Acupuncture needle delivery systems have evolved over hundreds of years, from free-hand insertion to tube assisted delivery systems.
Using an insertion tube assures that the needle is inserted rapidly and consistently, thereby ensuring patient comfort. The use of the tube also enables the practitioner to insert the needle without touching the needle shaft, ensuring clean needle practice.
Once the needle is inserted and the guide tube removed however, the remaining part of the insertion can pose some situational challenges resulting in the needle bending or bowing. The cause of this bowing may be a result of one or some of the following situations:
The needle thickness is .22mm or less and the needle length is 35mm or longer
The needle thickness is .22 mm or greater and the needle length is 50mm is longer
The practitioner is inserting the acupuncture needle into scarred, dense, or fibrous tissue (such as intra-articular insertions like in the knee)
The Safe-T Sleeve™ is an innovation in needle delivery, ensuring strict adherence to clean needle technique while maximizing patient comfort. The additional guide sleeve on the outside of the insertion tube enables the practitioner, once the insertion tube is removed, to continue to safely and effortlessly guide longer acupuncture needles into deeper tissue.
John Stan, Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and founder/President of Eastern Currents, often found himself frustrated with the awkwardness of inserting longer needles into dense and tight tissue. Once the needle had penetrated the epidermis, depending on the length and thickness of the needle, he found that the needle would bow or bend with the additional pressure added to bring the needle to the desired depth. Often, in these cases, time consuming additional steps were used to complete the insertion process and it was difficult to adhere to clean needle technique. Over the last number of years he looked for a better solution that made it faster for practitioners to complete needle insertion, maintained clean needle protocol and ensured maximum patient comfort.
After much experimentation, Dr. Stan developed a two-part tube system which features a guide sleeve fitted snugly to the exterior of an insertion tube. Dr. Stan chose Asiamed, known for their ability to engineer high-quality acupuncture needles, to manufacture his design.
The sleeve and tube are held by one hand (the stabilizing hand), while the other hand removes the retaining tab, and taps the needle into the epidermis. The guide tube is then removed while the stabilizing hand holds on to the sleeve. The sleeve then can be used by the practitioner to guide the shaft of the needle into the dermis without compromising the sterility of the shaft.
The Safe-T Sleeve™ is made of a pliable material which can be squeezed to hold the shaft of the needle while guiding the needle shallowly under tissues, such as when a practitioner is using a threading needle technique.
For practitioners using Intra-Muscular Stimulation (IMS) techniques or motor point needling, the Safe-T Sleeve™ can be used to replace metallic needle injectors, as it has similar functions but completely eliminates concerns about sterilization as it is one-time use.
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