Service Provider: Stephanie Allen, registered acupuncturist
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a safe and effective holistic medicine backed by more than 2,000 years of practice and research. The most commonly practiced medicine in the world, it is used worldwide both as a primary and adjunctive treatment for a wide range of conditions.
Acupuncture is used to encourage natural healing, improve mood and energy, reduce or relieve pain and improve function of affected areas of the body. It is safe and effective and is often successfully used as an alternative to medications or even surgery. Relief is often obtained with acupuncture when traditional medical therapy has failed. People may see an acupuncturist for almost any condition, from cancer to shoulder pain.
Some of the more commonly treated conditions are:
- Pain anywhere in the body including headaches, migraines and physical trauma
- Psychological related conditions such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia
- Menstrual issues such as PMS, amenorrhea, irregular menstruation, etc.
- Asthma and/or allergy issues
What are the needles like?
Acupuncture needles are both sterile and extremely thin. Most people are surprised to see how thin the needles actually are. They are ‘atraumatic,’ meaning that they do not have a cutting edge like a hypodermic needle, which slices through tissue. Their design allows acupuncture needles to slide smoothly through tissues and makes them unlikely to cause bleeding or damage to underlying structures.
What will I feel?
Most people who have had acupuncture would describe it as virtually painless or far less painful than plucking out a hair. The sensations that follow range from nothing at all, to mild tingling, to slight numbness/achiness, to electrical pulsations in areas distant from the site of insertion. All these sensations usually subside once the needles are removed. Some people are energized by treatment, while others feel relaxed.
How long will the treatment last?
After the needles are inserted you are usually left to rest for a period of 20-30 minutes. Most people feel fairly relaxed during this period and many simply fall asleep. In many cases your treatment may consist of points on the front and back of your body so the practitioner may insert needles on the front, let you rest for awhile and then remove them, have you turn over and continue the treatment on your back.
How many treatments will I need?
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question. The length, number, and frequency of treatments will vary from person to person depending on the conditions being treated, your age and health, and how you respond to acupuncture. Acupuncture is a natural medicine that is assisting your body to make changes. This can be a gradual process. Generally, acute problems require less time and frequency of treatment, while chronic conditions that have developed over a long time take somewhat longer to treat. For example, an acute sprain may require only one or two treatments, whereas more chronic or severe ailments may require several (or several dozen) treatments.
How long will it take for the treatments to work?
A positive response to acupuncture treatments is generally seen after the first or second treatment. If you are being treated for a menstrual problem or infertility, give the treatments three menstrual cycles for your body to respond. You will schedule your appointments further and further apart after you have achieved optimal response. Stress relief is experienced right away, and even feelings of depression often begin to lift after one or two treatments.
How often should I receive treatment?
Again, this depends on what you are being treated for and your practitioner. It is common for treatments to be scheduled one or two times a week in the beginning to obtain optimal response and then once every other week. If you are not able to schedule appointments that frequently, your acupuncturist may prescribe Chinese herbs, dietary changes, exercises, or pressure points for you to use at home. Acupuncture is also often used as a preventative medicine. Many people see their acupuncturist only two to four times a year for a "tune up" or "balancing" treatment. This can prevent disease and promote health, energy, and vitality.
Is acupuncture covered by insurance?
This depends on your insurance policy. Some insurance plans cover acupuncture, while others do not. You will need to check with your insurance provider to determine if your plan covers acupuncture.
Cost: $60.00 (including HST)
Please call the wellness centre receptionist at 364-2163 to book an appointment, or stop by the wellness centre in the Wallace McCain Student Centre, ground floor. Appointments are pre-booked and available one day per week.