Frequently Asked Questions

TCM Books1. What should I expect during my first visit?
During your first office visit, Alice may ask you at length about your health condition, lifestyle, and behavior. She will want to obtain a complete picture of your condition. Please Inform Alice about all treatments or medications you are taking and all medical conditions you have. After your consultation, Alice usually prescribes a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, food therapy and/or Tuina therapy.

2. Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is less invasive, more natural, and less liable to adverse effects when performed by a qualified, conscientious Registered Acupuncturist who know the human anatomy well, and insert needles in a safe fashion. The practitioner is well aware of the concern over infectious diseases, and takes every measure to insure cleanliness as all health care professional do.

3. Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture needles are very different from hypodermic needles used for injections. They are very fine and are usually barely felt when inserted. There are certain sensations associated with the therapeutic effects of acupuncture. These may include slight cramping, heaviness, distension, tingling, or an electric sensation traveling along a meridian. If any discomfort is experienced, it is usually mild.
Close-up of Needle
4. Are the needles clean?
All of the needles that Alice uses are pre-sterilized, individually packaged, disposable needles. There is no risk of cross-infection.

5. How deep do needles go?

In general, needles are inserted from 1/4" to 1" in depth. The depth is determined by the anatomy of selected points, patient size, age, and constitution.

6. Do acupuncturists use only needles?
Acupuncturists may use several techniques instead of, or in addition to using needles. These include electric stimulation, cupping, scraping, moxibustion (the burning of a Chinese herb over selected points), and point stimulation using Tuina therapy.

7. How many treatments are necessary?
The nature, severity and history of each individual's complaint determine the optimal number of treatments. Most acute conditions may only require two to three treatments to achieve good results. However, some chronic complaints many need five to fiifteen treatments to achieve good results. The focus of Chinese medicine is on correcting the underlying cause of illness to produce a lasting cure. Symptoms can often be relieved in a small number of treatments, however some illness may be a longer process.

8. Will you work with my Doctor?
Traditional Chinese Medicine can help people who have not been successfully treated using conventional western medicine. With your consent, Alice will share information regarding your care with your doctor or health professionals. She may also request records of tests performed by your doctor (such as blood and urine tests) to aid in her diagnosis and treatment plan.

9. Can I get acupuncture while I am pregnant?
Absolutely. Acupuncture is a great drug-free way to provide relief from many of the discomforts associated with pregnancy, such as: nausea, severe vomiting, fatigue, anxiety, stress, insomnia, bleeding, heartburn, hemorrhoids, pain (back, joint, and pelvic girdle pain), edema/swelling, sciatica, elevated blood pressure, urinary incontinence, headaches/migraines, constipation, and itching. Acupuncture is an excellent way to prepare the mother and baby for labour in overdue cases, and can be used to correct breech position (up to 34 weeks). Acupuncture treatments are also very beneficial after pregnancy, for postpartum issues such as fatigue, depression and anxiety, vaginal discharge, and lactation issues (insufficient or excessive lactation, engorged breasts).

10. Can children get acupuncture, or take Chinese herbs?
Of course! Acupuncture is safe for everyone, at any age. For infants and toddlers, Tuina therapy is often used as a gentler rebalancing remedy.

11. Are TCM and acupuncture covered with my Care Card?
The Provincial Health Plan covers some of the costs for TCM for low-income residents. Many private insurance companies (extended health plans) may cover some costs. If you have an extended health plan, please check to see what is covered and what limitations there may be.