Contraindications for Acupuncture

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ContraIndications for Acupuncture

Acupuncture is considered a safe medical treatment. But there are acupuncture contraindications.

As a result, many physicians and practitioners believe that acupuncture is a beneficial treatment as an adjunct to other medical treatments, and/or as an alternative to medical treatments. Indeed, many patients prefer acupuncture first when ill before approaching their (Western) medical practitioner.

An acupuncture treatment program will typically include anywhere from 3 to 10 sessions, each lasting up to approximately one hour, though the first one may take longer. 

A List of Acupuncture Contraindications

As with any medical treatment, there are certain recommended contraindications for acupuncture treatments, including:

  • Where there is no consent
  • Drug or alcohol intoxication
  • Use of a demand pacemaker (here, electro-acupuncture is sometimes contraindicated)
  • Seizure disorders
  • Bleeding disorder such as haemophilia or use of blood thinners
  • Infectious skin disorder or disease
  • If pregnant, we avoid needling in the abdominal area or lumbosacral region. It is also advisable to avoid any acupuncture that might stimulate the early delivery of the fetus or even lead to abortion. Not all these points are located on the abdominal area or lumbosacral region.
  • Directly over tumours or in areas that are ulcerated


Other Cautions before Acupuncture

Also, most practitioners agree not usually to administer acupuncture in the following situations:

  • malignancy, as there might be a threat of the spread of neoplastic cells;
  • severe neutropenia (low white blood cell count) secondary to the risk of infection;
  • medical and surgical emergencies;
  • for patients with uncontrolled movements;
  • with confused or disoriented patients ;
  • needling an oedematous limb at risk of lymphoedema; also in the ipsilateral arm of a patient after axillary dissection – risk of swelling or lymphoedema;
  • in areas of spinal instability where, as a result of acupuncture, relaxation of surrounding muscles could potentially give rise to spinal cord compression;
  • needling scars, keloid, recent incisional wounds or skin with sensory deficit;
  • The needling of intracapsular points if the patient is on anticoagulant therapy or is a haemophiliac;
  • Metal allergy

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Otherwise, acupuncture can be good!

Otherwise, acupuncture may greatly help your health and there is no acupuncture contraindication!

However, please don’t assume one treatment will always fix your problem. This does happen, quite often, but if you’ve had a condition for a year, then it may take 4 – 6 treatments to ‘clear’, or greatly improve. If you’ve had it for 5 years it may take 5 – 6 months of regular treatments to ‘clear’. And the more chronic your condition, the more likely you’ll need periodical ‘top-up’ treatments.

I have patients who intially came weekly for, say, a painful knee condition, but now come once every 6 months or if they feel their health deteriorating, perhaps after an accident, shock, or illness.


Make Fair Comparisons!

Besides, if you have a chronic problem, how many consultations with doctors have you had for it? And over how many years?

Did any of their treatments cure you in one?

No? So please don’t assume we’re no good if acupuncture doesn’t fix  you in one!

Here’s a link to our page on Consultations In Clinic ie in person, face to face.

Other pages to read

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