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Who Should Not Do Acupuncture?

Updated: Apr 18


Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points of the body to alleviate pain and promote healing. Despite the many benefits that acupuncture can provide, there may be particular individuals who should avoid this practice due to their specific health conditions or circumstances. In this blog post, we will examine the groups of people who should think about this post before doing acupuncture.


Firstly, pregnant women should be cautious when considering acupuncture. According to a study published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies in 2018, acupuncture can increase the risk of miscarriage or premature labor; if acupuncture is performed on specific acupuncture points during pregnancy, this can increase the risk. The study advises that pregnant women should undergo acupuncture after consulting their midwife and seeking the services of a well-trained and fully experienced acupuncturist. At Acute Acupuncture, before opening my clinic on The Terrace in Wellington Central, I worked in the outpatient maternity ward in Hutt Hospital for two years, and I've also treated lots of pregnant women over the years, so know you're in good hands if you choose to come to Acute Acupuncture.



Secondly, individuals with bleeding disorders or those who are taking blood thinners should be cautious with acupuncture. According to a review article published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hematopathology in 2019, acupuncture can increase the risk of bleeding or hematoma formation if performed improperly or on specific acupuncture points. As such, individuals with bleeding disorders or those who are taking blood thinners should avoid acupuncture or only undergo acupuncture after consulting their acupuncturist first. I'm well aware of this at Acute Acupuncture and the precautions that will be considered before treatments for patients who may be on blood thinning medications. The one that would maybe be a no with me would be Tuina, as Tuina may be too much for these individuals. It's best to book a 15-minute consultation to discuss this.



Thirdly, individuals who have a fear of needles or who are anxious or stressed should approach acupuncture with caution. According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2017, acupuncture can increase the risk of adverse reactions (acupuncture may use needles) in individuals with a fear of needles. The study advises that individuals with this phobia should only undergo acupuncture after consulting their acupuncturist and taking steps to manage their anxiety with needles. At Acute Acupuncture, we have ways of minimizing this with our patients; just let us know when you book.



Fourthly, Individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer should approach acupuncture with caution. Acupuncture is a great way to treat the side effects of chemo, chemotherapy radiation, loss of appetite, and other drug side effects from cancer treatments. However, acupuncture should not be used to treat cancer directly as this would increase circulation or blood flow to the cancer area. If you have this diagnosis it would be best to make a 15-minute consultation with Acute Acupuncture and discuss treatment options that would be appropriate.


While acupuncture may provide many benefits, it is not suitable for everyone. Pregnant women, individuals with bleeding disorders or who are taking blood thinners, cancer patients, and those who have a fear of needles should approach acupuncture with caution or avoid acupuncture altogether. It is essential to consult with a well-trained and experienced acupuncturist before undergoing acupuncture to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for your needs and circumstances. Thank you for taking the time to read this Blog Post. Don't forget to like, subscribe, and share this post. If you have any more questions or concerns, check out our Acute-Acupuncture Wellington Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), as we find these help answer most people's questions.


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