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Acupuncture Point Contraindications and Precautions


Dear Chad,
Regarding Acupuncture Point Contraindications and Precautions, can you advise whether I should also avoid SI-17 and a few other ones
Thanks in advance for your guidance.
Chenglee (Charlie) Wen


Avoid, no, but only needle when appropriate and with techniques appropriate to the patient, the local anatomy and the particular diagnosis at the time…

You always need to be aware of the anatomy around each acupuncture point, particularly if you subscribe to deeper needling techniques. Every point has a purpose and an appropriate time to use them and an appropriate time or situation to not use them. Along those lines needling technique needs to vary from patient to patient not be used the same across the board.

Every acupuncture point is entirely safe with the right knowledge and tailoring the techniques appropriately to the patient.

For the most part problems only arise with extreme techniques which some think are more necessary than others (obviously I’m in the, they are unnecessary camp). Use common sense and realize that you will get better results asking the body to work with you to resolve issues rather than forcing it to do so and you will be fine.


Thanks so much for the comprehensive answer.Can you advise the criteria for inclusion in your list of an Acupuncture Point, e.g. LU9 as “AA = Avoid Artery”, but not SI17?


Our list is a pretty standard list, so I wouldn’t want to take personal responsibility for it. But generally speaking LU 9 you have to physically be aware of the artery and purposefully needle to the side of it or you will very likely enter the artery. Part of the reason is how narrow the area is and how close to the surface the artery is. SI 17 you would have to use unsafe techniques and/or incorrect needling depth that is entirely inappropriate for the area to enter the artery.

Technically you could add every single point to the precautions list, but only the ones with more likely issues are listed. Any properly trained acupuncturist will know how to needle each individual point without issue. The precautions are merely a guide to remind people of the most obvious issues on a handful of the points where incorrect techniques are more likely lead to issues.


All make very good sense.
Thanks again.

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