In the seeming rush to maintain schedules, complete paperwork, and keep our patients from waiting, it is easy to allow our Clean Needle Technique (CNT) and hand washing protocols to become lax. We can become complacent and begin to cut corners or forget to maintain our standards. After all, the risk of infection with acupuncture needles is relatively minimal. This is risky business as it greatly increases the risk of infection, which, though low, is an ever-present liability. One way to overcome this potential slackening of our hygiene is to approach cleanliness and CNT as an opportunity to practice mindfulness. As practitioners of East Asian medical traditions we are often taught to consider the effect of our “intent” on the application of needles and to make “mindfulness” a part of our practice, but what does this mean?

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