Frequently Asked Questions
How does Acupuncture work?
That can differ depending on whether you want the eastern or western perspective? From a western viewpoint, the acupuncture needles stimulate neurotransmitters to release chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin providing our bodies with natural pain relief. From an eastern viewpoint, our bodies run on energy called “Qi” pronounced “chee”, which circulates the blood, chemicals, hormones and nutrient in our body. Acupuncture stimulates the flow of Qi energy to provide proper function and balance in our mind and body.
Is Acupuncture effective or simply a Placebo effect?
There are numerous experiments and researches done through out the decades suggesting that acupuncture stimulation desensitizes or reduces activation in the cortical areas that are believed to be involved with pain signal processing, acupuncture stimulation regulates hormone, endocrine & blood vessels activities to reduce pathological inflammation and acupuncture stimulation regulates neurotransmitters in brain activities.
Does acupuncture hurt? What are the needles like?
In short, Acupuncture therapy doesn’t hurt. Naturally people associate needle pain with their past experience with hypodermic needles. You can fit close to 10 acupuncture needles inside the tip of one hypodermic needle.
Acupuncture needles are sterile, disposable, and ultra- thin. People experience acupuncture treatments differently, but the most common sensation you can expect to feel include heaviness, pressure, tingling, energy traveling or a deep ache similar to a sore muscle. This pain will dissipate after a minute or two as the needle opens up the energy blockage. Many People find acupuncture very relaxing and often fall asleep.
I've 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. 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.
What Can I Expect from An Acupuncture Treatment?
You will meet with your practitioner for an in-depth conversation about your signs and symptoms and your comprehensive health history. You may be asked some questions about your diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Depending on your condition, your practitioner may ask you to lie down on a treatment table and any insertion sites will be cleaned with alcohol. After inserting the needles we leave you to rest for 15 to 30 minutes, but may return for occasional adjustment of the needles. Undressing is seldom necessary for acupuncture treatments but you should wear loose, comfortable clothes that provide easy access to your knees and elbows.
If you are receiving an herbal formula, your practitioner will explain the formula to you, ask you questions about food and medication allergies, and explain the different pricing options.
At the end of the treatment, your practitioner will discuss your treatment plan, which includes any herbal formulas you may receive, nutritional advice, and the plan for your continuing acupuncture treatments.
How many treatments will I need?
Each patient is different. The initial phase of the treatment plan is usually between 4-10 visits. Depends on how long the condition has been present and how quickly the patient responds to treatment. Generally if a condition is more acute, patients respond faster than if something has been chronic. Others choose this is their primary modality of healthcare and will come in for ‘Yearly Check-ups’ to make sure their health remains optimal.