Acupuncturist Questions Acupuncture

Are acupuncture needles reused?

This might be a stupid question, but I'm about to have my first acupuncture session. When I told my friend, she said that I needed to be careful because some acupuncturists might reuse their needles. Is this really true? I feel like that would be against the law because of... sterile issues, I guess.

38 Answers

No, disposable needles only.
Acupuncture needles are disposed of after each use. In the old days (20-30 years ago) they were sterilized and re-used but needles are not reused anymore for sanitation reasons.
Never. All needles are used once and disposed of in a Sharps container. This is part of clean needle technique and law that we follow. The needles are sterile, stainless steel and single-use-only
No they are not
No, acupuncture needles should never be reused.
No questions are stupid in my opinion!!! In some Asian cultures, needles are reused ONLY after placing them in an autoclave machine to sterilize them. So, in that case it would not be illegal if you take the proper measures to sterilize. But of course, that comes with standards of care and a huge expense with the autoclave machine, so it is not advantageous financially. Neither is that method favored in US very often if at all.
In the American culture, they are disposed of after single use using a bio hazard container and paying to have them disposed of the right way. So your acupuncturist will practice with great care in ensuring that your needles are sterile and safe to use.
We can never reuse acupuncture needles
In the United States, it is forbidden to reuse needles. Not only would that be illegal, but also extremely dangerous. You can always ask your acupuncturist to show you when he/she is opening a package of brand new sterile needles.
Hope it helps!!
This can’t be true, we use disposable needles, and I doubt that someone will risk the license and status, or you can ask this question an acupuncturist who will treat you.
It is illegal for acupuncturists to re-use needles. Our needles are designed for one time use and are to be disposed of into a bio-hazard container after removal. You can be sure that they're using sterile needles by watching them open blister packs of fresh needles before your treatment.
Usually it won't happen. It's okay, don't worry.
I believe it is a very important question. In the United States, the law says that only disposable needles can be used and following the therapy, they have to be disposed into a Bio-hazard Sharp disposable container.

Alexandre Hillairet, DAOM.
No licensed acupuncturist would ever reuse needles. They are single-use sterilized needles that are put in a biohazard container after use.

Many Blessings,

Caitria Thiele, LAc MSOM
Only single use pre-sterilize disposable needles are allowed to be used within the United States. Needle should not even be used and then taking out of the body and reuse on the same person. In some countries they do autoclave needles. But truly the risk is to the person who’s doing the autoclaving not the patient so needle sticks are more likely to the person cleaning the needles therefore it’s safer for the practitioner too! Laura Zaranski
Thank you for this question.

Needles should always be sterile. In China, that was not the case until a few years back. Does not hurt to ask.

Kind regards,

Dr. B
No. By law, each needle is new and sterilized and goes into sharps container afterwards.

Thank you for your question. No, the acupuncture needles are disposable needles, which are only one-time use. Per the state licensing requirements and safety, licensed acupuncturists will not reuse the needles.

Dr. Fu, L,Ac, Dipl. OM
Absolutely not! Acupuncture needles are never and should not be reused. They come is prepackaged sealed needle packs. It is against CNT-clean needle technique and OSHA.

Dr. Bita Yadidi L.Ac., DAOM
No, no acupuncturist reuse needles. Acupuncture needles are not expensive at all. And it’s against the law to reuse needles. Nobody will take the risk for no reason. Unless they are insane.

Hope I replied your question.

Dr Wang
This is the law all the acupuncture needles can’t reuse. Disposable needle can’t insert through skin again. This is new technology for manufacturing.

Hu Gi Acuherbs
Absolutely not. If you're worried just explain to the practitioner that you are a little nervous about needles and ask to see one. It should come from a small surgically sealed pack and have a round tube on it used for placing the needles. Also look for a sharps container which is what the needles should be disposed in after each use.
Hope this helps.

No, All needles are single insertion only.
Acupuncture needles come in sterile packaging and used only once and then disposed of as biohazard materials. You can set your friend's fears to rest. Although, there is some validity to their concerns. When acupuncture was first practiced each patient would receive a certain number of needles and they would be labeled with that patient's information. They were sterilized after each use and only brought out for that individual patient. This is not done in our world today. Rest assured that your needles will be new and discarded after your treatment. Relax and enjoy your first treatment!

All needles used in acupuncture must be disposable needles.


Scott Sang In Lee
In the USA, acupuncture needles are sterile, single use and governed by the FDA and Acupuncture License Laws. They are not to be reused!
This is a huge mistake! No acupuncturist should ever use the same needle that penetrated the skin again. Once a needle is used it must be disposed of properly in a sharps container. If this is witnessed, report this to your state’s acupuncture board immediately.
Your friend was wrong. In the USA, it is required to use sterilized, disposable acupuncture needles now. You can report to the Acupuncture Board if you find out your acupuncturist reused the acupuncture needles.
There are needles that can be sterilized (I am not sure if any states in the U.S. allow reusable needles), but under the Clean Needle Technique (CNT), disposable needles are used. Anyone who is certified under NCCAOM or CSOMA will be using disposable needles.
Acupuncture needles are sterile, single use. No practitioner should be re-using needles on you from previous patients.
In the United States and other "1st World Countries" we have very strict regulations on sterilization of medical equipment and and standards for the prevention of spreading diseases (especially blood born diseases).

With that said, pretty much any licensed practitioner is going to use pre-sterilized needles and after removing them from you will deposit said needle into a sharps container (medical waste container) just like a doctor would do in a hospital.

So, go to a licensed practitioner and you should be fine.
It is absolutely illegal to reuse a needle even in the same patient during a single session. Although all acupuncturists are aware and trained in biohazards, I cannot speak for everyone. I can confidently say that all of my colleagues and I will never compromise our integrity.
Most acupuncturists use disposable needles so they are used only once. We are trained and nationally tested on how to use an autoclave if the practitioner wants to use reusable needles, but I have never seen anyone go that route. Either way, our laws are extremely strict and training very intense around sterility and safety, so not to worry.
It is forbidden to reuse the needles by law.
Meanwhile, the needle tips are extremely thin and sharp; they became dull quickly. A dull needle will cause pain.
In the US, as an acupuncturist, you cannot buy a malpractice policy if you don't use single-use, disposable needles. The only establishments that may be reusing needles are those that you'd find in china town, but they are taking great risks and are probably not licensed in this country.
Well I can't speak for all practitioners, but yes, we are trained and abide by our license to only use the one-time use needles. It's expensive and time consuming to sterilize needles. You can ask the practitioner. If they have a sharps container, and needles in a package, it should be safe to assume they aren't reusing them.
In the United States, acupuncture needles are sterilized and are single use only.
Actually that's an important question and you are smart to be informed of this before your first session. All acupuncture needles are sterile and single-use only. Needles are disposed of in sharps containers after their use.
It would be very unusual for an acupuncturist in the US to re-use needles. The vast majority of us utilize single-use disposable needles; they're used one time on one patient and then thrown away in to an appropriate sharps container which is then treated as biomedical waste.

If you have any questions at all, talk with your provider before your treatment session. No provider should take a question like this personally - I've fielded this one before for my patients and it's part of my acupuncture informed consent form.