Your First Session and Treatment Plan
What will happen on my first visit?
Depending on what services you are interested in receiving, and the health concerns you have, your first visit will consist of an intake process and a discussion of our treatment plan. Your first visit will usually take about an hour; in which time I will consult with you about your history, medical testing and medications, specific concerns, and goals. I will also take your pulse and look at your tongue. All of these means form the foundation for a holistic picture to emerge relating to your unique condition according to western and Chinese Medicine diagnostic methods.
Most patients I see privately receive acupuncture with supplementary advise on nutrition, supplement protocol, lifestyle, and exercise recommendations.
How many sessions will I need?
Most patients experience positive effects after only one acupuncture treatment. However, consistent treatment helps to encourage lasting positive results. Because this type of treatment is individualized, results depend on your particular condition and how it is manifesting in your unique body. Usually, the longer the condition took to develop, the longer it will take to change. During your first consultation I will work with you to set out a personalized treatment plan.
Clients generally begin with a series of treatments closer together to work on a particular concern and then continue with treatment on a less frequent basis for maintenance. Many patients find treatments to be very relaxing and end up discovering that our sessions benefit all sorts of other aspects of their lives.
What do you treat?
Acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition counseling, and yoga can be very effective therapies for a number of conditions. Some of the more common conditions I encounter include stress, fatigue, menopausal difficulty, anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, menstrual irregularity, and digestive disorders. Acupuncture is also very effective at addressing musculo-skeletal pain and injury.
I take a special interest in patients who are willing to follow through with self care practices at home, and are curious about incorporating exercise, movement or meditation practices into their treatment plan.
What is acupuncture and how does it work?
Acupuncture is one of the key treatments used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is a natural method of treatment in which sterile micro-thin disposable needles are inserted at specific points along the body. These points trigger the body to regulate/circulate Qi (pronounced “chee”) or energy through energetic channels called meridians. Qi runs through skin, bone and organs and its flow affects our physical, mental, and emotional health. When there is physical injury or emotional stress the natural flow of energy is blocked leading to disease. By tapping into the body’s intelligence balance is restored and illness prevented. Acupuncture can also be explained in western medical terms using the concepts of trigger points in muscles and the activation of the nervous and immune systems.
What does acupuncture treat?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete system of medicine and healing. Using TCM, practitioners can diagnose and treat almost any health condition. TCM is particularly good at regulating systems in the body and addressing chronic or stress related diseases. In fact, many disorders that western medicine fails to successfully treat or prevent TCM addresses.
Acupuncture and TCM is also a way to optimize an already healthy body and mind and can be used as a preventative measure.
Is acupuncture proven?
Chinese Medicine has endured over 2000 years of clinical study and use. Throughout this time, countless physicians have developed the Chinese Medicine we use today through thorough research, academic discussion, and trial and error.
More recently, western institutions such as the world health organization (WHO) and the Mayo clinic have conducted numerous clinical trials to prove the effectiveness of this ancient healing art and to determine the exact mechanisms by which acupuncture is effective. A popular WHO publication cites hundreds of conditions acupuncture is effective at treating including infertility/reproductive issues, digestive disturbances, physical pain and injuries, high blood pressure, migraines, stress disorders, depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and addictions to name just a few.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Because the needles are extremely thin acupuncture does not usually cause pain. A slight discomfort or heaviness may be felt during treatment, but usually patients report feeling relaxed and many fall asleep during treatment. My approach is gentle and I encourage feedback to ensure patient comfort and relaxation.
Can I get acupuncture if I'm pregnant?
Yes! Acupuncture can be very therapeutic during pregnancy. Modified treatments help to support pre and post-natal conditions such as fatigue, morning sickness, breach babies, and body pain.
Acupuncure can also be used in the weeks leading up to labor to prepare the body and eventually for induction (if needed).
What is cupping, gua sha and moxa?
Cupping and gua sha are massage techniques that use small glass cups and wooden implements to relax muscles and release tension and stagnation. These methods are sometimes used in conjunction with acupuncture. Moxabustion (moxa) uses a herb called mugwort to bring warmth to certain points. The herb is burned near the points allowing not only the warmth of the smoke but also some of the medicinal properties of the plant to affect the body.
Does my health coverage or MSP in BC recognize acupuncture?
BC residents with MSP are covered for $23 (per visit) for up to 10 visits a year and most extended health plans cover acupuncture. Students who have a school health plan (including UVIC and Camosun college) have full coverage. Please contact your provider for more information.
What are Jennifer's Chinese Medicine and acupuncture qualifications?
Jennifer graduated with her doctorate of Traditional Chinese Medicine which is the highest designation in her profession. This included 5 full time years of Chinese medicine study including many western biomedical sciences. Health Canada appoints the CTCMA in BC to regulate and monitor the practice of Chinese Medicine in BC. Jennifer is a licensed Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (acupuncturist and herbalist) with the CTCMA which allows her to practice acupuncture and herbal medicine privately in BC.
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