Frequently asked questions

Q: How does acupuncture work?

A: Acupuncture needles are inserted in meridian points to help facilitate the movement of Qi(Ch'i), energy flows considered vital to functioning health. Depending on insertion techniques, the needles can help replenish Qi; drain excess Qi; or simply remove Qi blockages.


Q: Does acupuncture hurt?

A: A patient new to acupuncture usually fears that the needles may hurt or leave scars. Don't worry. Acupuncture needles used in the clinic range from 0.1 to 0.3 millimeters in diameter. This is about the size of a mosquito mouthpart(proboscis). It doesn't hurt or cause scarring. However, sensations such as soreness or tightness are expected. Sometimes these sensations are strong enough to worry patients. This is a sign of effective treatment: that the needles are in correct placements and blockages exist in meridian points. Rest assured, just like mosquito bites, correctly placed acupuncture needles won't cause lasting damage.


Q: I was advised to sleep more and sleep early, how does that relate to my health conditions?

A: In TCM theory, the 12 major meridians correspond to internal organs (liver, heart, kidneys, etc.), each of which has a set 2-hour window when it is in rest. Routine in conflict with these times can, in the long term, cause disruption of Qi flows. The discovery of the circadian rhythm, for which the 2017 Nobel Medicine prize was awarded, confirmed that humans have an internal biological clock. TCM has long preached that not all 8-hour sleep is equal. Optimum sleep time is considered to be between 9pm to 5am, giving the Sanjiao, gallbladder, liver, and lung meridians plenty of rest. While this routine is not always compatible with the typical modern schedule, it's good to strive for early sleep.

Q: I was advised to adhere to several dietary principles. Can you enlighten me those principles again and explain the motivations behind them?

A: Shi-Liao (食疗), or "Dietary Treatment," is considered the preeminent way to treat patients, as it works throughout the course of an ailment in preventative, supportive, and recovery phases. There are several principles to "eating well" in TCM theory:

Eating in moderation: TCM practitioners may recommend eating small, frequent meals rather than large, infrequent ones. This helps to keep energy levels balanced and prevent overeating.

Choosing at the right time: TCM practitioners recommend eating a variety of whole, natural foods that are appropriate for the season, usually referring to fruits and vegetables growing in their natural seasons. These are thought to be more in harmony with the environment and more nourishing for the body. They may also recommend eating at particular times of the day, to better suit the digestive organ corresponding to the active meridian of the hour. This usually means eating earlier than most are accustomed to. A later dinner (after 7 at night) for example, is considered bad for digestive health and sleep quality.

Balancing yin and yang: TCM recommends balancing yin and yang energies in the diet. Yin foods are cooling and moistening, while yang foods are warming and drying. Balancing these energies helps to maintain overall health and well-being.

Q: Are your services covered by insurance? Does the clinic provide direct billing?

A: The services are not covered by OHIP and we do not provide direct billing. Our clients pay first and we provide receipts for claims to their individual insurance. Many employers provide reimbursements to acupuncture treatments up to a predetermined amount.

More Questions? Please contact Liuzhen(Amanda) directly via text, phone or email.

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