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  • Phone: 647-779-1919
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If you live in Toronto and have not tried acupuncture or Chinese medicine, chances are one of your families, friends or coworkers have. If you are curious to know or planning to give it a try. Here are the questions that we’re heard the most from patients. Feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions that are not covered in the page.

General FAQ

Are your services covered by insurance?
Our services (acupuncture and massage contact-tcm-doctortherapy) are covered by most extended health insurance plans. ask your insurance company for the details of your coverage. Unfortunately, our services are not covered by Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).
What should I prepare for the first visit?
Whether you are coming for acupuncture or herbal medicine or both, few key things that you need to know: Do not brush your tongue; Do not eat/drink to full; Try not do eat/drink things that can color your tongue; Do not put heavy makeup, lipstick; If possible, wear or bring loose clothing. I suggest go to First Visit page for more detailed instructions.
What to expect from the first visit of Acupuncture or Kampo medicine?
Please check First Visit page for more details.
Do you treat children and babies?
Chinese medicine is great for children! It is safe, natural, non-invasive and effective if done properly with caution by trained TCM practitioners. In China, we have been using herbs, acupuncture and manual therapy (pediatric massage) to treat children for thousands of years. Traditional Meridian Therapy would be a great start if you are not sure if herbs or acupuncture are suitable for your children.

Kampo/Herbal medicine FAQ

What is Kampo?
Kampo is a form of herbal medicine practiced in Japan. It is rooted in Chinese medicine but has its distinctive features from the Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM), such as “Fukushin” assessment.
How does Kampo/Chinese herbal medicine work?
Chinese herbal medicine is the foundation of Chinese medicine. TCM herbalists assess and treat the conditions according to their holistic view of the body. They use empirical herbal formulas that have been accumulated through time and human trials in the last 3000 years.
What conditions can Kampo/Chinese herbal medicine treat?
Herbal medicine was the main form of medicine for thousands of years in China. It treats all conditions from internal to external diseases. In modern times, Chinese herbal medicine is particularly useful to treat acute and chronic inflammation related conditions.
What kinds of herbs are you using?
There are about 400-500 herbs and minerals commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine. Most of them are plants. There are over 10,000 documented formulas in the literature of Chinese medicine.
How long does it take to see the results?
For the majority of the conditions people come to Chinese medicine, the result can take from a few days to a few weeks, if the formula are prescribed properly. Some difficult conditions may take longer for the practitioners to figure out the right formulas that are working.
How do I take herbal medicine? Do I need to boil them?
The herbal products we use are highly concentrated products with modern manufacturing techniques that were developed by the Japanese. You just need to resolve them in the warm water and drink it like tea.
How do I know it is not the Placebo effects if I do feel better?
Good question. I have treated babies, dogs and cats with good results. This fact can probably invalidate the “placebo” hypothesis.
Can I take other supplements/medications while taking Kampo herbs?
Because there is not enough scientific literature on this topic. I can not answer this question definitively. But the fact that many cancer patients have been taking Chinese herbal formulas to help them going through conventional cancer treatments may indicate Chinese herbs are relatively safe to take with other medicines under the supervision of trained practitioners.
How long should I take the Kampo medicine for? Forever?
The goal of any Chinese medicine treatment is to restore the body’s own ability to self-sustain its balance. As a general rule, chronic and complicated conditions need to take the herbs longer than the simple and mild conditions to achieve that goal.
Are there any risks and side effects from taking herbal medicine?
The risks and side effects of using Chinese medicine are minimal if it is done carefully. Most of the herbs in Chinese herbology have contraindications that help practitioners to choose the right herbs for patients and minimize the adverse reactions. However, if you are taking Chinese herbs, or any medicine for the long-term, it is important to do necessary medical tests regularly to make sure the liver and kidneys functions are not compromised.
Do your herbal products contain heavy metals, pesticides and other toxic substances?
All the herbal products I use are from the GMP(Good Manufacture Practice) manufacturers in Taiwan. They have a very strict quality control process and all their products meet the highest safety standards in North America, Asia and Europe.
Can children take the herbs?
Yes, Chinese herbs has been used to treat all kinds of pediatric conditions for thousands of years. There are not many differences in treating adults and children in Chinese medicine herbology other than the dosages.

