Acupuncture FAQ’s

Acupuncture FAQ’s

How and why does Acupuncture work?

Acupuncture works by restoring the yin and yang imbalance of the body.  Your Acupuncturist uses fine needles that are put into specific points along your body, with the intention of allowing the energy to flow and therefore restoring your health.  There have been several physiological changes observed but no real answer to the mystery of the healing powers of acupuncture.  You just need to try it and enjoy it!  Acupuncture is a well developed whole health care system based on natural energetic laws.

 Is Acupuncture Safe?

Yes, but only when performed by a trained professional. Within Ontario your Acupuncturist should be apart of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario.  Licensed practitioners use sterilized and disposable needles to prevent any risk of communicable diseases.

What should I expect on my first visit?

As with most health practitioners, the first visit to an acupuncturist usually starts with an intake form and a detailed health history. Traditional Chinese Medicine works differently then your average doctor’s visit, you may be asked questions that appear unimportant or weird or silly (questions about your bowel movements, your likes of hot or cold drinks, etc.) but are actually quite vital to the type of care you will receive.  Once your health history has been reviewed, your practitioner will begin diagnosing your ailment.  You will probably be asked to stick out your tongue, as well as an examination of the pulse.  Both are major diagnostic techniques we use in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

With all this information, your practitioner will then determine the cause of your symptoms and depending on the condition, some needles will be inserted into specific acupuncture points on the body, or cupping, or scrapping or moxa will be used.

Does Acupuncture hurt?

Hardly, acupuncture needles are hair thin, and they are not designed to cut the skin. They are not like hypodermic needles!  Acupuncture needles are generally no more than a half inch to an inch within the skin depending on the type of treatment being delivered and the area of the body.  In general, most people find acupuncture very relaxing.

Are there any warnings I should be aware of?

You should always advise your practitioner if you suffer from a communicable disease or are planning to become pregnant so that treatments can be altered to ensure the safety of the patient and the practitioner.

What are the side effects of acupuncture treatments?

Acupuncture treatments may cause temporary light headedness, drowsiness or slight bruising.  This can usually be helped with a sip of tea or a bite to eat.

How many treatments does it take?

This depends on the condition being treated. If your condition is fairly new and short-lasting, you may only need one or two treatments. However, if it is a chronic condition you have had for a long time, you may require 5 to 15 treatments. Some very chronic conditions will require many treatments.

Does it interfere with medications that I am already taking?

Acupuncture and herbal medicines can interfere with allopathic medication.   Please advise your practitioner of prescriptive and non-prescriptive medications that you are taking as it may effect your response to the acupuncture and herbal treatments.

How long are the needles left in place?

Once the needles are inserted, they are left in place for 20 to 40 minutes, again depending on your condition. During this time, you should remain still and relax.

What are the qualifications of the person performing the acupuncture?

Jennifer Redding is a Registered Acupuncturist with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario. In Ontario, one must attend an accredited college and pass a very stringent government exam to practice. Jennifer has fulfilled these requirements and has gone above and beyond her studies in British Columbia and Ontario.  To further her knowledge she studied for over a year in Beijing, China, and worked in Kathmandu, Nepal as a primary practitioner in a rural village. Jennifer has many years experience in both conventional and complementary medicine.

Does OHIP/Extended health insurance cover acupuncture?

OHIP unfortunately does not cover Acupuncture, but most extended health insurance benefits do cover acupuncture treatments. Please contact your provider to obtain details on the extent and conditions of coverage.

We request that you:

  • Please refrain from wearing any perfumes or other strong scents.
  • Turn off your cell phone
  • Blankets will be provided, but feel free to bring your own if that’s more comfortable.
  • Calming music is played throughout the day at the clinic, but feel free to bring your headphones or earplugs if you prefer.
  • Wear loose clothing. The areas that will need to be accessible will be your lower legs and arms, just up past the knees and elbows.  In special cases, such as back/shoulder pain you will be asked to lift or remove your top
  • It’s important to not be overly hungry, so have a small snack before coming to your appointment.
  • Please bring cash for your payment and an additional $10 for your one-time initial intake fee.
  • Note that there is a cancellation fee of $15 for missed appointments, so please call us in advance to let us know if you can’t make it.

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