What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a system of medicinal practices that were developed in China over 2000 years ago. It encompasses a broad range of healing modalities such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, tui na, cupping, qi gong, moxibustion, gua sha, dietary therapy and so on. TCM believes that there is a vital energy called “Qi” or “Chi” that circulates through our bodies in channels called meridians. When the body's Qi is stagnated (for example, from a physical or emotional incident) TCM holds that through the use of one or more of these modalities, it can effectively and naturally influence the stagnated Qi and in doing so, heal the body. 

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture involves inserting very fine, one-time-use, stainless steel needles into various energy centres (acupuncture points) on the body. Through the delicate and thoughtful insertion of these needles, your practitioner is tapping into your energy (Qi) flowing through your body. This simple yet complex technique is extremely effective in relieving pain and alleviating other physical, mental, and emotional conditions. After inserted, the needles are typically left in place for 20-30 minutes as to sufficiently affect and improve the energy flows. During this time patients often feel a sense of deep relaxation. 

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture should not hurt. The needles are specially designed to enter the skin easily and effortlessly and 99% of the time, patients do not feel any pain or discomfort. Occasionally, upon insertion, a needle may hit a capillary or follicle and the patient will experience a stinging sensation. When this sensation is communicated to the practitioner, the needle is immediately removed and the spot tenderly rubbed! The painful sensation is bearable and fleeting.


Typically when a needle is inserted, patients are often surprised at how little the felt, if anything at all. After inserted past the skin layer, the needle is usually inserted a bit deeper (this is often the case when treating muscle tension), and patients will tend to feel a pressure sensation or sometimes even a satisfying muscle twitch. The twitch is a great sign that “we got the spot!” and the muscle was effectively treated. Other non-muscle acupoints are gently manipulated to bring about a sensation called, “de qi” which is, bringing the energy of the body to that point. Again this sensation feels like light pressure. Sometimes during a treatment, all these energy sensations are purely felt by the practitioner alone and the patient feels no sensation at all, except for the calming effect and the positive change in their health.

*Patients come with all sorts of preferences and styles. Some prefer only a few needles with minor and light manipulation, while others prefer upwards of 50 needles with deep and heavy stimulation. Everyone is different and you can rest assured that your practitioner will be sensitive to your needs and that through mutual communication, you will receive a treatment that is comfortable, beneficial and effective.