How should I prepare for my first session?


Be sure to have eaten a light meal and be well hydrated before you come in, and please allow time for your food to digest so it is recommended that you eat at least an hour before your session. As most acupuncture points are located on the limbs, head, and abdomen, loose and comfortable clothing will be suffice for the purpose of treatment and for your comfort. Please do not consume caffeine or alcohol prior to your treatment. It is also recommended not to consume alcohol at least 24 hours after treatment. It is important to not take any pain medications for at least several hours prior to your treatment, as it will affect the acupoint functions. It is also advised to not schedule any over-exerting physical activities or stressful appointments after the treatment session, since the acupuncture effects will continue even after removal of the needles. There is a chance that you may feel overly relaxed or a slight numbness/soreness, depending on how your body’s self-healing mechanism kicks in. Nonetheless, many do feel energized and lightened after treatment. To save time from dealing with paperwork when you come in for the session, please print the forms attached HERE and bring it in with you completed and signed. However, if you would like to fill out the forms at the clinic, please come 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time to ensure it will not take up your treatment time.




What should I expect on my first visit?


Your first visit will be your longest visit out of the entire course of treatment. A complete consultation will be performed to obtain all relevant health information, and will include questions regarding your physical habits, lifestyle, diet, personality, etc. Tongue examination and pulse taking will also be part of the consultation. After gathering the necessary information, a TCM diagnosis will be given. Medical advice, as well as lifestyle adjustments and dietary recommendations will be provided upon diagnosis, and, after answering any questions or concerns you may have, treatment will begin. Needles will be retained for a range of 20 to 30 minutes. A cup of hot tea will be provided for your comfort after the needles are removed, and you can slowly get dressed. If you have any further questions or concerns at this time, please feel free to ask.




What should I expect during treatment?


The sensations brought upon by acupuncture needles vary from person to person, and this is highly related to the patient’s pain tolerance as well. I use multiple needling methods in my practice to accommodate sensitivity differences amongst different people and the type of illness itself. Most people feel only minimal pain, and some feel no pain at all. The de-qi sensation as mentioned in the ACUPUNCTURE section will, however, be present. This sensation refers to numbness, heaviness, electrical tingling, or soreness. This experience signifies qi movement, and that the healing process has begun. Please note that any sharp pain or severe cramping sensations is not a normal or positive reaction to the needles. Although highly unlikely, please do notify me if this sensation occurs.




How often should I be treated?


The frequency and number of visits vary, and is determined by the type, duration, and severity of the condition. For instance, a patient with an acute sports injury may be required to receive more frequent treatments with a shorter course of treatment, while another patient with a chronic illness may need to come for a longer treatment course with relatively less frequent sessions. In most cases, I usually suggest patients to receive one to two treatments per week when addressing a complaint, and monthly visits for health maintenance and rejuvenation.




How safe is acupuncture?


Acupuncture is definitely safe. All needles are sterile, single-use, individually packaged, and disposable. The needles are also extremely fine, which will not inflict major bleeding or extreme pain. Upon removal of needles, they are safely disposed into biohazard containers. Acupuncture rarely causes any side effects, so you can experience complete relief. Is it safe to receive acupuncture treatment when I am on prescribed medications, have recently undergone surgery, or am also currently receiving other forms of treatments such as chiropractic, physiotherapy, massage, etc.? It is a yes in most cases. Acupuncture is rarely contraindicated in the situations mentioned above. It may actually be quite beneficial in certain cases, as it is able to improve and optimize the body’s recovery mechanism. If you have any concerns regarding your condition, please feel free to contact me, and/or have your doctor contact me.




Can children receive treatment?


Yes! In fact, pediatrics is a major subject in TCM, with plenty of historical records describing the benefits of TCM and acupuncture to children especially towards their physical and mental development. I highly recommend children to receive treatment at a young age, as results are much more prominent and is seen quicker than in most adults. Moreover, lifestyle and dietary recommendations will greatly benefit their growth and development. Although children under the age of 3 is not advised to receive acupuncture treatment, mainly due to difficult control over their movements, and that they are significantly smaller in size, they can be benefited by acupressure, which is massage of acupuncture points. Please keep in mind that children under 16 will require consent from a parent or guardian to receive acupuncture treatment.




