Acupuncture is the insertion of thin, sterile, single-use needles into specific points on the body in order to influence the flow of Qi (pronounced chee) and Blood within the meridians of the body. Qi, also known as bio-energy, Vital Life Force, or Prana, flows in predictable patterns through channels of energy in the body called meridians.
Interruptions in the usual flow of Qi and Blood results in emotional distress and physical pain. Long term Qi stagnation, overwork, poor diet, substance abuse, pathogenic factors, and extremes or changes in climate can lead to internal disharmonies which can be expressed in a myriad of possible signs and symptoms.
Some of the diseases, symptoms, and conditions that, according to the World Health Organization, acupuncture has been proven -through controlled trials- to be an effective treatment for include but are not limited to:
Low back pain Knee pain
Sprains Tennis/golfer’s elbow
Facial pain Allergic Rhinitis
Depression Rheumatoid Arthritis
Adverse reaction of radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
Does it hurt?
The quick answer is no. It’s very normal to feel ‘needling sensations’ such as warmth, buzzing, distention or heaviness. But one shouldn’t feel sharpness or pain with the needles. Our acupuncturist uses only single use, high-quality needles for maximum ease in insertion.
Who are your acupuncturists?
Jessica Stankowski has many years of practicing Traditional acupuncture since 2012, as well as Craniosacral therapy and acutonics. She also has a background in psychology. Her warm, positive demeanor will put you at ease immediately and you will realize you are in good hands.
Lance Smith is a Registered Acupuncturist and has 11 years of experience practicing Classical acupuncture. His style has evolved into one that incorporates a combination of hand’s on bodywork and acupuncture needling to achieve physical balance and relief from pain. Lance has a deep understanding of western medical physiology and eastern body energetics which allows him to draw from many modalities in order to treat a diverse range of conditions. He also does acupressure massage as a standalone treatment, and this can be claimed under your acupuncture benefits.
Western Medicine hasn’t given me an official diagnosis yet, can I still get acupuncture?
Certainly. Your presentation of symptoms is very important to our acupuncturists. They will carefully assess your description of symptoms as well as their findings from taking your pulse and looking at your tongue to come up with a unique diagnosis in Classical Chinese Medicine. A Western medical diagnosis can help guide some questions but will not limit the discussion.
I have had acupuncture before but it was from my Physiotherapist/Chiropractor. What’s the difference?
In recent years, Physiotherapists and Chiropractors have helped bring acupuncture to the masses. The difference from having acupuncture from a Physiotherapist or Chiropractor versus a Registered Acupuncturist is their level of education in the particular field of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Most Physiotherapists and Chiropractors have received a few weekend courses on acupuncture and there is no licensing exam. All Registered Acupuncturists (RAc) have taken, at minimum, a 3 year program as well as successfully completed the Canadian licensing exam.
I REALLY don’t want needles, is there any other way I can benefit from Chinese Medicine?
With our acupuncturists, Classical & Traditional Chinese Medicine can be applied with acupressure massage & laser therapy if you are squeamish about needling. (Acupressure massage would be claimed under your acupuncture benefits.)
I don’t really have anything ‘wrong’ with me, can I still benefit from acupuncture?
Yes. There is a difference between optimal health and just being free from disease. Acupuncture helps bring the body into balance allowing you to function at your optimal state. Boosting immune during cold and flu season, improving quality of sleep and helping relieve stress are just a few of the many benefits that come with acupuncture.
Western Medicine can’t find anything wrong with me but I still have symptoms. Can acupuncture help?
Sometimes people can have symptoms that are at the “subclinical” level – meaning they are very real to the patient but do not yet show up on Western lab tests like blood work or ultrasounds. This is no problem for Chinese medicine, since one’s subjective experience of the problem is a very important diagnostic tool. After all, Western lab tests didn’t exist thousands of years ago when Chinese medicine was first practiced.
Are the needles sterilized?
Yes. The needles used are single-use, individually packaged, sterile surgical stainless steel. After the treatment, when the needles are removed, they are placed in a sharps container to be disposed.
Can I have acupuncture if I am undergoing other Treatments?
Absolutely. There are no other treatments contraindicated with acupuncture. In fact, since the body so complex, it’s best to address an issue from multiple angles. Whatever you find beneficial, keep it up! The team approach always gets the best results.
Are acupuncturists regulated?
Yes, fully licensed and regulated.
What are the logistics of receiving acupuncture? How often will I need to have a treatment?
The first appointment is always the longest. It is important for the acupuncturist to gather as much information about your condition in order to make an accurate diagnosis and then treatment plan. Once this is established, it’s best to get a number of treatments in a relatively short period of time. This can look different for different people and different conditions. Typically it begins with weekly treatments for a couple of weeks with the goal to get to monthly maintenance treatments. Follow-up visits involve a quick check-in with updates of symptoms and the doctor will again take your pulse and look at your tongue. It’s best to have a light meal just prior to treatment and wear loose fitting clothing.
How long until I see results?
That really depends on the condition. Acute issues tend to respond quicker than more chronic concerns.
Does my insurance cover this?
Most likely. Often people have acupuncture covered by extended health benefits and there is usually a separate amount reserved just for acupuncture. Acupressure massage would also be covered under your acupuncture benefits.