky. Ira is not only a warm and kind person, but he’s incredibly knowledgeable and gives a thoughtful and thorough treatment. I’m seeing him for some hormone-related issues due to a medication as well as some chronic digestive issues. My husband is seeing him for something completely different. We have both seen significant improvements in a very short time. Highly recommended!

-Katherine F.

Knee Pain

Wanting to avoid surgery for a torn meniscus I thought I would try acupuncture. I feel this treatment for my knee has been incredible. I am no longer limping, I feel like a miracle has occurred. But more important in the treatment of my knee is that Ira Wahrman goes out of his way to make people feel comfortable with his treatments. His care and concern to treat the whole person is a lesson that should be learned by Western medicine. I would recommend him to everyone I know!

-Mary Anne C.


Severe Lower Back Pain

I have chronic lower back pain. The pain was indescribable and debilitating. I tried anything and everything but nothing would give me relief. Then I met Ira. After only a few sessions I noticed a difference. Ira is incredibly smart & knowledgeable. It amazes me how he is always coming up with new ideas to help me with my pain. No matter what other ailments I throw at him he always makes me feel better. Ira truly cares about his patients. He’s very patient, professional, listens to you and always makes you feel comfortable. He’s the best!!! I highly recommend Ira because he has changed my life and I couldn’t be more grateful to him!!

-Pamela D.

Acupuncture for Lower Back Pain

Acupuncture for Lower Back Pain Rego Park, QueensYou are probably reading this because you have tried everything to help your back pain and nothing has helped or the relief was only temporary. Advil, chiropractic, physical therapy, cortisone shots, muscle relaxers, hot packs, cold packs etc. Nothing seems to be helping.  Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints an acupuncturist treats. Acupuncture can be extremely helpful for lower back pain.  Lower back pain is also one of the leading causes of job disability in the United States. I occasionally suffer from lower back myself and acupuncture is usually what gets me feeling ok again.  The pain can be very frustrating.   For me I would have trouble standing straight or on occasion trouble walking.  Not fun. Many patients come to the office in Mamaroneck looking for acupuncture treatment to relieve their lower back pain.  Most cases are treated successfully.

causes of lower back pain

There are many causes of back pain and there are also many different ways to treat it.  Poor posture, poor diet, improper lifting, obesity, scoliosis, trauma, herniated disc, disc degeneration, kidney stones,tumor, pregnancy, stress, arthritis, autoimmune issues(fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus etc.),improper exercise, improper shoes or bed, etc.  From a Chinese Medicine perspective we also have Kidney weakness, exposure to certain environment (cold, damp etc.), blood stagnation, digestive issues, etc.  Not only are there many different types of back pain but the acupuncture points and/or the herbal medicines used will be different for each case.  Each patient has treatment designed specifically to fit their needs.


symptoms of lower back pain

The symptoms of lower back pain are:

  • Aching, soreness, sharp pain
  • Numbness and or tingling in the leg or foot.
  • Muscle tightness in back and legs
  • Decreased range of motion

For both acute and chronic low back pain acupuncture can be very helpful to reduce inflammation and pain.  Acupuncture is also great to help relax and loosen the muscles in the lower back.  Acupuncture is great for increasing circulation to the muscles, tendons and even bones of the spine.  Many patients are often amazed at how helpful acupuncture can be for lower back pain.  For more serious cases of lower back pain Chinese herbal medicine (internal and external), cupping, massage, gua sha, exercise etc. are often included in the treatment.

Dr. Tan and Master Tung Acupuncture For Lower Back Pain

I mostly practice the Balance Method and Master Tung styles of acupuncture.  Both of these systems are known for very quick relief of pain.  Many times patients will notice significant changes in their pain during the first few visits.  Sometime the shifts of pain come within seconds or minutes.  Using these styles of treatment on my patients has produced miraculous results and many patients often avoid invasive surgery. 

Recent lower back pain case

Recently I have been treating a case of lower back pain at my office in Mamaroneck.  The patient wakes up with with stiffness and a dull ache in his lower back.  He cannot bend forward without feeling stiffness and pain. He was in a car accident a few months ago and since then he has been to a chiropractor.  The chiropractic adjustments only gave him temporary relief.  Besides his back pain the patient also suffers from high blood pressure, constipation, upper back and neck tension and occasional headaches.  For this patient I focused on using acupuncture to not only relieve his back pain but to also relieve his upper back and neck tension as well.  Diet and lifestyle advice has been included in his treatment to improve his constipation.  After a few treatments his back is doing much better.  He is feeling more relaxed and his bowel movements are becoming more regular.  He is very happy with the outcome.

Many patients are often surprised at how much acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with not only their physical pain but it can also help tremendously in improving overall health.  This includes sleep, digestion, mood etc.  In the office in Rego Park all patients are looked at as an individual and treatment is designed to meet the specific needs of each patient.

Give me a call today at (914) 772-4044 to make an appointment at the Mamaroneck office to discuss your health concerns and we can figure out the best plan of action for you.


Photo: Personal Injury Back Pain by San Diego Personal Injury Attorney courtesy of Creative Commons

What to Expect From Acupuncture Treatment

330447383_6a9b134a27_mMost people come to our acupuncture office in Mamaroneck, New York because they are in pain or experiencing some sort of physical or emotional discomfort.  Overcoming illness whether it be physical or emotional takes time.  It took some time for you to feel this way and it will take some time for you to feel better.  At our office we look at our patients as a whole and not as a single symptom.  This means we not only work with you on your main complaint but we try and make you as healthy as possible. Physically, emotionally and mentally.    Reducing stress and anxiety, improving your mood, improving your overall sleep quality, improving digestion or any other things that might be bothering you.  Throughout the course of treatment various modalities may be used.  Including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, tuina, gua sha, cupping, exercise etc.  Dietary and lifestyle advice will be included as well.

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Acupuncture And Chinese Medicine For Constipation In Mamaroneck

23638290572_b61bcd7666_z (1)After seeing patients for many years I have found one of the most common complaints about digestion that people suffer is constipation.  There is an entire industry around helping people have healthy bowel movements.  Fiber supplements, laxatives, probiotics, even prescription medications to help with this common complaint.  Some find benefit while others do not.  The ones that do not find relief often accept the fact they have infrequent bowel movements, irritability, bloating, etc.  The ones that do find relief often only find temporary relief because the underlying cause of their constipation was not addressed. continue reading »

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