Frequently Asked Questions~ If you're looking for something and don't see the answer here, feel free to contact me directly.
What can acupuncture treat?
My experience is that acupuncture can safely reduce pain, inflammation and swelling in almost any location; boost immunity; address unresolved trauma; improve digestion; regulate hormones; improve sleep; reduce anxiety and stress; lift depression; and create space for deep relaxation. A short list of the most common things I treat:
PTSD, Trauma-Related Symptoms
Stress, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Depression
Headaches, Migranes, TMJ
Menstrual Irregularities, Menopause
Fertility & Pregnancy Support
Morning Sickness, Labour Induction
Common Colds, Flu, Allergies, Asthma
Digestive Complaints- Indigestion, Acid Reflux, IBS, Nausea
Insomnia, Restless Leg Syndrome
Neck, Shoulder and Back Pain
Tendonitis, Tennis Elbow, Frozen Shoulder
Chronic Pain, Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Neuropathy, MS
Smoking Cessation, Substance Withdrawal Support
Side Effects of Radiation, Chemotherapy, Medications
Acupuncture can also be particularly helpful for managing chronic disease. In these cases, we are often looking to reduce the side effects of medication, and improve quality of life by regulating mood, energy levels and sleep- without creating further side effects!
What can I expect?
Acupuncturists and Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) observe all aspects of a patient to create individualized treatments for a variety of complaints. They may take a medical history, observe your tongue and take your pulse. This helps us to treat a patient holistically, instead of focusing on suppressing a symptom. The goal is moving towards our symptoms with the intent of learning from the body and working for greater integration and health.
The actual insertion of the needles is virtually painless, and once they are in place, the patient is left to rest and heal for as long as they need. A typical acupuncture session may consist of 10-20 needles, which are usually left in place for 20-40 minutes. Treatments may also include Tui Na (Chinese therapeutic massage), Gu Sha (scraping therapy), Cupping, Moxibustion or Electrical stimulation. Upon completion of an acupuncture treatment, people usually feel calm, relaxed and full of well-being.
Does it hurt? Is it safe?
Without exception, the needles used in my practice are sterile, single-use and disposable. Acupuncture needles are also filiform - meaning that unlike hypodermic needles (the ones doctors use) - they come to a very fine point. This ensures that they easily slide through tissue and cause minimal damage. This, combined with the fact that they are about the diameter of a human hair, means that the insertion of acupuncture needles is virtually painless. The most common sensations are that of numbness or tingling at the needled sites. In the rare event that my patients report a sharp sensation, I remove the needle.
I always use clean needle technique, swabbing each point with alcohol before needling. It is impossible to contact blood-borne diseases from an acupuncture treatment. In the rare event that side effects occur, it usually involves mild bruising or slight soreness. Sometimes people feel light-headed after treatment, so it is important to eat something before coming in, and to take it easy directly following a treatment.
If I don't believe in acupuncture, will it still work?
Yes. It's usually best to give people a treatment and allow them to see the results for themselves, rather than try to convince anyone of its validity. Acupuncture works on animals, and even babies... and I'm pretty sure they have no preconceived notions of its effectiveness.
Can I receive a treatment if I'm pregnant?
Yes- and please do! Acupuncture is an ideal therapy for many of the issues that arise during this time of transition, and and is safe in all stages of pregnancy. In the first two trimesters, however, we do avoid certain acupuncture points -so be sure to tell your acupuncturist if you are potentially pregnant. Acupuncture is an effective, drug-free treatment for:
Threatened miscarriage or habitual miscarriage
Morning sickness + digestive issues (ie. heartburn, constipation, hemorrhoids)
Musculoskeletal & nerve pain
Urinary tract infections, frequent urination
Insomnia, anxiety, stress management, depression
Yeast infections, vaginitis, thrush
Skin conditions (hives, rashes, eczema)
Pregnancy-induced hypertension, gestational diabetes
Breech & posterior positioned babies
Pre-birth cervical ripening, labour preparation & labour induction
After baby is born, acupuncture can address and assist with:
Post-partum recovery, musculo-skeletal pain
Sleep issues, insomnia, fatigue/exhaustion
Encouraging breast-feeding, mastitis
Strengthening pelvic floor, incontinence, UTIs
Immune boosting, general wellness