Ask Katherine: Do you sterilize your acupuncture needles?

One of the most common concerns patients have before receiving acupuncture is about the safety of acupuncture needles. This is especially true given our awareness of the increase in drug abuse and diseases spread through contaminated needles.

When people ask me about this, I think there may be an assumption that we acupuncturists are re-using needles. This is not the case at all.

For the last 15-20 years, the industry standard is that all acupuncture needles are sterile, single-use, and disposable.

Acupuncture needles are never re-used, re-sterilized, re-packaged, or re-anything else: even from one part of the body to another. For each insertion, I open a sterile package, place the needle in, take it out, and then put the needle into a biohazard box to dispose of responsibly. No worries!


Katherine Sale, MSW, MAc, LAc, CNC
Katherine is a Licensed, Board-Certified Acupuncturist, a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner, an Integrative Energy Therapies Provider, and an Advanced BioClear Practitioner.


Ask Lisa: I have seen pictures of the rings cupping leaves on the skin. Are they painful? How long do those rings last?

The ‘hickeys’ that sometimes appear from cupping are not painful, and are often an indication the area being worked on really needed some help to get things flowing.

Fair-skinned clients do sometimes mark more easily; but, I find that the general health of the tissue, and vascular system, is a far better indicator (of why some clients’ skin has darker rings than others).

In massage-cupping, the cups are mostly kept moving, not left stationary as with Chinese medicine treatments, and the marks are usually minimal.


Lisa Manning, CST, CHt
Lisa is a Craniosacral and Myofascial Release Therapist. She’s also a Master Certified Hypnotherapist, specializing in Somato-Emotional Hypnosis to address chronic pain and anxiety. Lisa is trained in Ionic Foot Detox.