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Therapist put the needles through my clothes

Q:  i had my first acupuncture session and the therapist put the needles through my clothes is this the proper practice?   The needles went into my buttock and leg.

A:  The short answer is 'no'.
 
This question was raised a very long time ago when a member queried whether it was acceptable to needle through by thin fabric when treating patients whose religious or ciltural sensitivities made it impossible for them to uncover areas of the body which the practitioner felt needed to be needled. The categorical advice was not to do this. Either the practitioner must find other ways of treating the problems through the use of available points, which can often be done, or the patient must be referred on to a practitioner in front of whom the removal of some clothing is acceptable.
 
The possibilities for infection or the accidental contamination of the puncture site with foreign bodies are so obvious that the prohibition is self-evident, i.e. one would never expect to have to gather evidence to support it.
 
If your practitioner has done this with you it is fair to assume that this is a standard practice, and it is important that they cease and desist immediately. If he or she belongs to a professional association, it would be a good idea to approach them with this information. Even if you chose not to make a formal complaint we are confident that they would instruct the member not to do this again on pain of removal from the Register if they failed to comply. If this person is a BAcC member, you need to contact our Ethics Secretary on 0208 735 1205 for further advice. If the practitioner does not appear to belong to a professional body then a word with the Local Authority Environmental Health Department is merited. 
 
We should reassure you by saying that the chances of an infection are remote, but even though they are remote, the treatment is nowhere near as safe as that undertaken with proper preparation and precautions.
 

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