FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions – Acupuncture

Acupuncture Guelph aims to answer all of your questions. If your question does not appear below, please contact Bonnie!

How does Acupuncture Work?

In the more traditional view, the careful selection of acupuncture points opens up the meridian system in the body, increasing energy flow and stimulating an improvement in the body’s natural healing abilities.

In the more modern, scientific view, acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to release endorphins and enkephalins from the brain. These natural chemicals travel along via the spinal cord, encouraging muscles to relax and inflammation to release. These chemicals also trigger the release of relaxing hormones which influence the body’s internal regulating system. The improved energy flow and biochemical balance results in stimulation of the body’s self-healing abilities. Acupuncture also improves circulation to damaged tissues; increasing oxygen and helping to disperse carbon dioxide, congestion and sluggishness.

Some of the main symptoms that can be relieved with acupuncture are; pain, inflammation, stress, and mobility problems, and since 1996, the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved acupuncture to be an effective treatment for a long list of conditions including the following:

Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, neck and back pain, sports injuries, sciatica, osteoarthritis, neuritis and facial pain, TMJ
Digestive disorders: irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhea and gastritis
Menstrual and reproductive problems: dysmenorrhea and perimenopausal symptoms
Urinary tract disorders: prostatitis and bladder dysfunction, sexual disfunction
Respiratory problems: sinusitis, asthma, sore throat and recurrent respiratory tract infections
Stress and psycho-emotional problems including anxiety and depression
Addictions

For more information on acupuncture, see the complete list of conditions as studied by the World Health Organization (WHO).

back to top

Does acupuncture hurt?

No, acupuncture doesn’t really hurt. There can be a slight pinch when the needle goes in, but it lasts no more than a few seconds and then you begin to feel wonderfully relaxed. If you are still nervous of acupuncture, please ask about alternative methods of acupuncture treatment like acupressure, moxabustion or cupping therapy.

back to top

You offer so many services. How do I know what to choose?
Yes, I can offer many types of services because people are individuals. No one treatment works for everyone. We can talk on the phone or over email and decide if you want to try an acupuncture treatment. The intake process is the same for everyone. I have you fill out a questionnaire and we go over it together to decide what might be helpful for you, and to talk about your preferences. I will make suggestions and we decide together what options we are going to try. You will always have the choice to ask for different options or to decline any suggested method of treatment. I want to hear your feedback so we may adapt our strategies as we move through treatment together. My goal is to give you the most effective treatment I can, while moving at a pace that is comfortable for you.

back to top

What can acupuncture help with?
Acupuncture works with a long list of issues. Some of the main symptoms that can be relieved with acupuncture are; pain, inflammation, stress, and mobility problems, and since 1996, the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved acupuncture to be an effective treatment for a long list of conditions including the following:

  • Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, neck and back pain, sports injuries, sciatica, osteoarthritis, neuritis and facial pain, TMJ
  • Digestive disorders: irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhea and gastritis
  • Menstrual and reproductive problems: dysmenorrhea and perimenopausal symptoms
  • Urinary tract disorders: prostatitis and bladder dysfunction, sexual disfunction
  • Respiratory problems: sinusitis, asthma, sore throat and recurrent respiratory tract infections
  • Stress and psycho-emotional problems including anxiety and depression
  • Addictions

For more information on acupuncture and to see the complete list of conditions studied by the WHO click here.

back to top

What happens during an acupuncture session?
At your first appointment I will ask you to fill out a questionnaire and we will go through it together to decide what we would like to work on. If you have not had acupuncture before I may begin with only a few basic points to see how your body reacts to the treatment.

At subsequent visits we will have a brief talk about how you are feeling, what symptoms you are experiencing and we will decide what we are going to work on for that day. I may ask you to remove some clothing so that I can access the points we need to work on. There will be a sheet to cover up with. Once you are settled on the treatment table I insert your needles, or use whatever other treatment options we have decided on.

I will then give you a few moments to rest while I make notes and I will return and offer Reiki for you for the duration of your treatment. The needles will stay in for approximately 20 minutes. The combination of acupuncture and Reiki is extremely relaxing and soothing and use of the two approaches help to get your energy flowing clearly. This brings the necessary energy, blood, oxygen and healing endorphins to the areas of your body that need healing.

back to top

How long does a session take?
Please allow 60 to 90 minutes for your first session, and about 45 minutes for follow-up sessions. If you are tight for time; say perhaps you are on your lunch hour, please let me know and I can get your session completed in 35 to 40 minutes.

back to top

I am afraid of needles, but I think I would like to try acupuncture. Will you help me?
Yes. Many people are nervous of needles. I was afraid of the needles when I began acupuncture treatments myself. The first thing you need to know is that an acupuncture needle is about 1/10th of the diameter of a regular hypodermic needle. They are almost as thin as a human hair. I use high quality needles for greater comfort, and if you like, you can come into the office and we will insert just one needle to see how you feel about it. Chances are you will be asking me, “Is it in yet?” If you don’t like it we can stop right there.

We can also work with some of the alternative treatment methods I offer. We can use acupressure, cupping therapy,  moxabustion and Reiki.

back to top

Are there any side effects or dangers associated with acupuncture?
You should be aware that there are some inherent risks involved with acupuncture. These are rare but may include minor bleeding or bruising, minor pain or soreness, nausea, fainting, infection, possible perforation of organs and stuck or bent needles.

These risks are further reduced with the proper training and procedures. My training includes several techniques for safe needling to reduce any possible risk to my clients. I am also trained in clean needle technique to minimize any risk of infection. I will not take any chances with your health. Riskier acupuncture points are simply not used as there are many safer alternatives. If you have any concerns, please discuss them with me. I will be happy to explain how I safeguard your health.

back to top

Are you licensed? Are you insured?
My designations for acupuncture are R.Ac. (Registered Acupuncturist) D. Ac, and CAHP. (Diploma in Acupuncture and Certified Acupuncture Health Practitioner.) I am registered with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner and Acupuncturists of Ontario and I carry malpractice insurance.

back to top

Can I use my workplace benefits for acupuncture?
Yes, but it does depend on your insurance carrier. Please be sure to ask ahead of time if they will cover an acupuncturist registered with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario. Be sure to check before you come for treatment.

back to top

How often do I need to come for treatment?
Although each person is different however, I usually suggest at least once a week for 3 to 6 weeks depending on your response to treatment and the goals we are working towards. We can begin to taper the visits off depending on how well you are feeling.

Some conditions would benefit if the person comes back monthly or at least once every 2 to 3 months for a “tune-up” treatment.

These are general guidelines of course. Stubborn issues might require more frequent visits or a longer duration of treatment and other conditions might improve after only 1 or 2 sessions.

back to top

What is moxabustion?
Moxabustion is the process of burning herbs (usually mugwort) on a needle or directly on the skin (direct moxabustion) or near the skin(indirect moxabustion). This is done on selected acupuncture points to warm the meridians and stimulate the acupuncture points. This is particularly useful for ailments like colds, flus and achy, sore muscles and it is quite comforting to have the warm moxa stick moving over your body. The skin is not burned in the process, just warmed.                                                                                                                                                                                                            back to top

Do you do cosmetic acupuncture?
Yes. Please read more about cosmetic acupuncture here.

 

Who is Bonnie?

Bonnie Adam is a Registered Acupuncturist with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners of Ontario. She is also a Certified Acupuncture Health Professional with the Canadian Examining Board of Health Care Practitioners and a Certified Cupping Therapist with The International Association of Cupping Therapists.