Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect in my first visit?

See detailed explanation in What to expect in your first visit that is also located in Welcome.

How does acupuncture work?

The purpose of acupuncture is to restore harmony and balance to the mind, body and heart-spirit. By gently inserting fine needles at specific points along the body’s energy pathways, the body is stimulated to heal the disharmonies that have led to pain and other unwanted symptoms. For more information on how acupuncture works, see article on Acupuncture – A Brief Introduction.

What will I feel when I receive acupuncture?

As the fine needles penetrate the skin surface, there may be a brief moment of discomfort followed by a mild sensation of: pins and needles, dull achiness, travelling warmth, mild soreness, or heaviness. These are all normal healthy signs of the body’s Qi (vital energy) being stimulated and activated in the meridians. They are temporary and should disappear within several seconds. Read this article about how feeling these sensations is necessary to achieve the best therapeutic effects from acupuncture.

How long do the acupuncture needles stay in?

Once inserted, acupuncture needles stay in for approximately 20 min. During this time, clients are encouraged to relax and often enter a state of relaxation to the point of enjoying a short nap.

Are acupuncture needles and cupping tools safe and clean?

All needles used for acupuncture and wet cupping are sterile, single-use, and disposable. This clinic follows strict health standards that comply with regulations set by the College of TCM Practitioners and Acupuncturists (CTCMA) as well as standards set by the BC Ministry of Health according to the Best Practice Guidelines for Cleaning, Disinfection and Sterilization of Critical and Semi-critical Medical Devices.

When is the best time to receive acupuncture and/or cupping?

Plan to receive acupuncture and/or cupping on a day that will not be too busy for you. If you are a woman and plan to have wet cupping done, come 2-6 days prior to your monthly cycle – this assists in expelling the old blood out better and strengthening health faster. Believing that it enhances the benefits, many people also time their wet cupping treatments in relation to the moon cycle, and have this therapy done on the 17th, 19th, or 21st days of the lunar month.

What will I feel like after receiving acupuncture and/or cupping?

After sessions of acupuncture and/or wet cupping, you may feel a deep sense of relaxation and possible drowsiness. Or you may feel relaxed, yet rejuvenated and energized. If you had cupping done, the temporary bruise-like marks may feel tender for 24-48 hours.  Take warm salt baths, stay hydrated and eat nourishing foods.

What should I do the same day after receiving acupuncture and/or cupping?

To get the most from your treatment, try to arrange your schedule after acupuncture and/or cupping so there is as little busy, rushing around type of activity as possible. Get lots of warm, nourishing fluids like hot water, herbal teas, soups, and avoid exercising, going to bed late, and loud places. If you had wet cupping, soak in a hot salts bath before bed.

Are herbs safe to take? Are they made from endangered species of plants or animals?

Herb products are made from high-quality concentrated extracts and only available by prescription from a TCM practitioner. No herbs are from endangered species of plants or animals. All herbs are approved safe to ingest by Health Canada with Natural Health Product numbers (NHP), and are laboratory-certified to be free of harmful bacteria, pesticides, aristolochic acid and heavy metals.

Do herbs have any negative side effects?

Herbs are prescribed as a formula designed so that negative side effects of any herbs are eliminated by the properties and actions of other herbs in the formula.  Some side effects may occur such as loose stools, especially if clients do not stay properly hydrated. In detoxification processes, the body may respond to herbs through temporary, mild expression of the toxins as the body moves through expelling them. This detox process can be facilitated by also having wet cupping therapy done.

How many sessions will it take?

Number of required sessions will depend on your active participation in applying health recommendations at home or work, as well as your health goals – relieve the symptoms, treat the root cause and correct deficiencies, or maintain harmony.  Treating excess most often brings fast results and requires anywhere from 2 – 5 sessions. Treating deficiency often takes much longer because the body has to rebuild substance – tissue, blood and highly nutritive fluids, so 6 – 12 sessions may be required.

You should notice physical improvement by the time you complete 3 treatment sessions (with any doctor or healer using any modality). If there is none, then consider the following three suggestions:

1.  Try a different doctor or healing modality. Very rarely is any one doctor 100% successful.  75% is a good average among advanced practitioners.  It often requires a team of healing hands to help you.
2.  Discover the vital message or gift that illness may have for you, as some illnesses are not healed until you change the habits that re-create that condition.
3.  Be mindfully aware to raise your own vibration, face emotions, and let go of any possible resistances.

Does insurance cover treatment costs?

Most extended health care insurance plans cover a portion of acupuncture costs and may cover herbal medicine – check your insurance policy. MSP covers a portion of acupuncture costs for those registered to receive premium assistance (see Schedule of Fees for details), but not herbal medicine or cupping. Dr. Ling’s sessions often include acupuncture so clients not only benefit health-wise, but can also claim treatments.

What should I do to prepare before coming for treatment?

Acupuncture and cupping treatments are not advised when fasting more than 8 hours, very hungry, dehydrated or overly tired, otherwise fainting or mild dizziness can result. Come to treatments having had adequate rest, hydration, and a nourishing snack or light meal. Wear loose, comfortable clothing that can be easily moved to reach shoulders and knees. Bring your most recent medical lab reports, if you have any and they are easily accessible.