Intro to Acupuncture

For a general introduction to the background and theory of Chinese Medicine

Chinese Medicine Demystified

Acupuncturist, Functional Medicine Practitioner and health guru Chris Kresser breaks down the nitty-gritty--for the skeptics and science minds out there


Further Reading

I recommend these books all the time in clinic to those who are curious what to do at home to further their healing and why the heck this is working for them anyway. If you're on the path of learning, then read on young grasshopper!

Why acupuncture?

Why not stick with mainstream/allopathic healthcare?

Studies show that the more we rely on external weapons (i.e. drugs) to fight illness, the less we are able to use our innate healing abilities** (see reference below). Some people I speak to talk about their health problems as if they were something happening outside themselves, which they have no control over. This is an understandable view, since mainstream Western medicine takes this view as well, and in fact the most powerful aspects of western medicine (pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and imaging, and surgeries) can often be disempowering; we rely on the medical professionals to tell us what's right for us. While sometimes necessary, these treatments leave no room for the experience of the person receiving the treatment. They leave us as bystanders in our own fates. If you’ve experienced this as I have, you too may be ready for a change.

Who can benefit from your treatments?

If you’re reading this, you’ve already expressed interest in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). I’m guessing you probably already recognize that our tensions, illnesses and injuries in our bodies are getting in the way of experiencing freedom and ease—physically, emotionally and mentally. We get so busy in our lives that by the time we get back to checking in with our bodies, the aches and pains have crept up, we may feel burnt out, we got off track somewhere along the line. Whether you are in the "something's not quite right" state, or the "I've tried everything and nothing's worked", acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help.

What does acupuncture treat?

People often don't realize that acupuncture treats far more than body pain. It is a holistic medicine, and addresses all aspects of body, mind, emotions and spirit. Pain is a message; illness is a message. Signs and symptoms are the body's warning signs, and the good news is, they can be decoded like a puzzle to let us know what our bodies need. What does this mean for you? Acupuncture can treat:

  • headaches

  • insomnia

  • fatigue

  • stress disorders

  • PTSD

  • hormone imbalances

  • immune system imbalances/autoimmune conditions

  • arthritis

  • tendonitis

  • surgical rehabilitation (& "pre-habilitation")

  • addictions management

  • weight management

  • asthma/eczema

  • dizziness/vertigo

  • carpal tunnel/repetitive use strains

  • plantar fasciitis

  • post-MVI/whiplash

  • post-concussion syndrome

  • ..and more

What insurance plans do you accept?

Acupuncture is covered  by most major extended healthcare plans, and direct billing is often available to save you paying out of pocket. To find out specifics on your plan, check with your extended medical provider.

*If direct billing is not possible for any reason on the day of your appointment, you will be required to pay out of pocket. However, you will be provided with a receipt to submit to your provider for reimbursement. 

When should I try acupuncture?

In Chinese Medicine we have a saying: "To cure a disease when it has already appeared is like digging a well when one is already thirsty." Many of us have tried supplements, diets, exercise trends, painkillers, or alcohol and other distractions to relieve stress and tensions when we’re so focused on our outward day-to-day experiences. If you’re like me, you know stress reduction techniques would help but you could use a hand in getting there on your own, and sometimes there’s just more built up in life than we can handle. The more intense the symptoms, the more likely we will be to seek masking or distractions, so basically, the sooner we seek treatment the better.

How does it work?

Ever hear about how we use a small percentage of our brain’s true capacity? Well, the same is true of the body’s healing mechanisms.  Cortisol, dopamine, serotonin, growth-regulating hormones—all of these can be utilized in a greater capacity, given the right environment, and the right stimulation. Some of the most powerful pharmaceuticals are modelled after molecules that already exist in the body (like cortisol and morphine), but what if we could just stimulate the use of these naturally? After all, these already exist in all of us. This is what acupuncture does--no side effects, no building up a tolerance, no toxic byproducts. It simply stimulates the body's innate healing. 

For more on the science of how acupuncture works, refer to the Resources page.


**Link footnoted above: Research done by Candace Pert shows that receptors in the body are the perfect fit for certain ligands, which are substances that connect with that receptor to turn a signal on or off within the cell, passing vital information to that cell. This info triggers any number of activities, from the manufacture of new proteins, to change in behaviour and mood. When synthetic ligands are already blocking this pathway, the body’s ability to read its endogenous (inner) signals becomes blocked.

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