What is “community” acupuncture?
Some will tell you that community acupuncture is a grassroots Revolution in healthcare. It certainly is a model of treatment that more and more people are getting excited about. Not only is it effective, but it aims to be accessible to everyone in the community by making it more affordable—without being dependent on health insurance coverage.
The major elements of the community-style model are that
How do I decide how much to pay, and does how much I pay affect the treatment I get?
You should decide how much to pay based on what you feel comfortable paying, taking into account how many treatments you’ll be receiving and for how long. Your acupuncturist will discuss a treatment plan with you on your first visit and make recommendations about how often you should come in. We want to make the money fit the treatment plan, not the other way around. Don’t worry. You don’t get more or fewer needles based on how much you pay, and you can always rest in the treatment room as long as you want. The goal of the sliding scale is to make it possible for you to come in often enough and long enough to really feel better.
What should I expect at my first appointment?
Please wear loose, comfortable clothing, and show up 15 minutes early for your Initial Acupuncture Visit. When you first arrive you’ll want to stop by the front desk and check in, if you haven’t already booked and completed your forms online. Book Online Here We offer self-serve payments at our front desk on an iPad register if you’d like to pay by credit card. You can also choose to pay by cash and use one of the envelopes provided. After you’re finished checking in, please walk into the treatment area and choose a bed or chair to relax in. The acupuncturist will introduce themselves and review your health history, listen to your health concerns and goals, carefully explain the process, and will help ensure that you are relaxed and comfortable at all times. Remove your socks and put them in a basket next to your chair or bed where no one will trip over them. Roll up your sleeves to your elbows, and your pant legs to your knees. Relax and bliss out for the next 30-60 minutes. If you have never had acupuncture before, you may be a bit nervous at first, but you’re in for a real treat. This is a safe and healing space.
Does it hurt? I’m afraid of needles
No – acupuncture doesn’t have to hurt. A treatment is not a suffer mission. It’s often described by our patients as a slight pinch when the needle goes in, or you can’t feel it at all. However if you can feel it, let us know and we will readjust it or take it out.
Acupuncture needles are very fine, as fine as a human hair and flexible. They are not inserted into veins, and there is usually no bleeding involved in an acupuncture treatment. After a moment or two with the needles in place, biochemicals such as endorphins and enkephalins are released from the brain and nervous system. These natural proteins are the body’s own morphine, which when released inhibit pain and produce feelings of euphoria and deep relaxation.
Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?
Not at all – animals get good results from acupuncture just like people, and we’re pretty sure that they don’t believe in it.
We like skeptics. You just need to have enough of an open mind to want to find out if acupuncture will work for you, and you will only know that for sure by experience. We suggest you try it and see what you think.
Do acupuncturist use disposable needles?
Yes, we use disposable needles. They come to us sterilized, we use them once, then we dispose of them in an approved Sharps container.
How long will it take to help?
That depends. Acupuncture is a therapy, and usually requires a course of treatment. We find that people often experience relief after one or two treatments, but generally need at least six in order to see good results. Your practitioner will be able to recommend what course of treatment you can expect to need. Please feel free to check out our Treatment Frequency page.
I have insurance, can I use it for acupuncture?
Yes, we will supply you with a receipt which you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
I have an unpredictable schedule. Can I just drop in?
Yes — walk-ins are welcome, and we’ll take you if at all possible. Appointments are recommended, but we know planning ahead can be tricky sometimes, so we’ll accommodate drop-ins whenever possible.
Can I address more than one health issue at a time with acupuncture?
YES! Acupuncture acts like a re-set button for the entire body. Often, patients who come in for one issue – say for back pain – will notice an improvement in something apparently unrelated, such as a long standing sleep problem. This can happen even when the patient doesn’t tell the acupuncturist about the apparently unrelated problem. Acupuncture also seems to have the “side effects” of reducing stress and promoting better sleep and more energy.
Do you treat pregnant women?
Yes. We get lots of referrals from midwives and obstetricians because acupuncture is effective for many pregnancy-related, including morning sickness, hip pain, and sciatica, to name a few. We can also assist with labour preparation, and turning a breech baby.
Do you treat children?
Yes. Acupuncture is often very effective for children and teens, and many of them love it. We ask only that the child in question is willing to try acupuncture; we don’t want to treat unwilling patients of any age. Acupuncture can be very effective for children – they tend to respond even more quickly than adults. People under 16 need consent from a parent or guardian to receive acupuncture treatment. If you are thinking about bringing in your child, please call and speak with one of our acupuncturist so we can help you prepare your child for their first treatment.
Which of your acupuncturists specialize in fertility/sports medicine/pain management/etc?
For philosophical reasons, none of our acupuncturists specialize in anything, we pride ourselves on being able to treat almost anything that comes through our doors. All of us have lots of experience treating lots of different conditions. We believe that acupuncture is helpful for most problems based on patients being able to get enough treatments, not on being able to see an acupuncturist with a particular area of interest. There are literally thousands of different ways to do acupuncture, and all of them seem to work, and as far as we can tell, no one way seems to work substantially better than any other. There are no studies that we know of that prove that acupuncturists who specialize in a particular area get better results than acupuncturists who don’t specialize.
What is it good for?
Acupuncture can potentially help with nearly anything, as acupuncture encourages your body’s own healing capacity. Acupuncture can speed the healing of acute problems, it can help manage chronic pain. Acupuncture is especially effective for any condition which is worsened by stress. There are always more conditions that acupuncture can help. If you can’t find your specific concern listed here, please talk to us. Acupuncture knows no bounds, and it can’t hurt to try. Here are just a few of the common things we see every day.
Please note that we recommend that people check in with their regular doctor, especially for pains or infections that do not change with treatment or continue to get worse. If you are on any prescription medications, please don’t stop taking your medicine without checking in with your prescribing physician.