Can pregnant women receive treatment?


Yes! Acupuncture is definitely safe and beneficial for both the mother and the baby. Many pregnancy related conditions can be treated by acupuncture, including morning sickness, edema, lumbar pain, sciatica, to name a few. Acupuncture can also help in inducing labour, reducing labour pain, and turning a breech baby.




If I pay more/less, do I in turn receive more/less needles?


Definitely no. All treatment decisions are made in the best interests of the patient.The number of needles that are administered is tailored to the patient’s specific condition, and is absolutely not determined by the payment.




Does insurance cover acupuncture?


BC Medical Services Plan The Medical Services Plan of BC (MSP) for acupuncture treatment is eligible for people receiving premium assistance. If you are unsure of your coverage, we will confirm this for you and inform you of the number of treatments you have remaining for the year. Please bring your CareCard or Personal Health Number with you to your initial appointment. A doctor’s referral is NOT required. MSP pays for a combined annual limit of 10 visits for acupuncture treatment, massage therapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic, naturopathy and non-surgical podiatry. MSP covers $23.00 per visit for premium assistance beneficiaries. Extended Health Coverage Extended health coverage vary from plan to plan and usually coverage for Acupuncture is between 70-100% of treatment fees. Some plans offer a dollar amount per year instead of a percentage. Please check your benefits booklet or contact your insurance provider for further details of your coverage. To receive the reimbursement from your extended health plan, please submit your receipts to your provider directly. It is recommended that you submit your receipts regularly to prevent missing the submission deadlines.




What conditions can TCM treat?


As more people are benefitting from acupuncture, numerous studies have been done on the treatment method, mainly focusing on the types of conditions in which acupuncture is able to treat effectively. A pioneer study was done in 2003 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) named “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials”. The report consists of a compilation of conditions that are shown to be effectively treated by acupuncture, and I have placed the list below for your reference. Apart from the list, there are a plethora of illnesses documented in centuries of TCM medical scripts that have been effectively treated through the use of acupuncture, and have yet to be studied on by western research. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns about a condition not listed below, and I can provide you with further information on how TCM may help. Psychological Conditions

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • OCD
  • PTSD
  • Somatization disorder
  • Hypersomnia
  • Insomnia
Neurological Conditions
  • Headache and migraine
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Facial palsy (early stage, within three to six months)
  • Paresis following stroke
  • Peripheral neuropathies
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Nocturnal enuresis
  • Cervicobrachial syndrome
  • Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
  • Intercostal neuralgia
  • Disc problems
Musculo-skeletal Conditions
  • Muscle pain, swelling, stiffness and weakness
  • Localized traumatic injuries, sprains, strains, tendinitis, contractures
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Work and sports related injuries
  • Low back and/or neck strain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • “Frozen shoulder”, “tennis elbow”
  • Sciatica
Respiratory System Conditions
  • Acute sinusitis
  • Acute rhinitis
  • Common cold and allergies*
  • Acute tonsillitis
  • Acute bronchitis
  • Bronchial asthma
Conditions of the Eye, Ear, Nose & Mouth
  • Acute conjunctivitis
  • Central retinitis
  • Myopia (in children)
  • Cataract (without complications)
  • Toothaches, post extraction pain
  • Gingivitis
  • Acute and chronic pharyngitis
Gynecological Conditions
  • Infertility
  • PMS
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Menopause syndrome
  • Benign irregular menstruation
  • Benign amenorrhea
  • Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome
Cardiovascular Conditions
  • Essential hypertension
Other Conditions
  • Withdrawal from street and pharmacological drugs
  • Appetite suppression




Which treatment should I choose for my first visit?


The two primary modalities that I use is TCM Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture. So how do you know what's best for your complaint? A general rule is to book for Acupuncture if it is a musculoskeletal issue such as physical pain, and Herbal Medicine if it is internal related, such as digestive or menstrual issues. However, because most problems can be addressed with either or both treatments, I will suggest a tailored treatment plan for you upon our initial assessment. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or call me before making an appointment.





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© 2020 by Adrien Ip, D.TCM R.Ac