Acupuncture FAQ

People have questions about acupuncture. We like to educate our patients so they understand how acupuncture works and why it is so effective. If you have any questions that are not answered below, we invite you to call our office at (780) 455-2112 to speak to one of our friendly staff members.

In the Chinese language, acupuncture is described as “bu tong”, meaning painless. Any discomfort experienced with an acupuncture treatment is generally quite mild. It is normal to feel slight muscular cramping and heaviness, tingling, and/or electric sensation around where the needles are inserted, or traveling up or down the affected meridian.
In Canada, only disposable, individually packaged, stainless steel needles are used. Needles are never saved and reused for other treatments, eliminating all risk of contamination.
Depending upon the specifics of the health condition, acupuncture point location, patient's size, age, constitution, and the acupuncturist's methodology, the needles are typically inserted approximately half an inch, but may be as deep as 2 inches in large muscle areas (i.e. in the buttocks in cases of sciatic pain.)
This will vary, depending on your health problem. A single treatment could produce results for an acute condition or it may take a series of treatments. Some chronic conditions may require many treatments over time. For many conditions, an investment of 6-8 treatments can affect positive change, at which point re-assessment may be required. Ask your acupuncturist for an estimate about this prior to beginning treatment.
Prior to your first treatment, be prepared to provide your medical history and list of current medications. Come relaxed and wearing loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to remove some articles of clothing (shirt, pants or socks for example), and in those cases you will be covered by a sheet.
There are 12 pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for 27 individual qualities that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.
The tongue is a map of the of the body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue.
At this time, Alberta Health Care does not provide any coverage for acupuncture services. However, more and more private insurance companies are willing to provide coverage for appropriate acupuncture services performed by a registered acupuncturist. Check your plan for details.

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