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  • What conditions does acupuncture treat?
    Chinese medicine addresses a wide range of concerns, and is also commonly employed as preventative medicine. Some examples of where it may support you include: Digestive health, such as constipation, loose stools, bloating, pain, acid reflux, nausea, and vomiting. Mental-emotional health, such as depression, anxiety, emotional pain, stress, and irritability. Gynecological health, such as irregular menstrual cycles, irregular menstrual bleeding (profuse or scanty), premenstrual tension such as irritability or breast tenderness, menstrual pain, morning sickness, fertility support, and perimenopausal support. Pain such as headaches, muscle tension, acute or chronic pain, joint pain, numbness or tingling, and sciatica. Respiratory health, such as the common cold, seasonal allergies, sinusitis, asthma, and shortness of breath. General health, such as insomnia, fatigue, circulatory issues, urinary issues, male impotence or infertility, and dermatological conditions. Evidence Based Acupuncture lists conditions for which there is evidence of acupuncture having a positive effect to treat: The World Health Organisation lists a wide variety of diseases or disorders for which acupuncture therapy has been tested in controlled clinical trials:
  • Can I receive acupuncture when I am healthy?
    Yes! Acupuncture is also commonly employed as preventative medicine; actually it shines when used in this capacity! Incorporating acupuncture treatments into your regular self-care routine helps one to manage the stresses of daily life, allows one's energy to stay harmonized throughout the seasonal changes, and minor ailments may be resolved before they manifest into chronic problems. Additionally, regular acupuncture treatments helps someone to become more embodied, more tuned into their bodies needs so they can sense when to slow down and focus more on their self-care practices.
  • Does acupuncture hurt?
    Pain is not a desired sensation during treatment. Instead, the typical normal sensations felt during acupuncture include a sense of heaviness, tingling, dull aching, a radiating sensation, or a feeling of warmth. These sensations are called "de qi", and indicate a positive reaction to treatment. Most patients grow to enjoy the various sensations felt during an acupuncture treatment, and find it quite relaxing. I like to keep an open dialogue with patients, so if you have any concerns please let me know and we will discuss the treatment every step of the way.
  • What can I expect on my first appointment?
    Before: After booking your treatment, you will be emailed an intake form to complete before our session via a secure, online charting platform. Before your visit it is best to eat a small meal or snack, and arrive well hydrated. Please avoid the consumption of caffeine and alcohol prior to your appointment. If you intend on exercising this day, try to do it in the morning before your appointment. If possible, it is best to wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing. If this is not possible, not to worry, we will use draping techniques. ​ During: Our first session together is 90-minutes. We will get to know how you are doing, what your current concerns are, and what your goals for treatment are. We will discuss your lifestyle habits, how you are sleeping, what your emotional state is, how your bowel movements are, and more. Seemingly unrelated information is often intimately connected to your chief concern in Chinese medicine. This means if you come in for reoccurring headaches, I may inquire about your digestion or your menstrual cycle. Then Chinese medical diagnostic procedures will occur such as feeling your pulse, observing your tongue, and palpating your acupuncture channels. We will discuss your current state of health under the lens of Chinese medicine, and outline a treatment plan. This includes what we will do together such as acupuncture, massage, cupping, and/or gua sha. It also includes what you may do on your own, such as taking a prescribed Chinese herbal formula, or adopting dietary and lifestyle suggestions. This is followed by an acupuncture treatment. You will rest and relax for approximately 30-minutes once the needles are in. Most people find this time very relaxing, and often have a little sleep. 60-minute follow-up visits are similar with a briefer check-in about any changes, and then an acupuncture treatment. ​ After: Because an acupuncture treatment will take place during our first visit together, it is ideal to schedule some time for yourself after the treatment, if possible. This allows you to integrate the treatment, and elongates the feelings of deep relaxation one typically feels after an acupuncture treatment. Drink plenty of warm fluids, take a gentle walk if the weather permits, and be mindful of any mental stimuli you engage with.
  • Do I have to specify if I want cupping, guasha, or herbs when booking?
    No you do not! I only take appointments for initial consults or follow-up sessions. Together we decide what is best for you. Typically an acupuncture treatment is performed and if beneficial, herbal medicines will be prescribed. Cupping, guasha, massage, and medical qigong are not seen as add-on services in my practice, but a integral part of your treatment which will be included when appropriate. I do not charge extra for these modalities. However if herbal medicines are prescribed, the herbs themselves are an extra fee.
  • How should I prepare for my treatment? What should I wear?
    Before your visit, it is best to ensure you have eaten a small meal or snack before your appointment, and are well hydrated. Please try to avoid the consumption of caffeine and alcohol prior to your appointment. If you intend on exercising this day, try to do it in the morning before your appointment. If possible, it is best to wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing. If this is not possible, not to worry, we will use draping techniques.
  • How many treatments will I need?
    This varies according to what we are working on, how long it has been present, and an individuals constitution. Generally, we can say the following: Acute conditions: 2 - 5 treatments is ideal. Chronic conditions: 6 - 8 treatments is ideal. Because some chronic conditions cannot be cured, the goal is to help support one's condition with ongoing treatment. The benefits of acupuncture treatments are cumulative, therefore it is ideal to begin by seeing each other twice per week to gain momentum for one to two weeks. As we see improvements, we space the treatments out to once per week, then once every two weeks, until we get to once per month for maintenance. The goal is to gain forward momentum instead of having the appointments spaced too far apart, resulting in a regression of progress. Part of our treatment plan will include what you can do between treatments to support your bodies healing process. Part of this includes trusting your bodies innate healing wisdom, and it's own timing for healing.
  • Is acupuncture safe?
