Sydney : Acupuncture, a frequently used therapy, needs better needles to avoid potential problems, such as pain and skin reactions, says IANS.

According to new research, despite improvements in the needle manufacturing process, surface irregularities and bent tips have not been completely eliminated. A team of researchers in Australia looked at the surface conditions and other physical properties of the two most commonly used stainless steel acupuncture needle brands.  The researchers also compared forces and torques during the needling process.

The images revealed significant surface irregularities and inconsistencies at the needle tips, especially for needles from one of the brands which had been manufactured in China, said the research published online in Acupuncture in Medicine (AiM). Metallic lumps and small, loosely attached pieces of material were observed on the surfaces of some needles. Some of this residue disappeared after the acupuncture manipulation.

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