Regarding the safety of acupuncture, there are really nice, large observational studies available. The first comprehensive safety studies have been from UK, and they evaluated both sides—the professional practitioners and the physicians.
And they observed over 60,000 treatments and came to the result that there are no serious adverse events of acupuncture treatment.
Also, from Germany, due to large health insurance projects, we have large observational studies. One of many studies included more than two million acupuncture treatments consecutive followed up patients, and we found side effects, in nine percent of our patients. However, these have been mainly minor side effects, like bleeding, hematoma, pain… Some of them needed treatment.
In two percent of the patients we also had two hematurics, which was one in one million acupuncture treatments. Compared to the large amo unt of case reports on hematurics and acupuncture, you get a feeling that’s not something which often occurs.
So summarizing this, we can say acupuncture is a relatively safe treatment, especially when we compared with treatments which are usually used for chronic pain.
Source – National Institutes for Health, NCCAM