How does acupuncture work?

In Chinese Medicine theory, the body contains various meridians or channels that Qi (pronounced “chee”) flows through.  Qi can be considered like a vehicle for the blood – when Qi is blocked, stagnation results.  Blood cannot be delivered properly and the tissues cannot be nourished by the blood.  The free flow of Qi through the various meridians in the body is necessary for optimal health.  Acupuncture acts as a reminder for our bodies to let the qi flow smoothly. When this occurs, we are healthy, balanced and free of dis-ease.

Acupuncture can be used to strengthen the body’s constitution and promote healthy functioning. Specific acupuncture points and techniques can be used to nourish the qi, blood and organ systems thereby lessening symptoms of fatigue and dysfunction. The goal of Chinese medicine is to bring the body back into harmony by addressing both the root of the dysfunction as well as the symptom pattern.

Does acupuncture work?
Yes.  Traditional Chinese Medicine (which includes acupuncture) originated in ancient China and has evolved over thousands of years.  The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as suitable for treating over 200 common clinical disorders.

Is acupuncture treatment covered by insurance? 

In British Columbia, acupuncture treatment by a licensed practitioner of TCM is generally covered if you have premium insurance coverage or third-party medical coverage through your employer.

Is acupuncture painful? Is it safe?

Modern acupuncture needles are stainless steel, between one-half and three inches long, ultra-fine and quite flexible. They are pre-sterilized, non-toxic and disposable (single use). When the needles are tapped into the skin, there can be minor discomfort. Much depends on the location (hands and feet tend to be more sensitive), the condition being treated, and the patient’s sensitivity. Needles are typically placed in several acupoints and are usually left in about 20-30 minutes. The goal is to normalize the circulation of Qi and Blood by stimulating specifically chosen acupoints, which encourages the body’s natural healing process.

What is Moxibustion? 

The original Chinese term for what we today routinely call acupuncture is zhenjiu, which refers to both needling (Zhen) and moxibustion (jiu).  These two techniques are understood to be essential parts of one fundamental approach to treating disease and maintaining health.

Moxibustion is the application of heat to acupuncture points by burning moxa a herb derived from drying the underside of the mugwort plant’s leaves. Mugwort (Artemia) is part of the chrysanthemum family.  This is one of the oldest and most effective forms of therapy which originated in China several thousand years ago.

The ancient Chinese used moxibustion treatment to apply heat so that the cold or stagnant conditions of the meridians could be healed. Thus, many ailments have shown a favourable response to moxibustion.

  • Relieving pain because of an injury or arthritis.
  • Healing digestion problems and irregular bowel movements including colitis, and IBS.
  • Preventing cold and flu symptoms.
  • Eliminating gynaecological problems such as menstrual cramps.
  • Obstetric treatment to stimulate the movement of the fetus inside the uterus and correct conditions of possible breech delivery.

Can Chinese Medicine help me?

While most people know that acupuncture can be used to relieve pain, Chinese Medicine (which may include acupuncture & moxibustion, Chinese herbs, cupping, Tui Na massage, and Gua Sha) can be effective in treating a variety of other conditions including but not limited to:

  • Digestive disorders
  • Urogenital disorders
  • Gynecological disorders (including menstrual, menopausal, and infertility disorders)
  • Sexual health disorders
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Circulatory disorders
  • Bones, joint and muscles disorders
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Immune disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Stress & anxiety
  • Depression
  • Addictions


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