Acupuncture is not painful. During initial insertion, you may feel a minor tingling until the needle reaches the correct location under the skin. Sometime a brief sensation of heat is felt momentarily. In most cases, patients do not even know the needles are being inserted.
Acupuncture is very safe. It is absolutely drug-free; thus, there are no side effects except feeling relaxed after the procedure. The skin is treated with alcohol and disposable sterile needles are used, so there is little danger of infection.
The number of treatments that a patient will require depends on a variety of factors, the severity and duration of your problem, your current health, and your overall quality and quantity of Qi. Your acupuncturist may suggest one or two treatments per week for several weeks, or monthly visits over time for health maintenance, seasonal "tune ups", or preventative medicine.
As with most health practitioners, the first visit to an acupuncturist usually begins with the practitioner taking a detailed history. Since traditional Chinese medicine takes a more holistic approach, you may be asked questions that appear unimportant (questions about your sleep habits, your ability to tolerate heat or cold etc.) but are actually vital to the type of care you will receive. After reviewing your history, the practitioner will begin diagnosing your ailment. Depending on your condition, you may be subjected to an examination of the tongue, as well as an examination of the pulse a major diagnostic technique in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Using all the information obtained during the history and diagnosis, the practitioner will then determine the cause of your symptoms. Depending on the condition, needles will be inserted into specific acupuncture points on the body.
OHIP unfortunately does not cover Acupuncture; however most extended health insurance benefits do cover acupuncture treatments. Please contact your provider to obtain details on the extent and conditions of coverage.
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