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Tips to Avoid Being at Risk of Acupuncture Claims

Table of Contents

acupuncturist placing needles in woman's back

Practicing acupuncture comes with its many benefits, but also risks. Today we’ll help you understand what steps you can take to ensure your business is in the best position to lower your chances of acupuncture claims.

Have a Clean and Safe Work Environment

It has always been important to have a clean and safe environment to practice acupuncture, but with COVID-19 going around, it is essential that your working space is always top-notch with its safety and cleanliness. Always make sure everything is sanitized and wiped down – every surface that is touched, every tool used, and even door handles. Germs spread rapidly and with potential infections that are involved with acupuncture, keeping your space clean and safe is imperative.

If your table is up high, make sure that there is a step stool for your clients, so that the risks of them slipping and falling are lessened. If your clients are barefoot, make sure that you wipe down the step stool between clients. If you have candles in your office, make sure they’re only lit while you’re in the room, and if you leave the room, make sure to extinguish all flames.

It’s also not a bad idea to put non-skid mats under your rugs so that the rugs don’t slide on the floor, which could result in a client slipping and possibly filing a claim. Double check every morning that the area outside your building, including the parking lot, is clear of debri or ice, so that your clients don’t face the risk of slipping or harming themselves while on your business property. You want to ensure your clients feel safe in your office and that your office is not the reason they file a claim.

Provide Complete Privacy for Your Clients

Changing clothes is uncomfortable for some, but essential to receive most acupuncture treatment. Make sure you give your clients either a separate room or a drape to change their clothing before they get on your table, and make it clear that they only need to remove the clothing that they’re comfortable removing. One accidental or innocent touch could be taken differently by your client and result in a lawsuit of thousands of dollars. Another approach you could take is asking an employee to supervise the session. Take extra precautions that your clients feel comfortable while they are in your office and never at risk of sexual harassment. Although BBI does not cover abuse, molestation, harassment, or sexual conduct, make sure you are extra careful when dealing with the privacy of your clients.

Communicate With Your Clients

Communicating clearly with your clients is a skill you will need to learn to avoid being at risk of claims. This includes communicating with your client how they will tell you if they are in any pain during their session. If you put too much pressure on a client’s trigger point and cause them harm or damage, you could be held liable for the injury. They can file a claim for any injury you cause them. This is why you want to make sure your client knows to tell you when and how they’re feeling any pain.

It’s also incredibly important to communicate with your client regarding expectations. Make sure they know the specifics of the treatment and that you answer any questions they may have before beginning their acupuncture therapy session. Make sure they understand both the benefits and the risks of the acupuncture that you are about to perform, and that they are okay with it. If they are uncomfortable with it, you’ll want to consider changing their therapy or re-evaluating if acupuncture is the right method of therapy for them.

Calling your client a day or two after their appointment can also help you avoid any claims filed against you. If your client is facing any discomfort or pain, you can help diagnose it early on before the pain or injury increases. Ask them questions about their pain, like where and what the pain feels like, so you can fully understand what they’re feeling. You can help them get the help they need, so that they don’t file a claim against you. You should also note the importance of making sure to tell your client before they leave your office some common side effects of acupuncture, such as bruising.


Doing all you can to avoid claims is critical for your business and its success. Making sure the environment is safe and clean, providing complete privacy for your clients, and communicating clearly with them are practices you should consider implementing to avoid your clients filing claims. However, accidents are still bound to happen. You’ll want to ensure that you have an effective acupuncture insurance policy in place. Beauty and Bodywork Insurance (BBI) offers monthly and annual policies which can be purchased online in minutes. BBI provides endorsements that you can add onto your policy, like cupping and microcurrent. Purchase a policy today so that your business is protected in the event of a claim.

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