Contraindications to Acupuncture Therapy

There are some disorders, which do not respond to, or are adversely affected by acupuncture treatment. In such conditions, it is advisable to avoid acupuncture and patients are recommended to seek other appropriate treatment. A summary of these contraindications is given below.

Cancer and other malignant diseases:

Acupuncture has no curative effect on malignant disorders. However, the secondary effects such as severe pain, loss of appetite, mental depression, lack of sleep can be effectively and safely managed by acupuncture treatment.

Mechanical Obstructions:

These will have to be mechanically removed.

Clear indication for Surgery:

The cases having clear indications for surgery such as fractured bones, dislocated joints, bleeding wounds, congenital defects (e.g. hare-lip) are to be treated surgically.

Fulminating infections:

Antibiotics are preferred in such cases. However, acupuncture may be combined to drug therapy, especially to relieve symptoms.


In the first three months and last three months of the pregnancy it best to avoid acupuncture. This is only relative contraindication. Vomiting of pregnancy and relieving pain of childbirth can be treated with acupuncture.


The patients receiving drug treatment for certain diseases may suffer complications due to over correction of their condition by homeostatic action of needling e.g. High Blood Pressure and Diabetes Mellitus.

Miscellaneous conditions:

The miscellaneous contraindications are listed below.

  • Very old persons
  • Debilitated and dyeing patients.
  • Immediately after hot bath.
  • Immediately after sexual intercourse.
  • Patients sweating profusely.
  • Patients under influence of alcohol.

Who are not suitable for Acupuncture treatment?

The acupuncture is very safe treatment, however it is not suitable for everybody. The exceptions are as listed below:

  • People who have a bleeding disorde
  • People who are taking blood thinners (such as Heparin)
  • People who have pacemakers, implanted electrical devices or infusion pumps.