Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Releases the Updated Clean Needle Technique Manual - 7th Edition


Updated CNT Manual Image



FEBRUARY 14, 2023


[Centennial, Colorado] - The Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (CCAHM) is proud to announce the updated 7th Edition of the “Clean Needle Technique (CNT) Manual: Best Practices for Acupuncture Needle Safety and Related Procedures.” This latest edition represents the Council's ongoing commitment to promoting the highest standards of safety and professional practice in the field of acupuncture and herbal medicine.

With the guidance of CCAHM CNT Co-chairs Valerie Hobbs, D.A.O.M., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. and Kris LaPoint, Ph.D., B. Med., M.S.O.M., LAc., CCAHM President, along with principal editor and Treasurer, Jennifer Brett, ND, L.Ac., this comprehensive manual has been meticulously updated to reflect the latest evidence-based practices and regulatory standards for acupuncture needle safety.

Dr. Jennifer Brett emphasizes the impact of the manual, stating, "The CCAHM CNT Manual has improved consistency in the application of safety procedures in acupuncturists’ offices in the US. Unsafe practices that pierce the skin may be linked with some bloodborne pathogens and healthcare associated infections. Reliably applying handwashing, standard precautions, and other clean techniques enumerated in the CNT Manual reduces the risk for such. Since the inception of the CCAHM CNT manual, course, and exam, retrospective studies and meta-analyses have demonstrated the safety of the acupuncture practice for a wide variety of clinical conditions."

The CNT Manual addresses the evolving landscape of acupuncture practice within the United States, recognizing the expansion of acupuncture services into hospitals, integrated medical centers, and teaching clinics. It underscores the necessity for evidence-based best practices in safety amidst this growth and diversification of practice settings.

The manual serves not only as a foundational text for acupuncture students preparing for national certification and state licensure but also as a critical resource for practitioners seeking to uphold safety protocols in their practice. The manual was developed with consultation of experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to ensure the recommendations in the manual meet current CDC and OSHA standards. Further, updates to the manual reflect changing epidemiological patterns and technological advances that contribute to clinical safety.

The mission of the CCAHM to support member institutions to deliver educational excellence and quality patient care is exemplified through the publication of this manual. It is designed to support the curriculum of accredited acupuncture training institutions and to contribute to safer acupuncture and acupuncture-related procedures worldwide. "Clean Needle Technique has become a standard world wide for the safe practice of acupuncture. The Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, in updating, publishing and distributing the CNT Manual, has contributed to the continued development of acupuncture as an evidenced-based healthcare practice dedicated in safety and efficacy for our patients," states CNT Co-Chair, Dr. Valerie Hobbs.

In conjunction with the release of the updated CNT Manual, CCAHM is also seeking experts to join the CCAHM CNT Subject Matter Expert (SME) Panel. The SME Panel provides a forum and body of experts for reviewing, evaluating, and recommending content, strategies, plans, and policies for creating and implementing the CCAHM CNT course and examinations to the CNT Committee. Interested individuals should demonstrate a high level of expertise in the area of acupuncture needle safety protocol; possess at least 3 years experience in the field (if a licensed acupuncturist); and ideally will have demonstrated experience in exam item writing. Previous completion of CNT is required. Interested candidates may contact Reilly Posey for more information. 


Access and Download the Manual Here


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About CCAHM:

The Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (CCAHM) is a leading association dedicated to promoting excellence in acupuncture and herbal medicine education. Committed to advancing the field and ensuring the highest standards of training, CCAHM collaborates with colleges and practitioners to foster innovation and professional development.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Kristin Richeimer, CAE

Interim Executive Director, CCAHM