Acupuncture
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ #1: How does Acupuncture work?
FAQ #2: What can acupuncture help?
FAQ #3: Who is Lily Wu & what are her qualifications?
FAQ #4: How is acupuncture performed?
FAQ #5: What happens during an acupuncture treatment?
FAQ #6: Is acupuncture covered by my extended health benefits?
FAQ #7: Are acupuncture needles safe?
FAQ #8: Is acupuncture in and of itself safe?
FAQ #9: How many acupuncture treatments will I need to get better?
FAQ #10: How frequently is acupuncture treatment scheduled?
FAQ #11: What can I expect from acupuncture treatments?
FAQ #12: How much is acupuncture treatment at Renew You?

FAQ #1: How does Acupuncture work?

A: Acupuncture works to restore your health – by “balancing energy”, correcting the cause and alleviating the symptoms of problems. Diseases are caused by energy imbalances in the body. These include pain and discomfort. One underlying concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is that of balancing and restoring “energy” or “Chi”. Points that are selected for acupuncture needle insertion are ones where the acupuncture doctor is simply trying to restore and balance Chi! When the body’s balance is restored, it can self heal. The concept is really quite simple. Acupuncture is based on 5000 years of experience in China! It’s hard to refute that kind of history.

FAQ #2: What can acupuncture help?

A: North American culture typically associates using acupuncture for conditions associated with pain. In China, acupuncture is used to treat a very wide variety of health conditions – if not literally almost everything – including anaesthesia for surgery!

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), for the following diseases or disorders, acupuncture therapy has been tested in controlled clinical trials reported in the recent medical literature. Through controlled trials, acupuncture has been proven to be an effective treatment for:

  1. Adverse reactions to chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy
  2. Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  3. Biliary colic
  4. Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
  5. Dysentery, acute bacillary
  6. Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
  7. Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  8. Headaches & Migraines
  9. Hypertension, essential (high blood pressure)
  10. Hypotension, primary (low blood pressure)
  11. Knee pain
  12. Leukopenia
  13. Low back pain
  14. Menstrual Cramps (Dysmenorrhoea, primary)
  15. Morning sickness
  16. Nausea and vomiting
  17. Neck pain
  18. Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and TMJ temporomandibular dysfunction)
  19. Periarthritis of shoulder (frozen shoulder)
  20. Postoperative pain
  21. Renal colic
  22. Rheumatoid arthritis
  23. Sciatica
  24. Sprain
  25. Stroke
  26. Tennis elbow

FAQ #3: Who is Acupuncturist & TCM Practitioner Lily Wu & what are her qualifications?

A: Lily was an Acupuncture Doctor in China for 13 years in a formal hospital setting. She has practiced in Canada for 12 years giving her a total of 25 years of experience with acupuncture. She is a licensed and regulated health professional here in Ontario.

FAQ #4: How is acupuncture performed?

A: Acupuncture needles are made of stainless steel which are pre-sterilized, non-toxic and disposable (single use only!). They are a 1/2 inch long or more, ultra-fine, and very flexible. When the needles are inserted into the skin, there may or may not be any sensation. Much depends on the placement of the needles, the acupuncturist’s technique and the condition being treated. The feet and hands may be more sensitive. Ten to twenty needles are typically inserted and are usually left in about 15 to 30 minutes. Electrical muscle stimulation is sometimes used with the needles to enhance effectiveness.

FAQ #5: What happens during an acupuncture treatment?

A: Your initial acupuncture appointment will include both an assessment and a treatment, and will be longer in duration. Subsequent appoints will be for the treatment only and are shorter in length.

Lily Wu, Renew You’s Acupuncture Practitioner, will spend up to 30-45 minutes asking about your health issue, such as duration of the problem, your current vs. past symptoms, your health history, your lifestyle and diet, your sleeping patterns, bowel movements and other information that may seem irrelevant to you – but are important to the big picture of your health. Just remember that TCM is a holistic medical system that recognizes the interrelated link between body, mind and emotions.

Depending on the situation, you will lie on the treatment table either face down, face up, or on one side. Typically several  acupuncture points are selected. The most common points are on your arms below your elbows, on your legs below your knees and along either side of your spine from your neck to your sacrum. Each point is swabbed with alcohol before the needle is inserted.

