An acupuncture needle comprises five key components – a handle, shaft, needle tip, a lubricant or alternatively no lubricant, and a tube, plastic retainer, glue spot, or friction zone.
Acupuncture Needle Handle
The handle of an acupuncture needle is pipe, plastic, or wire-wound with or without a loop. A pipe handle is the most common, usually made from an aluminum alloy or stainless steel. A pipe handle secures the grip better, something which is key for stimulating the needle manually.
Acupuncture Needle Shaft
When looking at acupuncture needles, you will notice the shaft is surgical stainless steel wire. Different thicknesses exist and there are different grades of steel as well.
Less costly Chinese surgical steel is forged in a way that produces a metallurgical impurity. Unfortunately, the smoothness and flexibility of the needle are low-quality in this kind of needle. Comparatively, higher-end acupuncture needles tend to be made from vacuum-forged stainless steel and are best for patients with metal allergies. We, at Lierre’s, are making sure to provide our clients with high-quality stainless steel needles.
Acupuncture Needle Tip
Most acupuncture needles are hand-sharpened which sounds great but actually causes consistency issues tip to tip. Ideally, you want your acupuncture supplies to be processed by a machine. This ensures an optimum needle tip geometry, with the right angles and edges to minimize discomfort.
Acupuncture Needle Lubricant
Lubricant, such as silicone, is used to coat the exterior of the acupuncture needle to aid with insertion. There are low-end and high-end lubricants, the quality of which can affect needle performance. In North America alone, there are more than 2,000 approved silicone-based lubricants. For this reason, ensure your acupuncture supplies come from a reputable vendor.
Tube, Plastic Retainer, Glue Spot, Etc.
More practitioners are using tubes for quick, easy insertion. Tubes vary in diameter. Low-cost needles tend to use a color-coded plastic retainer to compress the handle of the needle in the tube. This can make it easier for some practitioners to insert the needle into the surface of the skin.
Acupuncture Needles Can Be Coated or Uncoated
For decades, acupuncture needles were uncoated. The raw steel wire – that was it! Since the 1970s, high-quality silicone has been introduced to coat needles. Doing so improved the puncture characteristics of the needle and eased the little tingling sensation that they sometimes can cause. Though some debate still exists on coated and non-coated acupuncture needles, the vast majority you will find will come with a silicone lubricant. Performance-wise, this tends to make the experience easier on the patient.
For acupuncture needles in Canada, visit Lierre.ca. From traditional to contemporary designs, shop top brands like Acu Relaxo, ShinLin, and more. High-quality stainless steel acupuncture needles prepped by machine and quality-checked. Hundreds of practitioners use our needles Canada-wide. Join them. Choose the needle type you want and in the amount your clinic desires.