Acupuncture is the gentle stimulation of specific points on the body using single-use, sterile disposable needles. The activation of these acupuncture points opens communication pathways through the various systems of the body.
Acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system to create biochemical changes in the body. This activates our body’s natural healing potential so it can effectively fight disease, support good health, and modulate pain.
Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and World Health Organization (WHO) as being an effective treatment for a variety of health conditions such as: pain, injury recovery, insomnia, stress, mental health, digestive health, women’s health, fertility and more.
IMS (intramuscular stimulation) is a form of acupuncture that all acupuncturists are trained in. IMS and traditional acupuncture have some similarities but their purposes and function in treatment vary. Many other practitioners such as physiotherapists have advanced education which allows them to perform IMS in their sessions as an adjunct to their treatment scope.
IMS involves strategically placing sterile needles directly into tight muscles, trigger points or near dysfunctional nerve junctions, with the goal of reducing muscle tension and restoring functionality of the affected muscle. This technique can greatly alleviate myofascial pain (pain resulting from chronically tight muscles) and neuropathic pain (pain associated with irritated or over-sensitized nerves).
IMS is an effective technique that is regularly incorporated into pain related acupuncture treatments by registered acupuncturists.
Cupping is a relaxing treatment which involves the placement of a glass or silicone cup to an area of the body to create a suction effect on the skin. Cupping is commonly described as an “inverse massage” that yields the effects of a deep tissue massage. Rather than applying deep pressure into a muscle, cupping gently lifts and pulls upwards on the tight tissue creating a relieving and relaxing sensation. Cups can be gently moved across the skin or placed to rest on a problem area. Cupping helps promote circulation, alleviates pain and muscle tension.
Popular areas for cupping include the back, neck, shoulders, and legs.
Bruising is an expected side effect of cupping; red marks can last from 3-5 days after a session. Chinese Medicine philosophy believes that where there is pain, there is stagnation or blockage of the free flow of vital energy (Qi), lymph or blood. The darker the marks, the greater the stagnation. Cupping is a technique that breaks up blockages and restores the body’s natural circulation, aiding in pain relief, muscle relaxation and tissue health.
Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) is a safe, natural, and effective way to assist one’s body to its optimal function. CHM has been widely studied and practiced in eastern medicine for the treatment of many conditions as well as to support general wellbeing and health.
CHM is composed of herbal combinations that a qualified Chinese medicine practitioner will prescribe as a formula in various forms such as, concentrated powders drank as teas, tablets, and occasionally raw herbs that are cooked over the stove and drank as a tea. These formulas are designed custom to your personal needs based on your signs and symptoms and Chinese medicine diagnosis.
Acupuncturists will often combine CHM with acupuncture treatment to fortify the treatment and resolve your health concerns and goals faster.
CHM is compatible with many prescriptions and over the counter medications, but in some cases not. Your qualified Chinese medicine practitioner will assess whether CHM is a safe option for you, by identifying any medications or supplements you make take as well as if you have any heath conditions that are not compatible with CHM.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) for pregnancy and fertility support is gaining popularity and validity in the Western world each year. Acupuncture and CHM has shown great results in both men and women, in restoring fertility, improving sperm and egg quality and balancing the endocrine system and hormones.
Acupuncture and CHM can be applied in 3 stages of family planning, from preparing to conceive, to pregnancy to postpartum care.
Dr. Rae suggests booking a free consultation so that you can meet and discuss how fertility acupuncture and TCM can support you.
Acupuncture needles are extremely thin and cause little to no discomfort. Some acupuncture techniques or locations can be more stimulating than others. Some people report a dull ache or awareness around the needle site. This mild sensation usually fades within a minute after insertion. Once all the needles are inserted, people usually report no awareness of the needles and an overall feeling for relaxation.
Your first appointment will involve a thorough intake of your health status and wellness goals. Be prepared to discuss your sleep habits, diet, digestive status and your current medications as these are key factors in assessing your overall health and used to develop a unique treatment plan to meet your goals. After gathering your health information your acupuncturist will set you up for your treatment. Most acupuncture clients describe treatment as being pleasurable and relaxing and many fall asleep during their sessions. Your acupuncturist will place needles which will stay in place for 15-30 minutes, depending on the condition treated. You will be left to relax on a cozy heated bed, under a heat lamp, accompanied by music of your choice. Every client is left with a paging system which they can use to call the acupuncturist back into the room at any time if needed. At the end of treatment, all needles are removed, and you can return to your regular daily activities.
Ensure you come to your acupuncture appointments recently fed and hydrated. Many people choose to come prepared wearing loose-fitting clothing that can be easily rolled up to the knees and elbows or pack a set of shorts and a T-shirt to change into. Others prefer to change and be draped as they would for a massage treatment, all are acceptable and come down to your comfort level.
The frequency and number of acupuncture treatments needed can vary depending on outcome goals, degree of the client’s condition and current health status. Typically, a series of more frequent treatments (once a week) are recommended in the beginning, which will taper off into maintenance visits as the clients condition improves. Your acupuncturist will discuss your treatment plan and number of treatments needed with you at your initial appointment and will be an opportunity to work together on a plan that works best for you.
80 min first visit * New patients*
Intake of health history, discussion of symptoms, desired outcomes, treatment plan and potential herbal prescriptions. Includes initial acupuncture treatment and additional modalities (cupping, IMS, electro-acupuncture, GuaSha)
60 min - Brief reassessment followed by acupuncture treatment, including modalities as needed (cupping, IMS, electro-acupuncture, GuaSha)
10 min -This is an opportunity to ask questions and learn about the benefits of acupuncture, Chinese medicine and holistic nutrition, gathering further insight into whether working with Dr. Rae is right for you.
Acupuncture & TCM in Calgary
We look forward to your call