When Is Acupuncture Right for You?

October 17, 2018

Reading Time: 4 minutes

You may have heard amazing stories about acupuncture from friends or family but still feel unclear about what it could do for you. You might have a fear of needles, and just aren’t sure if the benefits of acupuncture are worth mustering up the courage to overcome this fear.

Three acupuncture needles.

Here I’m going to shine a light on what conditions acupuncture can help with, when it makes the most sense for your body, and when you shouldn’t seek acupuncture depending on the condition. This will hopefully give you the confidence to decide whether or not this alternative form of healing is right for you.


Between being 100% healthy and in a life-threatening emergency where you need to be rushed to the hospital, there is an entire gray area called disease. This is where your body may experience anything from unwanted aches or pains, sleepless nights, hormone imbalances, to chronic digestive issues or autoimmune diseases. All these conditions however, are considered “imbalances” in Chinese Medicine.

Imbalance? That’s right. If you’ve ever gone to the doctor for a problem, that wasn’t quite an emergency, but definitely was something that felt off – you’ve experienced an imbalance.

You may remember the long wait times, having to go through tests, scans, and over the course of a few weeks to a few months, finally hear the words “You’re fine.”

Every scan showed up with no results. Although the doctor has reassured you there’s nothing wrong, you’re left with the big question:

“If I’m fine, why do I still experience this unwanted problem?”

You know something is off, but haven’t received clear direction on how to move forward in improving your condition.

You might have tried to push through the problem. Ignore it. Or just give it some time. The problem however, still seems to creep back up on you in certain situations.

These unclear and unwanted issues are exactly the types of problems that acupuncture focuses on treating.

Alternatively, you may have actually been diagnosed with a long term condition such arthritis, IBS, infertility, and are on medication but haven’t seen much of an improvement in your overall health. Acupuncture can complement such forms of treatment as it is considered safe with minimal side effects.

Here is a list of conditions treatable by acupuncture (According to the World Health Organization):

  • Pain (shoulder, neck, lower back (sciatica), knees, heel (plantar fasciitis), wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome), mid back, upper back
  • Headaches
  • Arthritis (osteo or rheumatoid)
  • Insomnia
  • Painful periods
  • Induction of labour, Infertility, night sweats, hormone imbalances
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Regulating digestion (diarrhea, crohn’s disease, IBS).
  • Stroke

Now, this is not a complete list but it gives you an idea of the types of conditions that acupuncture can help with.

The Difference in Our Diagnostics

Acupuncturists have a different way of measuring your health. During the consultation we go through your entire health history, and check your wrist pulse, abdomen, back and tongue. These are traditional techniques that help us determine what organs might need a tune up, and are potentially contributing to your main concern.

In fact many symptoms, which seem like you’re just “getting old” are big clues and help us decide the best course of action. The advantage here is that we can at times detect problematic areas where modern medicine may not.

We then choose points on the body to help correct the imbalance.

Be Positive. There Is Hope.

Many of my clients come in with a common belief that they’ll have to live with their condition for the rest of their lives. They typically have gone to doctors, and specialists, and are now looking to acupuncture, a more traditional form of medicine to aid in their healing. They are shocked with the results an acupuncture treatment brings, and gain hope and confidence when they see their condition begin to change for the better!

My hope is to bring this form of healing to all those who could benefit from it.

When Not to Seek Acupuncture

I would NOT, however, recommend acupuncture as the primary form of treatment for any medical emergency such as an open wound, hemorrhage, fainting, heart attack, appendicitis, choking, or anything else which seems like a life threatening situation. In these situations, it’s best to go to the hospital.

It would also not be recommended if your body’s immune system is being compromised by medication (i.e. chemotherapy, and some diabetes medication), if you are prone to infection, or have a bleeding disorder.

Over the years, I have treated conditions varying from stubborn pains, hormone imbalances, to more severe illnesses such as IBS, kidney failure, and chronic skin rashes.

If you have a fear of needles one thing to note is they’re as thin as your hair (1/5th of a millimetre), and I use a gentle technique making it virtually painless. We use sterile, disposable needles, which means the same needle is NEVER re-used from one person to the next.

So, if your condition falls into a gray area between 100% healthy, and a life-threatening emergency, consider acupuncture as a form of healing your body could use.

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