Acupuncture FAQ

What is acupuncture and how is it done?

Acupuncture is the practice of penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles on certain points along the Chinese medicine meridians.

Acupuncture is part of the ancient practice of Traditional Chinese medicine(TCM). TCM physicians believe the human body has 20 main energetic channels(meridians) and thousands of acupuncture points connected by the meridians. These pathways create an energy flow (Qi, pronounced “chee”) through the body that is responsible for overall health. By applying acupuncture to certain points, it is thought to improve the flow of Qi, thereby improving health.(1)

What conditions can acupuncture help?
Acupuncture is believed to stimulate the central nervous system and releases chemicals into the body as the result. These biochemical changes may stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being.National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment alone or in combination with conventional therapies to treat the following:
  • Nausea caused by surgical anesthesia and cancer chemotherapy
  • Dental pain after surgery
  • Addiction
  • Headaches
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Tennis elbow
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Myofascial pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Low back pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Asthma

It may also help with stroke rehabilitation.(1)

Is acupuncture painful?
Acupuncture is not and should not be painful. You may have other sensations during the acupuncture session but pain is not what acupuncturists are looking for. The only time you may feel some mild discomfort is when the needle penetrates the skin. If you do feel pain after the needle is positioned, let your therapist know right away so they can adjust the needle.
Can I move my body during acupuncture?
Answer is yes and no. It depends what type of acupuncture you are getting. In general, it is not suggested to move your body while having acupuncture, because it may cause discomfort and pain where the needles are located. However, there is a specific style of acupuncture that requires patients to move their body parts after the needles are being inserted, in order to achieve the therapeutic effects. I often use active acupuncture to treat joint pain, acute back pain and sport injuries.
How long does an acupuncture session last?
Usually a regular acupuncture visit lasts about 30 to 40 minutes. For some complicated conditions, or other modalities such as massage, cupping are also performed, it can take 60-90 minutes. Your acupuncturist will discuss what techniques/therapies will be used in your acupuncture session beforehand.
How often should I come for acupuncture?
The frequency of the visits varies largely depending on the nature of the conditions and the availability of patients and acupuncturists. For acute and severe conditions, 3 times a week may be necessary before the condition is under control; for mild to moderate ongoing issues, we usually suggest come once a week.
How long will it take to see results?
Depending on the nature of the conditions. For acute or ongoing issues, it may take one to three sessions to see the improvement; for chronic issues, it may take longer to notice the results.
Why did you put needles in my arm for my knee pain, and put needles in my foot for my jaw pain and headache?
Chinese medicine views our body as a whole, and thinks the root of the problem is not always at the level of the problem itself. Chinese acupuncture does use distal points that connect to the treated area by meridians.
I could still feel the needle after my treatment. Is that normal?
Yes, that is normal. If that happens, the sensation usually goes away within a few hours. In the rare case, if it last for more than a couple of days, you should discuss it with your acupuncturist or see your doctors to see if there is something else going on.
I felt a twitching sensation during treatment. Is that normal?
Yes, that is a very common sensation, and there are many other sensations such as warm, cold, ants crawling, sense of relaxation, or floating you could feel. Usually these are normal reactions to acupuncture. But if there is persisting discomfort such as pain, you should let your acupuncturist know and he/she will adjust or reposition the needles.
I got a bruise from the needle. Is that normal?
Bruise is one of the side effects from acupuncture. This is due to the needle puncturing blood vessels, usually the bruise will be absorb by the body in a few days. If you do have bleeding conditions, you should let your acupuncturist know. They can try smaller needles or use alternative points that are less likely to have bruises.

Resources:
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/acupuncture