Is acupuncture safe?

Yes ... if you use a properly trained and qualified acupuncturist. That's why choosing a BAcC member makes sense. A cumulative review of adverse events in acupuncture (PubMed in 2004) concluded that the risk of serious adverse reactions was 0.05 in 10,000 treatments. This is far less than many orthodox medical treatments. 

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are very fine. They're usually tapped into place through a guide-tube (like a straw) and most people only feel the 'tap'. Once inserted, the needle is manipulated to the right depth, whereupon a dull ache or mild tingling sensation may be felt. This is a good sign as it indicates that both needle and Qi are active. Treatment is usually described as relaxing, not painful.

Are the needles sterilised?

All BAcC acupuncturists use pre-packed, sterile, single use, disposable needles. Furthermore,  BAcC practitioners are bound by a stricCode of Safe Practice with regard to all aspects of hygiene and clinical waste/needle disposal etc. They must therefore also be registered and inspected by the local Council. 

Should I tell my doctor I'm having treatment?

Acupuncture will not conflict with orthodox medical treatment, but if you have a serious medical complaint it makes sense to keep your doctor informed. If you are taking prescribed medication then acupuncture may be able to help reduce unpleasant side-effects, but you should always seek advice from your doctor before coming off any medication or changing prescribed drug 'routines'.