FAQ

Acupuncture

Simple answer, Yes! Thousands of people can testify to the dramatic results that can often be obtained through the profoundly relaxing services of Acupuncture. Most people have either experienced acupuncture or know of someone who has had acupuncture… so ask around.

Success depends on many factors such as the general health of the patient, the severity and duration of the illness, and how their condition has been managed in the past. No two people are the same and it is one of the big strengths of acupuncture that we treat people individually to get results specific for them.

Most people will tell you that acupuncture is sublimely relaxing and that you don’t feel the needles at all, and others may tell you something different…so, does it hurt?

When many people think of needles, what comes to mind are the big syringes used for taking blood, or perhaps painful memories of being in hospital and having tests done. Acupuncture needles are very fine, and they are often described as being not much thicker than a strand of human hair. Insertion of the needle is usually completely painless, although occasionally you do feel something. Depending on what is being treated and the needle technique involved, you may feel a mild ache, numbness, or an ‘Alive’ sensation at the needle. This isn’t unpleasant and is a sign that the acupuncture is doing its job; that is, facilitating the flow of Qi and enhancing circulation.

Generally speaking, if a person does feel any pain or discomfort, it usually happens while the acupuncturist is “manipulating” the needles which involve twisting or tapping the needle for a few seconds until there is a mild ache in the area. Other than that, there can be a pricking sensation when the needle is inserted, and may contact a small nerve, usually however this is very transient and generally, people feel very little.

Keep in mind though that what a person feels during acupuncture depends on many factors, such as the needle location (for example, the back of the hand is more sensitive than the low back), the condition being treated, and the technique of the acupuncturist. The practitioner will always consider these elements to ensure your experience is as relaxing and as pain-free as possible.

It should be made clear that your comfort and relaxation are paramount and we will do anything we can to facilitate this. Everyone has a different comfort level and this is respected by all acupuncturists. Having acupuncture treatment shouldn’t elicit the perception of fear but rather help facilitate healing to its fullest potential. If you still are apprehensive about needles, bear in mind, we can always try Tui Na massage, cupping or moxibustion. Please refer to the relevant sections on the site for more information about these methods.

The procedure can be as short as 30 minutes and up to 1.5 hours. With every patient, our practitioners take great care in doing a thorough intake to ensure that we have a good understanding of the patient’s current state of health.

Most often, you will not bleed when the needles are taken out. Occasionally we may see a drop of blood due to a tiny vessel unseen just under the skin surface. The bleeding is stopped quickly with light pressure and a cotton ball. This should not be a concern.

This depends on what you want to be addressed, how long it’s been present and your general state of health. Typically, short-term (acute) problems will respond within just a few treatments, while longer-term (chronic) problems may take up to twelve or more treatments before consistent, sustainable changes occur.

Likely not, but this also depends on the reason(s) you’re getting treated in the first place. Many people continue lifelong treatment because it enhances quality of life and helps give them optimal well-being.

As a rule of thumb, acupuncture is extraordinarily forgiving, and so the answer to this question is usually, yes. But let’s look at this a little more closely.
In our experience the ‘therapy’ part of this question is usually taking medication, taking part in physical therapy, massage therapy or chiropractic. In these cases acupuncture doesn’t need to be done by itself. In fact, the benefits of acupuncture treatments are often seen clearly through the experience of other therapies, which amplify the healing potential through a synergistic effect.

It is a common misconception that acupuncture is just about pain relief. It is true that acupuncture can be used in this way, however when it is performed well, it can cause both structural and functional changes in our bodies. For example, in the treatment of back pain, acupuncture needles are inserted into problematic areas and will cause the muscles to relax. As the muscle relaxes there will be a subtle change in the spinal vertebrae since the muscle is no longer pulling it out of alignment. As the spine moves, another area in the back may tighten up and this is treated accordingly. Thus it is possible to unravel a ‘holding pattern’ that will have formed due to a combination of poor posture, stress, injuries, etc. This is an example of acupuncture causing structural changes.

Acupuncture is a very safe when it is performed by qualified Registered Acupuncturist. Our Acupuncturists all have over 1000 hours of clinical experience and know to avoid dangerous areas on the body that can potentially put the patient’s wellbeing at risk.

Acupuncture is the most effective when performed on a patient who is calm and relaxed. Therefore, it is recommended that patients arrive 10-15 minutes earlier to relax and catch a breath before the treatment begins. It is also recommended that patients wear loose clothing for their own comfort.

Most likely yes, if you can make it into the clinic. If you are vomiting or have a high fever for example, that’s probably not the best time to come in. But if you are just feeling unwell or are coming down with a cold, those are great reasons to come in and get treated, as acupuncture can reduce the duration of a cold or stop it from progressing.

It is always advised to confer with your provider to find out if our services are covered; doing so maximizes your ability to fully utilize what you have been paying into all these years. It is advised you give them a phone call, or ask us to do so on your behalf. We can provide an estimate which you can submit to confirm. Most insurance policies offer a limited sum of money for complementary medicine that has proven to be effective, such as Acupuncture.

It is generally not an issue for patient’s who are on blood thinners to receive acupuncture treatment. In fact, the idea of getting acupuncture to increase circulation, to ease the tension in the soft tissues – including the blood vessels – is something that can be especially valuable for people with cardiac and/or vascular difficulties. We treat patients on a case by case basis, please kindly let our practitioner know ahead of time if you are taking any prescription medications.

