Acupuncture needling – contraindications and potential adverse effects

Contraindications to acupuncture needling

  • Pregnancy
  • Pacemaker use
  • Mechanical heart valve in place
  • Coagulopathy (e.g. hemophilia, anticoagulants)
  • Immunocompromised conditions (e.g. cancers, diabetic, HIV)
  • Open or infected skin


Potential Adverse effects to acupuncture needling

  • Tissue trauma: Bruising, bleeding
  • Vasovagal effects: Nausea, syncope
  • Broken needles
  • Transient worsening of symptoms
  • Infections
  • Perforation of organs