tcl wellness center

Acupuncture

  • What is Acupuncture?

    Acupuncture is a form of treatment used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  It is used to encourage natural healing, reduce or relieve pain and improve the functions of affected areas of the body. It is based on the principle that there are energy pathways, called meridians or channels, throughout the body that influence associated internal organs and structures.

    Energy from these pathways surfaces at various points on the body, identified as acupuncture points. Each of these acupuncture points serves as an entrance to the deeper circulatory channels within. Extremely fine needles are inserted at selected points, stimulating these points and thereby activating the body’s natural healing abilities.

  • Does acupuncture hurt?

    Different people experience acupuncture differently, but most feel no or minimal pain as the needles are inserted, and may feel some heaviness and warmth while the needles are in place. Some feel relaxed while others feel energized after the treatment.

     

    What are the benefits of acupuncture?

    Since acupuncture promotes the body’s natural ability to heal itself, most conditions can be corrected or improved significantly. It has been cited by the World Health Organization to treat over forty-three conditions, some of which are listed below (http://tcm.health-info.org/WHO-treatment-list.htm#_treat).

    • Colds , Flu, Bronchitis
    • Asthma
    • High Blood Pressure
    • Ulcers, Colitis, Indigestion, Hemorrhoids, Diarrhea, Constipation
    • Diabetes
    • Ringing of ears, Poor eyesight, Dizziness
    • Sinus infections, Sore throat, Eczema, Acne, Arthritis
    • Sciatica, Back pain, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Stiff neck
    • Bell’s Palsy, Stroke, Cerebral Palsy, Sprains
    • Impotence, Infertility, Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
    • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), Vaginitis
    • Irregular menses or cramping
    • Morning sickness
    • Pre and post-natal care
    • Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Insomnia, S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

     

    Are there any adverse effects or risks to acupuncture treatments?

    In order to prevent the risk of infection of any form, only sterile disposable needles are used during acupuncture treatments. Although it does not happen often, there may be a chance of a small bruise forming around an acupuncture site.

     

    What are the needles like?

    Acupuncture needles are made of stainless steel and are extremely fine. The needles we use range in width from approximately 0.14mm to 0.22mm, and in length from 15 mm to 75mm (hip area). Two or three acupuncture needles would fit inside the barrel of one of the regular hollow needles that western doctors use for injections.

    Is acupuncture covered by insurance plans?

    Yes. Most extended medical plans cover acupuncture therapy. Medical services plan (MSP) is funding acupuncture treatment for people receiving premium assistance (family income below $30,000). MSP contributes $23 per visit for a combined annual limit of 10 visits each year for acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, naturopathy, physical therapy and non-surgical podiatry. (http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp/infoben/benefits.html)

    Extended health benefits vary from plan to plan and usually the coverage for acupuncture therapy is between 70-100% of treatment fees. Please contact your insurance provider in order to be clear on the details of your coverage.

     

    How long is an acupuncture visit?

    Acupuncture needles are made of stainless steel and are extremely fine. The needles we use range in width from approximately 0.14mm to 0.22mm, and in length from 15 mm to 75mm (hip area). Two or three acupuncture needles would fit inside the barrel of one of the regular hollow needles that western doctors use for injections.

     

    How should I prepare for my acupuncture treatment?

    It is not recommended to receive treatment if you are very hungry, overly full stomach and/or extremely tired. Patients should have a small meal or snack before the appointment. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing as selected acupuncture points are located all over the body. Many of the points that are commonly used are located between the wrists and elbows and the ankles and knees. You will be more comfortable if your clothing can be easily rolled up to your elbows and knees. If not, a patient gown will be provided.

    Please bring a list of the current medications you are taking, including any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, vitamins and any lab or medical reports relevant to your condition.

     

    What to expect after my acupuncture treatment?

    Everyone’s response to acupuncture is unique. Some may feel immediate relief, while others may feel a delay. After treatment, be sure to stay hydrated (avoid any cold drink), keep warm and refrain from any strenuous activity, and consumption of alcohol within 6 hours of treatment, as they will interfere with its effectiveness. Please avoid shower, Jacuzzi, sauna or pool for 6 hours after treatment.

    Although it is rare but some may experience lightheadedness, dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, slight bruising, and residual muscle aches after treatment; however, any of these conditions should only last a short time. On rare occasions one’s original symptoms may briefly get worse, or flare up, after a treatment. A flare-up typically occurs later on the day of your treatment and should only last for a few hours. After a flare-up, your symptoms should begin to improve as this is one type of healing response

     

    How many treatments are needed??

    The number of treatments necessary to relieve an illness depends on a variety of factors: your body’s core constitution, your age, your lifestyle, the severity and duration of the condition being treated. The longer the problem is, typically the longer it takes to get lasting results. A person with a complicated medical history may take longer to see results than a person with a simple complaint.

    Most people will begin to see results within 3-10 sessions, with gradual and continuous improvement with regular treatments. It is also important to note that Acupuncture is considered a cumulative medicine, in other words, the treatments build on each other. Continued follow-up care over weeks and months may be needed to further reduce your symptoms and eliminate any reccurrence.