Acupuncture is available:
& alternating Fridays (afternoons)
To book an acupuncture appointment please call reception at (250) 598-3718 or book anytime using our easy online booking function
Read below for Acupuncture FAQ and additional information on what to expect during your appointment.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine that originated in China thousands of years ago. It involves the insertion of thin sterile needles into specific points along the body to induce healing and balance the body. It does this by reducing pain and inflammation, stimulating the immune system, increasing blood circulation, and reducing stress.
How are Registered Acupuncturists trained?
BC requires licensing of all Registered Acupuncturists. It is regulated under the Health Professions Act and registrants must be licensed with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC (CTCMA). In BC, a Registered Acupuncturist undergoes a minimum of 3 years of full-time accredited acupuncture education in addition to 2 years of prerequisite university sciences. After completing 5 years of education, they must pass a National Board Exam in order to be licensed to practice in BC. The title ‘Acupuncturist’ is restricted to Registered Acupuncturists (R.Ac) licensed by the CTCMA.
Registered Acupuncturists must renew their license every year. The continuing education requirements for Registered Acupuncturists are amongst the highest of all the regulated health professions in BC.
How does it work?
Acupuncture can reduce pain and stimulate the body’s own healing response; the body recognizes the needle as ‘foreign’ and this stimulates the immune system to start the healing process and regulate the pain cycle. It does this by interrupting pain signals along the nerve fibres, increasing circulation, releasing endorphins and stimulating the central nervous system to regulate neurotransmitters and hormones. The release of these chemicals reduce pain, stimulate the immune system and regulate various functions and systems in the body.
Acupuncture is based on the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the concept of balancing the flow of energy through the meridians in the body. In TCM, meridians are defined as pathways that flow between the organs and the surface of the body. (They often correlate with the circulatory and nervous system in western medicine). In a healthy body energy flows smoothly; in an unhealthy or injured body the energy becomes blocked or stagnant. Stimulating acupuncture points along the meridian affects the energy of that organ and also improves energy circulation throughout the body.
Is there any research on acupuncture?
Yes, there are many studies showing the efficacy of acupuncture for a variety of conditions particularly pain relief. Please see here for links to some of the more recent published studies.
What does it feel like?
People find treatment to be a gentle and relaxing experience. The needles are as thin as a strand of hair. Often you will not feel the insertion at all. Kristina’s technique is very gentle and many people come specifically for this reason, especially those who are nervous or trying it for the first time. Many people find it so relaxing they will fall asleep.
How big are the needles?
The needles are extremely thin, much smaller than hypodermic needles (the ones used for drawing blood). In fact you can fit about seven acupuncture needles inside a hypodermic needle. An acupuncture needle is as thin as a strand of hair.
What if I am afraid of needles?
Don’t worry Kristina is very gentle and will do everything possible to make sure you are comfortable. Most people who are nervous are pleasantly surprised at how relaxing and comfortabe it is.
How many treatments will it take?
Most conditions see improvement with 3 to 4 treatments. After the 4th treatment we will re-assess to see where you are at and if you require additional treatments.
There are two approaches to treatment.
Relief care: Some patients seek acupuncture for pain relief and to remove symptoms from a recent injury. In this case, we recommend once a week for 3 to 6 weeks or until symptoms are resolved.
Wellness care: Acupuncture stimulates your body’s own ability to heal itself. By receiving regular treatments you ensure that your body will be ready for all the things you throw its way. Many patients incorporate regular acupuncture into their overall health routine. This type of care is termed wellness care and the goal is to keep you healthy and prevent problems before they arise. If your goal is long-term wellness, Kristina can help you determine the best approach for you… whether it’s once a month or seasonal tune-ups.
Is acupuncture covered by extended health care plans?
Acupuncture is covered under most extended health insurance plans. Please check your plan to confirm coverage details.
How long does a treatment take?
The initial assessment and treatment takes approximately an hour and a half. Subsequent treatments are approximately 50 to 55 minutes.
What happens during my first appointment?
Your first appointment will take about an hour and a half and will include the initial assessment as well as acupuncture treatment. During your first visit, you will be asked to fill out a medical history and answer a series of questions about your health. A treatment plan will be developed based on your comfort level and particular needs. The plan may also include supplement suggestions, exercises and dietary recommendations. Kristina will ensure your comfort and answer any questions you may have before starting the acupuncture treatment.
Where do the needles go?
Most points are on the lower legs, lower arms and back as these are the acupuncture points with the strongest effect.
Can I rest during my treatment?
You can definitely rest during your treatment. Most people find acupuncture to be so relaxing, they fall asleep during their treatment.
What will happen after a treatment?
After treatment some people notice an immediate reduction in pain or symptoms. Others will notice a mild aggravation of symptoms for a few hours. For example if you have shoulder pain you may notice your shoulder feels heavy and achy for 2-3 hours. This is normal and it will feel better the next day. The majority of people report feeling calm and relaxed after their treatment.
Are acupuncture needles sterile?
Yes. Each needle is sterile and individually packaged. They are used only once and then properly disposed of in a bio-hazard waste container.
What is the difference between IMS and Acupuncture?
IMS (intramuscular stimulation) is a technique performed by a physiotherapist or sometimes a medical doctor. Although it employs the use of needles, IMS is not acupuncture; it is based on body physiology rather than Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). IMS is a relatively new technique whereas acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine is a system of medicine that has been used for thousands of years.
Although both use needles in treatment, the technique and approach is very different.
Acupuncture is based on the concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine and a diagnosis is made based on a comprehensive assessment of your overall health. Treatments consist of local points to relieve pain as well as distal points to support your overall immune system and underlying health issues. A treatment plan also involves diet and lifestyle recommendations based on your particular diagnosis whereas IMS is focused on local pain and does not employ formal TCM diagnosis or recommendations.
There is a also a difference in the level of training between a physiotherapist and a Registered Acupuncturist. Acupuncture is a government regulated profession under the Provincial Health Professions Act and registrants must be licensed with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC (CTCMA). In BC a Registered Acupuncturist undergoes a minimum of 3 years of full-time accredited acupuncture education in addition to 2 years of prerequisite university sciences. After completing 5 years of education they must pass a National Board Exam in order to be licensed to practice in BC. The title ‘Acupuncturist’ is restricted to Registered Acupuncturists licensed by the CTCMA regulatory body and only a licensed Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac) is permitted to call themselves an Acupuncturist in BC. Registered Acupuncturists must renew their license every year. The continuing education requirements for Registered Acupuncturists are amongst the highest of all the regulated health professions in BC. In contrast, the IMS needling education a physiotherapist or physician undertakes is often completed over several weekends.
There are benefits to both but it’s important to know the difference so you can decide what’s best for you.
I’m healthy. Can I still come for acupuncture?
Everybody can benefit from acupuncture. The greatest strength of Traditional Chinese Medicine is prevention. Just as taking your car for regular oil changes prolongs its life; balancing the body and decreasing inflammation will improve your health and quality of life.
How do I book an appointment?
To book an appointment with Kristina please call Koru Natural Health Centre at (250) 598-3718 or use our easy online booking function. If you have any questions about your particular condition or acupuncture in general please feel free to contact us. We’d love to hear from you.