Two new reports from the US suggest that acupuncture is at least as safe as conventional medicine.
There is a dearth of hard evidence on the safety of complementary and alternative medicine(CAM).
According to two reports, they provide one of the first serious safety assessments on acupuncture. In the first, 78 doctors and physiotherapists carrying out acupuncture agreed to record any adverse events occurring between June 1998 and February 2000. During this time, there were no serious adverse events and 671 minor ones occurring per 1,000 consultations. Some of these were avoidable, and acupuncturists might want to make some changes to make the practice even safer.
In the second study, 574 members of the Acupuncture Council reported on 34,407 treatments done in a four week period. Again, there were no serious adverse events. The public can be reassured by these studies - it shows acupuncture is at least as safe as routine drug treatment. But the research has not yet proved that whether acupuncture actually works.
Source: Medical Journal