As practitioners of TCM, our health model is closely linked to Nature and its myriad systems of inter-relationships. Thus, it is understandable that you may feel a pang of guilt at the end of the day when you look at the waste produced from needling. I know, I did and decided to do something about it.
As a practitioner of TCM for 30 years, I found myself alternating back and forth from using single tubed needles to bulk packed needles. Single tubed needles were easy, it was what we were trained on, but the amount of waste just built up so fast. My ventures into bulk needling resulted then from trying to avoid producing so much Acu-trash. However, I just kept getting frustrated with my bulk packed needles as they bounced around so much in the tray, I would occasionally spill them, or I would ponder what to do with my left over needles at the end of my treatment? Would they be safe for use in the next hour…, two hours…, …overnight…?
This was my pattern over the years, a shao yang sort of situation, back and forth and never really settled with either single or bulk packed needles.
In my discussions with my wife and partner, Kelly, we decided, due to our longstanding connections in the TCM industry to really start researching ecofriendly options for acupuncture needles.
Firstly, our journey began with the need to find a manufacturer that makes a consistently sharp and smooth needle using materials that were low environment impact. It turns out, as much as I love my copper handled needles, copper handles are made with a very toxic process that made us pass on that option. We ended up choosing the Korean style spring handle as both the handle and shaft were made of stainless steel, which when compared to all of the options (plastic, chrome, aluminum etc), had the lowest ecological footprint. The subcontracting facility making the needle uses the latest machine sharpening and polishing process producing a gradually tapered symmetric needle with a very fine finished point. While Korean spring handle needles are known for a consistent quality, the subcontracting partner we found had developed newer machines with multiple patented processes that set them notches above other brands. We are very proud to offer these now in North America. Also, after much research, experimentation in packaging, and design, we are excited to offer practitioners the world’s first Eco-friendly Acupuncture needle called Acufast
We are also excited that Golden Flower, in its commitment to offer practitioners choices to help our planet, has jumped on board to one of our first distributors of the Acufast needle in the USA.
We have done so many things to create our earth friendly product that it would far to much to list in this article, but here are the highlights:
- Our packaging is the smallest on the market, we worked extra hard to reduce the amount of packaging from our carton, case and individual box size! One box of 1000 needles looks like a standard box of single tubed 100!
- Our boxes are compostable or recyclable because they are made from sugar cane fiber. Sugar cane fibers in this case, have been repurposed into a paper like product. This makes for a double win situation as no trees have been cut down to make our boxes and using a by-product of a natural substance, allows for easy, post use, environmental re-absorption.
- We use pouch packs to house our needles, and we’ve worked hard to reduce the size of the pouches to even further than what is currently on the market. Plus, our pouches don’t come with a tube. Just needles. You aren’t forced to throw tubes away due to not needing one, or just plain because you don’t use them.
- Also, our tubes are 50% less plastic that what other tubes on the market use and… they are pinchable! You may wonder why pinchable is good, but you will have to check the link below to learn more
- We also invented two accessories to make using bulk needles super easy! Now even the most diehard single tube users will be confident in using bulk pack needles with our inventions!
There is more on how all this comes together to change not only the amount of waste we produce, but how by being an Acufast user, you are also participating in a 360 solution that gives back to environmental groups with your purchases.
For full details, click on the following link to see our introductory video to learn more https://youtu.be/IfMupQImWSA
Be a part of the revolution, join us in the effort to reduce acu-trash with Acufast!
John Stan, DrTCM
co-developer of the Acufast needle