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  • Is acupuncture safe?

    If performed by a qualified, conscientious practitioner, yes. Licensed Acupuncturists know the human anatomy well, and insert needles in a safe fashion. The instruments used to penetrate the skin are either pre-sterilized and disposable after a single use, or disinfected and sterilized in an autoclave, as surgical and dental instruments are, after each use.

    The practitioner is well aware of the concern over infectious diseases, and takes every measure to insure cleanliness as all health care professional do.

    Bleeding rarely occurs, unless done so on purpose in specific situations. Even then the amount is minimal and in no way dangerous.

  • Is acupuncture painful?

    Acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible, about the diameter of a human hair. Insertion by a skilled practitioner usually will be completely painless; in most cases needles are inserted just below the surface of the skin.

    Acupuncture bears no resemblance to the feeling of getting an injection, as the main source of pain from injections is the hollow needle and the medication being forced into the tissue by pressure.

  • Who Pays The Cost?

    In Ontario, although the Traditional Chinese Medicine Act,2006, has been passed by the provincial legislative assembly, as an alternative healthcare service, the cost of acupuncture is not covered by OHIP yet at this moment. However, most of the extended insurance plans do cover the cost due to the highly recognized effectiveness of acupuncture in helping patients restoring their health.

    For more details about the coverage and claim procedures, please check with your insurance policy administrator.

  • How big are the needles and how deep are they inserted?

    The stainless steel needles, normally about as thin as a human hair, are presterilized and disposable. Unlike the hollow needles used for giving injections, acupuncture needles are solid. The acupuncturist will insert them to a depth of anywhere from a quarter of an inch to 3 inches, depending on the amount of subcutaneous fat that the needles need to penetrate.

  • How many sessions do I need in order to start feeling the benefits?

    That depends on the severity of the condition. For some people, the effect of acupuncture can be quite dramatic — they may feel the benefits after one session. For others, the response may be more gradual. In general, you should notice at least small changes in your condition within four to six treatments. If you are not seeing benefits, keep in mind that there is variability in the quality of acupuncturists. So before deciding whether acupuncture works for you, you could also consider trying a different practitioner. At TCM Healthcare / Ontario Pain Clinic, the majority of our patients conditions improve after their first visit.