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Edmonton Acupuncture Center
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Look here to find answers to the questions people ask us most often. Also, use the links on the right to find Health Reports, Newsletters and other Helpful Links.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What do I need to know before a treatment?
  2. What do I need to do after a treatment?
  3. Are there any adverse effects of risks to the treatment?
  4. Is acupuncture painful?
  5. What do I do if I have needle phobia?
  6. What if I am healthy, will I benefit from acupuncture?
  7. Where on the body do you insert needles?
  8. Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?
  9. Do you use disposable needles?
  10. Why do they want to look at my tongue?
  11. Why do they want to feel my pulse?
  12. What should I consider in choosing an acupuncturist?
  13. How many treatments will be required?
  14. I tried acupuncture before and it did not work, how come?

What do I need to know before a treatment?
NEW PATIENTS. Please arrive 15 - 30 minutes prior to your scheduled time, as you will need to fill out a few forms before your treatment. Due to the tight scheduling in the clinic, arriving late to your treatment may shorten your own treatment time, especially if there is a patient immediately following you.

Please note that there is a $50 cancellation fee, if the appointment is not cancelled 24 hours prior to your treatment (except emergency situations). We would like to accommodate patients who regularly call in for the same-day appointments. Please make sure you eat. However, overeating is not advised, as it will affect your treatment in a negative way. Do not consume alcohol.

What do I need to do after a treatment?
Please drink a lot of water to flush out any impurities.
Keep taking your medications, as prescribed by your medical doctor or herbs form your acupuncturist.
Please also notice how you feel for the next hours or days, as I will be asking you in order to determine your progress. Pay particular attention to any changes in your appetite, sleep, energy level, and pain.

Are there any adverse effects of risks to the treatment?
One of the most striking aspects of acupuncture is the almost complete absence of adverse effects and complications from its use. Most patients find that the treatments are relaxing and cause minimal discomfort. People with pacemakers should avoid electrical stimulation unless approved by their cardiologist. Women in early pregnancy and hemophiliacs should be treated with caution. All needles used in the process are sterile disposable needles. There is no risk of infection. In particular, there is no possibility of transmission of the Aids or hepatitis viruses when disposable needles are used.

Is acupuncture painful?
That is a matter of personal opinion. Each person's pain threshold is different.
Patients usually feels a sensation similar to a mosquito bite when the very fine needle (about as thick as a human hair) is inserted into the skin at rapid speed. Most patients feel only minimal discomfort as the needle is inserted; some feel no pain at all. During acupuncture treatment, needles are either inserted for a second or two, or left in place for up to 20 - 30 minutes depending on the effect required. Some complex feelings such as sureness, distention or numbness will be generated at the acupuncture point when the needle is manipulated. This indicates the patient is responding to the treatment.

What do I do if I have needle phobia?
Not a problem, we can treat you without needles. Moxibustion (heat therapy) is a great way to do a treatment without any needles at all. The results from moxibustion are as good or, in some cases, even better then needles. In fact, most of our patients receive a combination of acupuncture and moxibustion as part of their regular treatment. We also has electrical acupuncture treatment machine which use a treatment wand instead of traditional needles. Without insert needle the acupuncture wand can do the same job as needle does.

What if I am healthy, will I benefit from acupuncture?
Yes. Everyone benefits from acupuncture if it is done correctly.
Though you are healthy now, acupuncture will help boost your immune system and keep your body's energy more balanced. By 'balanced' we mean, at the state in which your body functions most efficiently, allowing it to fight off daily pressures such as: stress, work, weather changes, illness, etc.
This improved efficiency will lead to a healthier, happier, less stressful and possibly even longer life.

Where on the body do you insert needles?
There are 361 acupuncture points distributed along the 14 meridians. All those points can be used to treat disorders of the related organs. However each patient uses different points as they needed according to their unique condition.

Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?
No. Children are treated and they respond very well to acupuncture, without having any opinion about it all. The same holds true for horses and dogs, etc. As acupuncture is a science subject, believe it or not are not important. It works no matter what.

Do you use disposable needles?
Yes, all the needles used at Acupuncture Care Holistic Centre are disposable, sterile, and used only once. All are of superior quality and purchased from supplier.

Why do they want to look at my tongue?
The tongue tells many things about your body. It can reflect your general health as well as the health of your organs and meridians. The acupuncturist will examine the colour, shape and coating.

Why do they want to feel my pulse?
An acupuncturist will want to feel 12 main spots on your wrist. Each spot corresponds to an organ and meridian system. There are 27 different pulse qualities that your acupuncturist will be looking for. These 27 qualities will reflect your balance of Qi and any imbalances will appear in your pulse.

What should I consider in choosing an acupuncturist?

The main things to consider:

  • Length of training: A licensed acupuncturist has to take about 4-6 years of schooling and practicing in both Eastern and Western medicine to become licensed.
  • Skillfulness: Some acupuncturists are excellent and some are just average. It is up to you to find which works best for you. Make sure you look for the one that helps you heal. Your health is worth investing in.
  • Office cleanliness: Make sure the clinic you go to is clean and professional to your liking. If it does not feel right to you, it probably is not.
  • Disposable needles: If in doubt, ask the practitioner if the needles they use are sterilized and disposable. This is a perfectly reasonable and proper question to ask. Take no chances when it comes to your health.

How many treatments will be required?
The number of treatments will vary with each individual and the condition being treated. For many acute problems, two or three treatments will suffice. For chronic diseases, treatment is generally longer - usually weeks or months. Frequency of treatment also varies, depending on the nature and length of the illness, from two or three treatments per week to one treatment per month. General health and individual differences among patients, can affect the length and frequency of treatment. The effects of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are usually long-lasting, because Chinese medicine aims at getting beyond the symptoms to the root-cause of an illness and restoring the balance of the body as well as mobilizing the body's own potential to overcome illness.

I tried acupuncture before and it did not work, how come?
There are various styles of acupuncture and practitioners use various approaches to treat the same condition. A different approach or style might help you more than another.

Another thing to consider is the length of time you may need to improve your condition. The number of treatments needed for each condition is different in each case and with every acupuncturist.


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