Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) & Acupuncture
What is Acupuncture?
The body is made up of a system of meridians. Think of these meridians as a road. If a road gets closed, traffic gets heavier and starts to jam (and everyone gets a little angry). This is where I use Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture to help redirect and open up the roads, so everything can flow cohesively and regain balance. Acupuncture points are used as a gateway to access these meridians. Symptoms that you experience (ex/ pain, insomnia, night sweating) give me an insight into which acupuncture points can be used in order to help direct the body back to optimal function.
What can it treat?
The list of what Acupuncture can treat is VAST and listed below are some of the common conditions that it can be used for. Acupuncture can be used to treat immediate symptoms, while we work towards balancing any underlying patterns and working towards regaining normal function.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) & Acupuncture
· Regulating Menstrual Cycles and Painful Periods
· Headaches & Migraines
· Digestive Concerns (Constipation, Irritable bowel, Bloating, Low Appetite)
· Pain (ALL. THE. PAIN.)
· Fertility Concerns & Pregnancy Support
· Supporting Mental & Emotional Health (Anxiety, Fear, Grief, Depression, Stress)
· Menopausal Support (Night Sweating, Hot Flashes)
And the list goes on!
Does it Hurt?
No. Well, it can, briefly.
You can feel slight pain on the insertion of the needle (the fine, thin, teeny tiny needle) or with any manipulation or stimulation of the needle. Some acupuncture points are stronger than others and can elicit a stronger response. Once the needles are inserted (Again, these are fiiiiiine little guys) any pain will subside, quickly. This is where breath work comes in handy – I will prep you with an inhale and insert on an exhale and you just focus on deep breathing.
Normal sensations at the acupuncture point can be itchy, sharp, heavy, warm or absolutely nothing at all.
Acupuncture needles are not the needles you use with injections. Acupuncture needles are super fine, see below for a comparison.
Image sourced from Acu-Smart-Health.
What is an intake and why do I need to it?
Every treatment is targeted to your personal needs. YES, YOU NEED TO DO AN INITIAL INTAKE. During the intake, we take a look at you as a whole –You’ll be asked questions that give me insight into your lifestyle; symptoms you are experiencing; stress and energy levels; diet and bodily functions. We discuss your health history and constitutional weaknesses to provide a TCM diagnosis and form a plan for treatment. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complete system of healing and we look at the body as a whole, targeting your immediate goals while working to balance underlying conditions. The intake is thorough and provides me with all the information I need in order to provide an effective treatment for you! The initial intake will need to be done on your first visit.
During a Treatment
From the intake, I will take the information and form a diagnosis and treatment plan. During the appointment you will typically have both acupuncture and hands on body work/modalities, depending on what is the best fit for you. These modalities can include Cupping; Gua Sha; Tuina (massage or acupressure) and Moxa (heat therapy). Needles are typically left in for 20-25 minutes, where you can be left alone to ACU Nap.
***Traditional Chinese Medicine can be performed without receiving needles by using modalities and a hands on approach.
Is it safe?
Yes! As of 2013, Acupuncture is a regulated health profession in Ontario. I have received my Acupuncture Therapy Diploma after successful completion of a 2200 hour course (500 hours hands on) and follow all health and safety regulations put in place by our Governing Body (CTCMPAO). All the needles used in my practice are single use needles which are safely disposed of in a Medical Sharps container.
Registered Acupuncturist vs Acupuncture Provider/Medical Acupuncture/Contemporary Acupuncture
A Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac) or Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (TCMP - R.Ac+ Herbs) is a Regulated Health professional and holds a valid license. Which means they have completed a 2200 hour course (three-four years of schooling) and successfully passed board exams. As such, a R.Ac is able to provide care that is covered by extended health insurance. Acupuncture is Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been used for THOUSANDS of years.
Acupuncture by any other title (Provider, Medical, Contemporary) is when the use of needling acupuncture points or muscle insertions are used as a modality within the scope of a Regulated Health Care Provider - within Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Masssage Therapy, Osteo, etc. In other words, acupuncture is used as an addition to a treatment that your health practitioner is able to provide. Although still an effective tool - without further training and licensing this is not TCM Acupuncture and can not be billed as Acupuncture.