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Osteopathic Manual Therapy

The spine holds our bodies together and it is also the connection to health throughout the entire body. Osteopathy as a practice was founded by Andrew Taylor Still in 1874. The practice of Osteopathy works on the theory that diseases are due largely to abnormalities in the musculoskeletal system. The school of Osteopathy believes that a problem in the spine will send abnormal signals and create imbalances in a person’s organs and muscles. Osteopathic manual practitioners believe that everything from lower back pain to fibromyalgia, headaches, and IBS can be treated by working directly on the musculoskeletal system.

Osteopathic manipulations are similar to chiropractic manipulations. Chiropractors, though, generally focus on the spine, whereas Osteopathic Manual Therapists work with the entire musculoskeletal system. Myo-fascial release works to loosen and release the connective tissues around the muscles.

Osteopathic treatments are covered by many extended healthcare package of major insurance companies. To be sure, please check your insurance policy to ensure that you have coverage.

Comfortable, flexible and non-restrictive clothing are preferred as some therapeutic manipulation may require the patient to perform full range of motion (ie. Shorts, flexible pants or leggings, t-shirts).

The patient usually will not be asked to remove any article of clothing unless the practitioner needs to access specific areas of the trunk and pelvic area.

Yes, osteopathic manual therapy can be done in conjunction with acupuncture or herbal medicine to maximize the efficacy of the treatment. If the patient is taking medication, please inform the practitioner prior to the treatment. The practitioner may have to adjust the manipulation to accommodate the patient’s conditions.

In the first session, you will be asked about your chief complaint and relevant information in regards to your condition and health history. An osteopathic assessment will be done to examine your posture and condition. The practitioner will then discuss a treatment plan with the patient which will be followed by a treatment. Typically the first session will range from 1 to 1.5 hours.

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Naturopathic

Naturopathic Doctors are the experts in natural medicine. Naturopathic medicine differs from allopathic medicine in philosophy and therefore strategy of treatment. Rather than suppressing symptoms, the goal of our N.Ds is to identify and treat the cause of symptoms in order to allow the body to return to health. Our N.Ds spend more time with patients in comparison to the average M.D and also focus on patient education to promote prevention of illness in the future.

Definitely. The great thing about paying for your health care is that you have control. You’ll spend more time with the doctor, have all your questions answered, and have a treatment plan personalized to you.

The goal of naturopathic treatment is to treat the root cause, not just symptoms, and the ultimate goal is to achieve true wellness and prevent chronic disease in the future. Effective treatment now will save a lot of time, money, and energy down the road.

Most extended health care plans offer coverage for naturopathic medicine. Please check with your insurance carrier and request coverage it if is not provided. After each visit you will be provided with an invoice to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

Everyone can benefit from naturopathic medicine, which focuses on treating people, not diseases. Naturopathic medicine treats all ages and kinds of patients; newborns, children, adults (both men and women), and the elderly.

Naturopathic medicine can be used to treat both acute conditions (such as colds/flus, fever, minor injuries, and migraines) and chronic conditions (such as fatigue, endocrine imbalances, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, neurological disorders, and mood disorders). Naturopathic medicine is also a great support to optimize health through life transitions (such as weight loss, puberty, menopause, pregnancy, and aging) or adjunctive care to support conventional medical treatments.

Many people seek out a naturopathic doctor because they have wellness goals that they have been unable to achieve alone, or via conventional medicine, or simply because they would like to learn more about their health.

The first visit is 90 minutes and consists of an in-depth intake during which we will discuss your health concerns and goals and an assessment which includes a screening physical exam. During the first visit we will spend most of the time listening in order to understand and prioritize your health needs. At the end of this visit we will have clear priorities, goals, and you will leave with some preliminary treatment recommendations to follow until the second visit.

Definitely. I believe that working as part of a team is the best way to support patients and I work with other health care providers to ensure that you receive the best possible care. Please bring the contact information for your other providers to your first appointment and copies of any recent lab work if possible.

Naturopathic medical training includes education in pharmacology including interactions of pharmaceutical medications with herbs, vitamins, and even foods and managing side effects of medications. Please bring a list of current medications and supplements with you to your appointment so that I may take these into account in your treatment plan.

Yes, we can! Naturopathic doctors can order lab work, interpret the results, and use this information to create an appropriate treatment plan. Lab work ordered by a naturopathic doctor is not covered by OHIP. If you have copies of any recent lab work from another health care provider, please bring a copy to your appointment if possible.

I believe in creating a treatment plan tailored to your situation and needs and therefore treatment will take a different amount of time for each person. It is impossible to say precisely how long treatment will take due to the many factors and variables that affect health, however, this is something that we can discuss during our appointments, as well as ways to track progress and achievement of your goals as treatment progresses.

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Cupping

Cupping should not be a painful process. The therapy generally does not induce pain to the patient unless there are underlying health issues. The pressure of the cup can be adjusted to accommodate to the threshold of the patient. Patients often report a feeling of relaxation.

The marks is a result of the suction of the cups. The quality of marks tells us the different things about the state of the patient’s health. Some marks are darker than others which may indicate poor circulation. The marks are not supposed to be painful and will usually disappear within 3-6 days.

People with muscle tension, pain and circulation issues may experience good results with cupping therapy.

People with a weak constitution, low blood pressure, Thrombosis, Varicose Veins should consult the practitioner before starting the treatment.

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