    When performed by a properly trained and qualitied practitioner, acupuncture is quite safe. Side effects are generally mild and self-correcting, such as bruising at the site of a needle. Acupuncturists hold your safety and wellbeing as the highest priority. Acupuncture needles used are pre-sterilized, single-use needles which are disposed of in a biohazard, medical sharps container immediately after use.
  • What kinds of needles are used?
    Pre-packaged, sterile, single-use, stainless steel filiform acupuncture needles are used. They are extremely thin (7 - 10 can fit inside the shaft of one hypodermic needle), and also flexible. After use, they are immediately disposed of in an biohazardous waste sharps container.
  • What kind of training do acupuncturists have?
    In British Columbia, acupuncturists have minimum of 1665 hours of in class lectures, and 525 clinical hours during their education. These numbers increase to over 2280 hours of in class lectures, and 705 clinical hours if they also trained in Chinese herbal medicine. To practice acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, they must pass licensing exams to become registered with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncturists of British Columbia (CTCMA).
  • Are Chinese herbs safe? Can they interact with any medications I am taking?
    When prescribed by a trained Chinese herbalist and taken under close supervision, herbs are very safe. However, it is possible to have adverse reactions, or herb-drug interactions. To mitigate this, please inform me of any allergies you have or any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking. If you are concerned about how you will react to herbal medicine, we often begin with a smaller dose so you can see how your body responds. If you are on several medications, or specific medications, herbs may be contraindicated. New medications arise on the market all of the time. If you are on a medication I am unfamiliar with, I will never hesitate to ask for more time to research this medication and its herb-drug interactions before prescribing you herbal medicine. Your safety and wellbeing is my top concern. It is not recommended to take herbs based on the advice of an untrained herbalist.
  • What time of day should I take my herbs?
    I will give you specific instructions for taking your herbs. However, in general, they are consumed on an empty stomach, approximately 30 minutes prior to eating a meal or taking other medicine. It is best to mix the herbal powder with warm water to aid in digestion and absorption. Herbs are generally taken 2 or 3 times per day. This will be discussed when I give you an herbal formula.
  • Can I combine Chinese medicine with other types of healthcare, including Western medicine?
    Absolutely! In fact, I welcome collaborative relationships with your other healthcare providers. My top concern is your wellbeing, and want you receiving the healthcare that you feel is best for your own body. Chinese medicine and Western medicine have different views of the body, and different strengths which are often highly complementary. Because neither tradition holds all of the answers, it is not uncommon for me to recommend you to see a Western medical physician, or another kind of healthcare provider. Simply put, I want what is best for you and am happy to work with your other healthcare providers such as a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT), Naturopathic Doctor (ND), Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, or Clinical Counsellor.
  • Can you treat more than one condition at a time?
    Every situation is different, therefore a common answer in Chinese medicine is, "it depends." However, most of the time we can treat more than one condition at a time. Chinese medicine is focused on treating patterns rather than diseases. These patterns often encompass several seemingly different health complaints, however under the lens of Chinese medicine they are often intimately connected. Sometimes two complaints may be quite unrelated, in which case we will treat the most pressing issue first. This is to avoid overwhelming the body with information trying to treat both conditions simultaneously.
  • How can I get to your clinic?
    My practice is located in the Orchard Valley Counselling and Massage clinic which is located at 301-2205 Louie Drive, on the third floor. This is the brown building between London Drugs and the Automarket, with Remax on the ground floor.
  • Do you offer direct billing to my extended health benefits or ICBC?
    For several insurance providers, I do offer direct billing! It is advisable to check with your insurance provider prior to see how much of your acupuncture treatment is covered, and if you require a doctor's note in advance for reimbursement. If I cannot bill directly to your insurance provider, you may pay in full then submit the receive to them for reimbursement. If you have an active ICBC claim that is approved for acupuncture treatments, I can also direct bill to ICBC. Please bring your claim number to your appointment or send it to me ahead of time!
  • What is your cancellation policy?
    Your appointment time is reserved just for you. A late cancellation or missed visit leaves a hole in the practitioners’ day that could have been filled by another patient who wanted treatment. As such, I require 24 hours notice for any cancellations or changes to your appointment. Patients who provide less than 24 hours notice will be charged a cancellation fee of 50% of the treatment fee, unless the appointment can be filled. Patients who miss their appointment without any notice will be charged a no-show fee of 100% of the treatment fee. If an emergency arises, please let me know as soon as possible so that I can treat your specific situation with personal attention. I do recognize that there are circumstances that are outside of your control (e.g. sudden illness, family emergencies, etc.), therefore exceptions may be made on rare occasions. If you have tested positive for covid-19 within 5 days prior to your appointment, please reschedule your appointment; you will not be charged a cancellation fee. Please note that cancellation fees are not eligible for direct billing to insurance companies or to ICBC. Cancellation policies are a common part of appointment-based businesses, and helps the business to stay afloat to continue serving their community. For practitioners, patients book the room along with the treatment skills and knowledge of a practitioner on a specific day for a specific period of time. If the patient cancels this booking with less then 24-hours notice, it can be hard to fill this slot on short notice (even 48-hours notice can be hard), even if the practitioner has a wait list. As a practitioner is not on salary, has many costs for operating their business, and is only paid for treatment rendered, a cancellation policy ensures that they can cover their base costs for the appointment (room rental, treatment supplies, insurance, etc.) so they can stay afloat to continue serving their community. Many practitioners struggle to enforce their cancellation policy because they are in business to provide care for patients. A practitioner would always rather be paid for the treatments they provide; income from cancellation fees isn't rewarding. Charging a cancellation fee is not personal, and it is not about making profits, it is about helping us to meet our basic needs, especially while business and living costs are facing inflation. Thank you for respecting my cancellation policy and helping my business to stay float.
  • Should I tip my acupuncturist?
    Registered acupuncturists do not accept tips!


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