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Acupuncture FAQ




How does acupuncture work?

Modern western medicine cannot yet explain how acupuncture works. Traditional Asian acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of Qi (a fine, essential substance which nourishes and constructs the body) through distinct channels that cover the body such as the nerves and blood vessels. According to the theory, acupuncture adjusts the flow of Qi in the body, leading it to areas where it is insufficient and draining it from areas where it is stuck and/or super-abundant. In this way, acupuncture restores the harmonious balance of the body and its parts. In Chinese, there is a saying, "If there is pain, there is no free flow; if there is free flow, there is no pain." Acupuncture promotes and re-establishes the free flow of Qi.


What kinds of treatment are there in Traditional Chinese Medicine?

The main professionally applied methods of re-establishing balance are Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture/moxibustion. Chinese herbal medicines may be prescribed internally or applied externally. Acupuncture and moxibustion seek to regulate the flow of Qi and blood within the body by either inserting fine, sterile needles at certain acupoints or warming certain acupoints by various methods. In addition, Chinese medicine practitioners may also use tuina, styles of Chinese massage, and they typically counsel their patients on diet and lifestyle, all according to the theories of Chinese medicine.


Is acupuncture safe?

When performed by a competently trained, licensed professional, acupuncture is definitely safe. All licensed acupuncturists today use individually packaged, sterile, disposable needles. So there is virtually no chance of infection or contagion.


Does it hurt?

Acupuncture needles are typically not much thicker than a hair, and their insertion is practically painless. It is nothing like receiving an ordinary injection. In some cases, you will not even know the needles are in place. In others, there may be some tingling, warmth, heaviness, or a feeling of the Qi moving up and down the channels. Most people find acupuncture extremely relaxing, and many fall asleep during treatment.


How many treatments will I need?

That depends on the duration, severity, and nature of your complaint. You may need only a single treatment for an acute condition. A series of 5-10 treatment may resolve many chronic problems. Some degenerative conditions may require many treatments over a period of time. To reduce the number of treatments, your practitioner may suggest dietary modification, specific exercise regimes, relaxation techniques, self-massage, and/or Chinese herbal medicines, all of which may help to increase the efficacy of acupuncture.


Are there different styles of acupuncture?

Acupuncture originated in China but has spread to Korea, Japan, China, Europe, and America. In different countries, different styles have developed based on differing opinions as to theory and technique. Patients should talk to their practitioner about his or her particular style and learn as much as possible the treatment being proposed.


What criteria should I use in choosing a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner?

Prospective patients should ask about where the practitioner trained and for how long he or she has been in practice, and, most importantly, what experience the practitioner has had in treating your specific ailment. Acupuncture is a licensed and regulated health care profession in 3 province in Canada and over 40 states in USA. In addition, the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC (CTCMA) certifies both acupuncturist and Chinese herbal practitioners. Acupuncturists who have passed the CTCMA exam are entitled to R. TCM Practitioner (can treat by acupuncture & Chinese herbal medicine) & R. Ac (can treat by Chinese herbal medicine) after their name


What should I know about the proposed treatments?

Your practitioner will explain the nature of your problem in TCM terms and what treatment he or she is recommending. Your practitioner will tell you what benefits and risks there are to the proposed treatment and what other treatment options are available to you through this practitioner or by referral to another practitioner or physician.


Is there anything I need to do before receiving an acupuncture treatment?

The following suggestions will help you get the maximum benefits from your treatment:


  1. Wear loose clothing. Women should not wear one piece dresses. Avoid wearing tight stocking
  2. Avoid treatment when excessively fatigued, hungry, full, emotionally upset, or shortly after sex

Is there anything I need to do while receiving acupuncture?

  1. Relax. There is no need to be frightened. Ask your practitioner any questions you have along the way so that you can get the most benefit possible from the treatment.
  2. Do not change your position or move suddenly. If you are uncomfortable, tell your practitioner.

What can I expect after treatment?

Patients often experience dramatic results in the first treatment. Some patients experience an immediate total or partial relief of their pain or other symptoms. This relief may last or some pain may return. In a few cases, there may be no immediate relief only to notice the pain diminish over the next couple of days. Generally, you should expect to fell better.


What kind of insurances can be accepted?

ICBC claim, WBC, Traveler Insurance, Extended health plan, MSP in case referral