Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the body at specific points. It is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and can be used as one part of a multi-disciplinary treatment approach for chronic benign pain. Acupuncture may also be a helpful adjunctive treatment for nausea or vomiting associated with chemotherapy.
Acupuncture is less likely to be effective as a stand-alone therapy, and at our facility, it is used in the context of comprehensive medical treatment. This might include participation in complementary programs such as physical therapy, the spine clinic, the fibromyalgia group, the online headache program, or the chronic pain management program. A clear medical diagnosis is required before acupuncture treatment begins, and a physician referral is therefore required. It is important for patients to participate concurrently in self-care activities such as independent exercise, self-massage techniques, and stress management as acupuncture is generally not used as a long-term maintenance therapy.
If you are interested in receiving acupuncture, your first step should be to speak to your doctor. Physicians can refer appropriate patients for acupuncture treatments. Once our department receives the referral, we will call you to book your first three appointments. The first appointment is a one hour introductory class which will provide you with important information about how to prepare for and what to expect from your acupuncture sessions. It will also allow you the opportunity to ask any questions you might have. Next, you will receive a series of several private acupuncture treatments. After the acupuncture trial is completed, the acupuncturist will assess the results and report them to your physician.