What are Some Standard Acupuncture Supplies?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Acupuncture, a Chinese medical treatment which involves the stimulation of key points in the body with carefully inserted needles, requires a lot of supplies. Acupuncture supplies run the gamut from tools used in sessions with patients to infection control products which are designed to keep an acupuncture clinic safe for customers and practitioners alike. Numerous companies carry lines of acupuncture supplies which can be ordered through the mail, and people can also visit stores which stock equipment, tools, and accessories used in acupuncture.

A biohazard sign, which is used to label used acupuncture needles.
A biohazard sign, which is used to label used acupuncture needles.

The needles are perhaps the most obvious supply needed for acupuncture. Acupuncture needles come in a number of styles and designs, including specialty needles for ear acupuncture. Any time needles are involved, people will also need biohazard containers to dispose of the needles after use. Tools for manipulating the needles include tweezers, forceps, and hemostats, and gloves are also a critical supply for an acupuncture practitioner.

Various supplies are involved in acupuncture.
Various supplies are involved in acupuncture.

To practice acupuncture, a practitioner also needs a treatment table. Acupuncture tables can be quite expensive, as they must be able to hold the weight of patients and be fully adjustable for comfort. Along with tables, other acupuncture supplies include drapes for patients, pillows, blankets in case patients get cold, and sheets to cover the table with each new patient.

Acupuncture needles come in a wide variety of sizes and styles.
Acupuncture needles come in a wide variety of sizes and styles.

Many practitioners of acupuncture also perform moxibustion, cupping, and other disciplines. As a result, acupuncture supplies can include herbs for moxibustion, incense, extinguishers for moxibustion rolls, and cupping sets. Acupuncturists can also use transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) units, along with magnets, seeds, and pellets for ear acupuncture. Some also carry traditional Chinese herbs for their patients if they offer herbal medicine in addition to acupuncture, in which case they need a supplier of herbs and cabinets for storage.

Cupping sets are a type of acupuncture supply.
Cupping sets are a type of acupuncture supply.

Acupuncture supplies also include tools for studying and demonstrating principles to patients, such as acupuncture books, models, and charts. Many acupuncture practitioners also include decorative elements in their supplies, as clients usually do not enjoy a sterile environment during acupuncture treatments. These can include plants, fountains, artwork, and sculpture, along with chairs for people waiting for treatment.

Practitioners of acupuncture may carry traditional Chinese herbs for their patients.
Practitioners of acupuncture may carry traditional Chinese herbs for their patients.

Storing acupuncture supplies typically requires lots of cabinets, and many acupuncturists like rolling carts and trays. A cart can be loaded with commonly needed supplies, while trays can be used to lay out tools for a particular session. Manufacturers of medical equipment make a number of products suited to the storage of acupuncture supplies, including carts which can be easily wiped down and sterilized after use.

Numerous companies carry lines of acupuncture supplies.
Numerous companies carry lines of acupuncture supplies.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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