How safe is Chinese medicine?When practiced by trained, qualified professionals, Chinese medicine is very safe. Acupuncture needles are packaged in sterile units and are discarded after a single use, so there is little to no chance of infection from needles. Chinese herbs, while extremely effective when administered correctly, are generally not as powerful as Western drugs and have dramatically fewer side effects. Reported incidents of malpractice and doctor-caused disease (iatrogenic disease) are much higher for Western medicine than for Chinese medicine. In fact, while malpractice insurance rates for Western M.D.s have skyrocketed over the past decade, malpractice insurance rates for licensed acupuncturists have actually gone down.