Bill Ferguson
Registered Osteopath, Cranial Osteopath, Acupuncture and Sports Injuries
Tenterden Osteopath
Location: Home | Special Topics | Acupuncture Needles

Special Topics

Acupuncture Needles
Single Use Disposable Needles


Patients are often curious to know more about acupuncture and I thought it might be worthwhile to share some of the frequently asked questions and answers.

What are the acupuncture needles made of

The acupuncture needles I use are either Seirin or S|Needles, sterile disposable needles. They are made from superior quality 18-8 surgical grade stainless steel.

The acupuncture needles come pre-sterilised and ready to use in their own sterile plastic guide tubes. Each needle and tube is sealed in a transparent heat sealed plaster blister package.

Each needle has a plastic head which is welded to the inside of the sterile guide tube. This means that I never touch the actual needle, only the plastic head. The plastic head is also useful for visibility because the needles are so fine they would be nearly invisible

Typical Acupuncture Needles
Typical Acupuncture Needles

What is inside the acupuncture needle

The needle is solid, there is nothing inside. It is not at all like a hypodermic needle. Under a microscope the needle tip looks like the tip of a javelin.

How far does the needle go in

The needles I use depend on the area I am treating. Around the elbow or knee for example I would use mostly 3 cm needles, for the back muscles 3-5 cm. For example a 3 cm needle is shown below in one of the acupuncture points for tennis elbow.

One of the acupuncture points for tennis elbow

The longest needle I have is 12.5 cm and would be used (rarely) for treating deep hip muscles on a fairly obese person.

I like to use a needle that is long enough to leave 1 cm or more space between the skin and the plastic handle.

Does it hurt

The acupuncture needles are very fine and are therefore virtually painless on insertion.

Who invented acupuncture

We don't know for sure. Chinese written records go back 3000 years but the oldest known evidence for acupuncture is European from 5000 years ago. See here for further information.

What happens to the needles after you take them out

They go into a special "sharps" bin. The "sharps" bin is collected by a contractor at regular intervals and taken away to be incinerated. As a student I was taught that the needles should be in their packet, in the patient or in the sharps bin. This is good practice and is the rule that I follow.

Contact Bill Ferguson
Osteopath Tenterden

Book an osteopathy appointment now
Tel: 01580 762754

Bill Ferguson
Tenterden Osteopath
2 St Benets Court
Tenterden, Kent
Tel: 01580 762754



© Bill Ferguson
Last Updated: 16 June, 2018