Frequently Asked Questions

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most widely adopted healing practices in China. The treatment originated in China more than 4000 years ago. It involves the insertion of fine acupuncture needles into the various points of the body. The needles are subsequently manipulated by hand or by electrical stimulation to regulate various internal systems. Acupuncture has been used to treat a wide range of medical conditions illness, from chronic pain, to rehabs for MVA No-Fault injuries and work/sports related injuries, as well as arthritis; fibromyalgia; asthma; allergy; stress; anxiety; quit smoking; digestive issues; fertility; recovery from Cancer, side effects of chemo and radiation, and much more.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture was developed by the Chinese with over 4000 years of clinical observations. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the body stores two opposing and inseparable energy forces: ying and yang. Ying represents the cold, slow or passive energy, and yang represents the hot, fast or active force. Any disruption or inbalance in the two states of energy leads to blockage of qi (vital energy) along the meridians (pathways) in the body. This blockage consequently causes various diseased states. It is believed that there are 12 main meridians (pathways) and 8 secondary meridians. There are more than 361 acupuncture points on the human body along these meridians. According to TCM, acupuncture works by stimulating the various points along the meridians, and opening blockages along the meridians. This process restores the flow of energy and the balance of energy forces within the body. At present, it is still difficult to fully explain the mechanism of acupuncture in the framework of Western allopathic medicine. However, a number of studies sponsored by the National Institute of Health have shed light on this ancient treatment modality. It is suggested that acupuncture regulates the nervous system and the immune system. Through the use of MRIs and other modern imaging devices, it has been shown that acupuncture can also alter brain chemistry by affecting the release of neurotransmitters (e.g. endorphins) and hormones. The release of these chemicals can help to regulate downstream body functions, such as boosting the immune system and normalizing blood pressure.

How widely is acupuncture used in the United States?

Acupuncture was first introduced in the United States in 1971 by a New York Times reporter who described Chinese physicians using acupuncture needles to ease his pain after surgery. Over the past few decades, acupuncture treatment has gained wider acceptance in the United States as an adjudicative, or even main, treatment modality for many medical conditions and illness. An estimated 10.6 million U.S. adults had used acupuncture in the past year, according to the National Health Interview Survey in 2009.

IS ACUPUNCTURE SAFE?

Yes. Acupuncture treatment is safe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved acupuncture needles in 1996. Here at our clinic, we only use extremely fine, sterile, disposable acupuncture needles. In the hands of experienced practitioners, acupuncture treatment is a safe and effective procedure.

DO I NEED A DOCTOR'S REFERRAL?

No. You do not require a referral from your doctor. Both acupuncture and massage therapy treatment can be initiated without a referral; however, check with your insurance provider if they require a referral for reimbursement of fees.

DO YOU ACCEPT INSURANCE?

Yes, we accept all insurance, including auto accident injury benefits and WSIB work related injuries benefits. Please check with your insurance company or your work benefits about the coverage for acupuncture or massage. For most insurance company, we can bill them directly for our acupuncture and/or massage service, or we will work with you to submit the required documentation so that you can be reimbursed. Why not benefit from your insurance coverage for acupuncture or massage? Don’t let it expire unused!

WHAT KIND OF ACUPUNCTURE NEEDLES DO YOU USE?

We only use disposable needles that are high quality and sterile.

WHAT DOES ACUPUNCTURE FEEL LIKE? IS IT PAINFUL?

Acupuncture needles are less than 1/10 the thickness of the standard injection needles your medical Doctor use. When inserted, you may experience a variety of sensations including: heaviness, warmth, or tingling near or along the meridians where needles have been placed. These sensations are known as “de qi” or “arrival of qi.” In traditional Chinese medicine, these feelings are indications that your body is responding to the treatment. Most people find it relaxing.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING MY FIRST VISIT?

At your first visit to our clinic, we will ask about your specific health complaints, as well as your general lifestyle, diet, and family health history. Knowing this information will help us to successfully diagnose your condition, treat your entire body not just your symptoms and improve your overall health and wellness. Please bring a list of any medications and recent lab tests for your conditions.

WHAT DO I NEED FOR MY FIRST APPOINTMENT?

When attending your first appointment please bring along any referral letters, reports, or scans, if you have these. Please also bring your insurance card, if you have extended health benefits, so that we might be able to bill your insurance directly for you.
If your condition is the result of an automobile accident or work injury, we will require your claim number and case manager’s name and contact, so that we can direct bill for you.

There will be paperwork to complete before your first appointment. Please show up 5 minutes early to complete this.

HOW SOON CAN I GET IN?

We do our best to work around your schedule. If you have an open schedule, you can most likely get in the same day or the next day.

HOW LONG ARE The TREATMENTS?

The time of each appoint will depend on a variety of factors such as the type and location of injury. Typically treatments are between 30 minutes to 60 minutes.

HOW MANY APPOINTMENTS WILL I NEED?

The effectiveness of acupuncture treatment varies for each patient, depending on the severity, nature and chronicity of the condition. Furthermore, Acupuncture treats the whole person and not just symptoms. Hence, an individual’s diet, lifestyle, surroundings and mental state also play roles in the healing process. At your first initial assessment, we will assess your condition and will discuss a treatment plan with you and we will communicate with you along the way to make sure you are comfortable with the treatment plan.

WHAT IS CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE?

Chinese herbal medicine is a key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Its use for medicinal purposes probably pre-dates the use of acupuncture. In the past, Chinese physicians would prescribe a combination of different herbal ingredients. These herbs are brewed into a tea, or make into pills. Today, pre-made herbal formulas are manufactured in the form of pills, tablets or concentrated powders. This improvement eliminates the need to cook the herbs and ensures consistent quality of herbs and easy administration of herbal remedies.