Lily may ask you to report any sensations of tingling or warmth around the site of the needles. These sensations indicate that the point has been correctly located. Generally, the needles are left in place for about 30 minutes, but painful conditions may need longer treatment time. Lily may leave the room and check on you periodically. A common acupuncture benefit is that it’s usually very relaxing! All you have to do is lie still and it’s quite common for people to fall asleep during their treatment and experience deep levels of relaxation.

FAQ #6: Is acupuncture covered by my extended health benefits?

A: Acupuncture coverage is very common. A large number of insurance companies will cover and reimburse for acupuncture treatments. Consult your insurance provider in advance to determine the coverage and terms of your policy. Renew You will provide you with a receipt that you may submit to your insurance company for reimbursement if your benefits include acupuncture coverage,

FAQ #7: Are acupuncture needles safe?

A: Yes. All acupuncturists strictly only use sterile, disposable, single use needles. They are used once and then disposed of in medical containers. These containers are sent to a medical waste management company for proper disposal according to federal laws and regulations.

FAQ #8: Is acupuncture in and of itself safe?

A: Yes. In fact, acupuncture is ridiculously safe. Perhaps 1 in every 7-10 needles inserted may be ever so slightly painful or temporarily uncomfortable. But there are no side effects or other unwanted risks! (Yeah!)

FAQ #9: How many acupuncture treatments will I need to get better?

The quantity and frequency of treatments varies from person to person & condition to condition. A typical treatment plan is 1-2 treatments a week for 4-8 weeks. Once or twice per week is most common. The frequency of treatments can decrease as your body heals, eventually weaning off of acupuncture entirely. Remember to be patient with yourself and acupuncture – Chinese medicine is a gentle medicine. It can take time.

The treatment may take place over a several days to weeks. Chronic conditions may require 1-2 treatments a week for the first few weeks. As a response develops and holds, the treatments are gradually spaced further apart. The number and frequency of treatments are decided on an individual basis.

Key point: In Chinese Medicine, we speak in terms of “courses” of treatments. One course is ten acupuncture treatments. A course of ten is generally recommended to start. Acupuncture is generally NOT a “come once or twice” and you are all fixed up kind of thing. It takes a bit of time, and the effects are cumulative (very important!).

Overall treatment time is dependent on many factors such as the nature and severity of your complaint, how long you’ve had it, your age, your general health, your lifestyle and how much you are willing to do to assist the healing process. For example, if the acupuncturist advises that avoiding fried foods and alcohol will help your problem, will you heed the advice? For pain conditions, many times but not all, movement or stretching exercises will be recommended by Lily.

FAQ #10: How frequently is acupuncture treatment scheduled?

In China acupuncture is administered daily until the problem is cured. Conversely western acupuncturists advise 1-2 treatments a week, which is still usually effective though overall treatment time is longer.

Generally patients are seen on a weekly basis. As the condition improves, visits are spaced farther apart. On average, patients come weekly for about 5-10 visits, and then treatment frequency is spaced further out as symptoms improve and later disappear. Once the condition has resolved, many patients choose to continue treatment for maintenance and preventative care. These maintenance visits can be monthly or quarterly.

FAQ #11: What can I expect from acupuncture treatments?

A: Response to acupuncture treatment varies by individual, but there are some generalities acupuncturists expect. Some people will notice improvement after 1-2 treatments. Others take longer to respond as acupuncture requires a cumulative effect. Most patients begin to notice changes within 1-3 treatments.

After 5-7 visits, both you and Lily should feel confident that the treatment is effective. Acute conditions may be fairly well resolved in one course (10 treatments). Chronic, long term conditions take longer. Excepting continual, longstanding problems (such as allergies), most conditions are resolved within a course to fifteen treatments.

TCM views each of us as a unique individual. People with the same complaint will most likely receive entirely different treatment and will respond to it differently. Lily will best be able to tell you how many treatments you may need after she has diagnosed your particular problem according to TCM principles.

FAQ #12: How much is acupuncture treatment at Renew You?

A: At Renew You, we charge $89 for the initial appointment which includes a consultation, examination and a treatment. Whereas follow up appointments of treatment only are $49. For your reference, HST is already included in this pricing.

At your initial consultation, Lily will advise you of the cost and also how many treatments you should need. These days many private health insurance funds cover acupuncture so it’s worthwhile looking into your health benefits from work.

If you have not ever had acupuncture, our frequently asked questions page is very helpful; Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)>>

For more information about how acupuncture can help you, please contact the clinic. Call today!

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