Contraindications of Acupuncture

| February 8, 2010 | 0 Comments | 913 views

Acupuncture is contraindicated in a number of situations which practitioners should be well aware of, and include: when patients are taking anticoagulant medication, when press needles (for auricular acupuncture) are used in patients with prosthetic or damaged heart valves, or when patients with pacemakers receive electroacupuncture. Electroacupuncture is also contraindicated if there is lack of skin sensation and in case of impaired circulation, severe arterial disease, undiagnosed fever, or severe skin lesions (WHO, 1999). The WHO (1999) advises that acupuncture is only used during pregnancy with great caution since the needling and manipulation of certain points may induce strong uterine contractions. The report advises “traditionally, acupuncture, and moxibustion are contraindicated for puncture points on the lower abdomen and lumbosacral region during the first trimester. After the third month, points on the upper abdomen and lumbosacral region, and points which cause strong sensations should be avoided, together with ear acupuncture points that may also induce labour”. The Organization lists pregnancy as a condition that is contraindicated by electroacupuncture.

Rampes (1998) advises particular caution when acupuncture involves points on the thorax and immunosuppressed patients, and identified general precautions, which are always necessary:
• Remember orthodox diagnostic skills
• Use sterile disposable needles
• Use aseptic technique with press needles
• Lie the patient down during treatment
• Advise patient to avoid driving after treatment
• Count needles before and after treatment
• Observe patients for bleeding.

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