Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can Chinese medicine help me?
A: Chinese medicine treatment may be able to assist with:
Management of pain, stress and fatigue related to some autoimmune disorders, in consultation with other treating health practitioners
Management of pain, fatigue and nausea related to many chronic diseases
Management of vomiting or nausea arising from chemotherapy
Q: Is Acupuncture safe?
A: Acupuncture and herbs are both an integral part of Chinese medicine practice, which may help patients to manage a range of symptoms including pain, stress and fatigue. Acupuncture is generally considered to be safe but occasionally (as with all health treatments) may be associated with possible adverse reactions in individual cases. The acupuncture needles used are sterile, surgical stainless steel, single-use only and are disposed of straight after use.
Q: Does it hurt?
A: While styles of acupuncture vary, we believe that good acupuncture should not be painful. Acupuncture is often a pleasant and enjoyable experience. In most cases a slight prick is felt upon insertion, usually being replaced by a sensation often described as a dull ache, or a numb, tingling feeling. These sensations pass and are often described as quite comfortable. Some people do not feel the insertion of the needles at all.
Q: How many treatments will I need?
A: This is dependent on the nature and severity of your symptoms. Many acute symptoms normally respond in 2-3 treatments. Other symptoms may require a longer course of treatment.
Q: Does acupuncture work?
A: Research has shown that acupuncture can be used with effectiveness in the treatment of a wide range of conditions, from musculoskeletal and gastronomical issues to mental health, stress, reproductive and gynaecological concerns. Acupuncture has been proven to effectively complement the treatment of conditions such as allergic rhinitis, knee osteoarthritis, headaches and chronic lower back pain.
Q: Why should I try acupuncture?
A: Acupuncture focuses on drug-free pain relief and can be effective in the treatment of a number of acute and chronic ailments. It takes a holistic approach by addressing the underlying cause of the condition, as well as the symptoms. Acupuncture links body, mind and emotions. Acupuncture focuses not only on ailments but assists in the prevention against disease and the maintenance of general well-being.
Q: What is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling?
A: Both modalities involve the placing of needles at specific points in the body, but there are vast differences. Acupuncturists study for a minimum of 4 years and are registered with the CMBA. Acupuncture follows a holistic approach by balancing body, mind and spirit while dry needling focuses only on the affected area. Click here for more information.
Q: What happens at a typical consultation with an acupuncturist?
A: The hallmark of acupuncture practice is holistic individualised treatment. At the initial consultation, practitioners will take a case history by interviewing the patient about their current health concerns, past health conditions and a range of related matters, including diet, lifestyle habits, sleeping patterns, appetite, menstrual cycle, stress reactions and food or other sensitivities. To further identify what are known in traditional Chinese medicine practice as ‘patterns of disharmony’ in the body, the practitioner will observe and note other health indicators such as the colour of the face, the condition of the tongue, the sound of the voice and the characteristics of the radial pulse of the wrist.
Your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you before proceeding with the examination and treatment.
Q: Do i need to do anything before my appointment?
A: Before your first appointment, it would be helpful to fill out your intake form. Please make sure you have eaten before your appointment. You don't want to feel overly full, or show up on an empty stomach. You don't want to feel depleted or have hunger pangs while you are being treated.
I would also advise staying away from coffee or very caffeinated beverages within two hours of your appointment. Coffee is a stimulant and can kick your body into fight-or-flight mode. Acupuncture works to shift you away from that sympathetic (fight-or-flight) state and toward a parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) one.
Q: What should i wear?
A: Please bring loose-fitting clothing with you...shorts and a tank top are best. If you don't have appropriate clothing with you for your appointment, a gown or sheets will be provided to properly drape you. You should never feel uncomfortable at any time during your appointment.
Q: This is my first appointment. what is going to happen?
A: During your first appointment, we will spend a little bit of time discussing the reason you are seeking out treatment. We will go over your intake form and discuss your health history. It is important to gather as much information as I can during this time, as acupuncture treats the whole person, rather than just the one complaint you may have. Some questions may seem weird or irrelevant, but Chinese medicine sees relevance in everything from your parents' health history to sleep habits to whether or not you prefer hot or cold drinks. Everything is connected!
After we chat, I may take your pulse and/or look at your tongue. I will also palpate different areas of the body—areas of pain, meridians, muscle channels, the abdomen. This will further help me assess what is going on in your body in order to come up with a treatment plan that best suits you. I will then insert the needles, during which, I may ask for feedback. Nothing should be painful, but you may start to feel some sensations that we call "qi."
I will walk you through every step of the process and make sure you are comfortable with everything going on. Most people find acupuncture to be very relaxing and sometimes even fall asleep during their treatment!
Q: What about after my treatment?
A: Don't go and run a marathon right after your appointment! Think of your acupuncture treatment as a workout. You will probably feel very relaxed and "sleepy" when you leave so be mindful of that. Drink lots of water and take it easy. I would suggest not hitting the gym or going out and partying like a rock star; but rather enjoy the effects of your treatment by relaxing and taking it easy. This is a restorative moment for your body. Have something nourishing to eat and keep yourself warm. Enjoy the after effects!
Q: How often do i need to see you?
A: The number of appointments you may need can vary depending on your reason for seeking out treatment. More chronic issues will take longer to heal, while acute pain can be treated with few treatments. A lot of people also come in for general well-being, or to manage stress, anxiety and even to boost their immunity. Acupuncture treats the body as a whole and restores balance in both the physical and the emotional.
Q: What if i can't make it?
A: Things happen. We can't always control everything in our lives, but please note my cancellation policy. If you do need to cancel or reschedule, please do so more than 24 hours in advance. You will be charged a fee of $120 for any appointment cancelled within 24 hours. All Monday appointments must be cancelled or rescheduled by noon the Friday before to avoid this charge.