What is Acupuncture?
When people hear the word “acupuncture”, they almost always think of pain and needles. “I hate needles!” they think. We all do. But acupuncture is not about needles or pain. It is about tapping into the energy flowing through your body, generated by your bloodstream and the workings of all your systems and organs. All that activity going on in your body processes generates energy, known as “Qi” or “Chi”.
Acupuncture is a practice which arises out of understanding how and where that energy is flowing in your body, and it addresses specific problems that arise when that energy is blocked. In acupuncture, very fine stainless steel needles are skillfully inserted into energy meridians of the body, away from blood vessels and nerves.
The needles are only inserted a maximum of 1 cm into key locations where they affect specific areas of the body. Once the needles have been inserted, the patient is typically left for 20-30 minutes, and during that time, the energy flows in the body are altered and improved.
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Traditional Chinese Medicine encompasses a group of “modalities” or treatments, including acupuncture, herbal medicines, and cupping.
For thousands of years, the Chinese have been refining their knowledge and understanding of how the body works.
While western medicine is based on understanding the body in terms of anatomy alone – the arrangement of the muscular-skeletal, digestive, reproductive, circulatory, and nervous systems – Traditional Chinese Medicine has an entirely different approach. It is based on understanding of the body, not as distinct anatomical parts and systems, but rather, as an integration of energy and matter.
Twentieth century quantum physics has helped western science to catch up with this fundamental understanding. According to Einstein who founded modern quantum physics, all matter is energy. Therefore the body is energy. Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on this understanding.
What is the point? Science and acupuncture
Is there scientific evidence and proof that acupuncture works? Is this 2,000 year old Chinese practice a hoax? More and more western academics and physicians are conducting scientific studies to determine if acupuncture actually is effective. Some of the most recent research, conducted by neuroscientists at the University of York in England, determined that acupuncture causes de-activation of areas of the limbus in the core of the brain. Using a powerful Tesla MRI machine, they obtained images which show the direct link between acupuncture needles and pain relief in the brain.
Western medicine and science is slowly waking up to what the Chinese have known for 2000 years. For some health problems, acupuncture is remarkably effective.
The body is energy and energy flows throughout the body. Acupuncture is the insertion of needles into the meridians of energy which flow throughout the body, which results in unblocking the flow of energy (and fluids, hormones, blood) to release the body’s healing properties and its own pain management.
“Energy flows where intent goes.”
Answering Clinical Questions Improves Patient Safety
What will my Acupunturist do?
During the initial exam a full health history will be taken. Questions will be asked regarding symptoms, health and lifestyle. Your acupuncturist also may check pulses and your tongue and may conduct a physical exam. This information is then organized to create a complete, accurate and comprehensive diagnosis of where Qi has become blocked or imbalanced. After the interview process, you may receive an acupuncture treatment. Visits with your acupuncturist may last from thirty to
Why Do They Want To Feel My Pulse?
There are twelve pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for twenty-seven individual qualities that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.
Why Do They Want To Look At My Tongue?
The tongue is a map of the body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue.
Why Did My Acupuncturist Recommend Herbs?
Herbs can be a powerful adjunct to acupuncture care. They are used to strengthen, build and support the body or to clear it of excess problems like a cold, fever or acute pain. Your practitioner may suggest starting with herbs and then adding acupuncture to your treatment in the future. This is suggested to build up your internal strength so you can receive the full benefits acupuncture has to offer.
Is Acupuncture Safe For Children?
Yes. In some instances children actually respond more quickly than adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, your acupuncturist may massage the acupuncture points. This is called acupressure or tuina.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month to see significant changes.
Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem and the quality and quantity of your Qi. An acupuncturist may suggest one or two treatments per week, or monthly visits for health maintenance and seasonal “tune ups”.
How Much Does It Cost?
Acupuncture Fee Schedule
Acupuncture Assessment $147.00
Acupuncture Treatment $ 94.50
Acupuncture Treatment Package $504.00
(6 treatments, $10 savings per treatment)
*Prices include GST
Payment is due at time of treatment.
99.5% of health plans cover Acupuncture, but check with your insurance provider before your first visit.
Does my health plan cover Acupuncture?
Most health plans cover acupuncture. Contact your insurance provider to learn what kind of care is covered. Here are a few questions to ask:
- Will my plan cover acupuncture?
- How many visits per calendar year?
- Do I need a referral?
- Do I have a co-pay?
- Do I have a deductible?
- If yes, has it been met?
How Should I Prepare?
- Write down and bring any questions you have. We are here to help you.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points.
- Do not eat large meals just before or after your visit.
- Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs or alcohol for up to six hours after the visit.
- Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax, and be sure to get plenty of rest.
- Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, or changes in the frequency and type of problems.
How Safe Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no side effects just feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.
Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems.
Here is a list of health concerns that acupuncture can effectively treat:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Chronic fatigue
- Common cold
- Dental pain
- Digestive trouble
- Emotional problems
- Eye problems
- Facial palsy
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Low back pain
- Menstrual irregularities
- Morning sickness
- Reproductive problems
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Shoulder pain
- Sleep disturbances
- Smoking cessation
- Sore throat
- Tennis elbow
- Tooth pain
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Urinary tract infections
- Wrist pain