Patient FAQ

Why Should I Book a Session?

Are you not currently injured or in pain? No worries. A person does not have to be injured or in pain to benefit from treatment. Treatment can be very balancing, and many people use osteopathy to enhance emotional and psychological wellbeing, increase relaxation, reduce stress and maintain optimal health.

That being said, if you’re experiencing any of the following, you may consider booking a session:

  • Low back pain, or dull lower backaches while shopping, or picking something up (a child).
  • Feeling stiff and achy when getting in and out of a car.
  • Sciatic (leg pain) and that won’t go away (slipped disk).
  • Regular Head aches (sinus, tension, migraines, etc.).
  • Stiff neck after sitting at a desk for a period of time.
  • Symptoms that disappear while on vacation or during the holidays.
  • Burning sensation between shoulder blades after sitting behind a desk for a few hours.
  • Repetitive strain injury, or recurrent infections.
  • Jaw pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma.
  • Pregnancy and menstrual cycle related pain.
  • Post-traumatic pain (motor vehicle accidents, whiplash).
  • Sports injuries (wrist sprains, ankle sprains, shoulder / rotator cuff injuries tennis elbow, golferʼs elbow, Achilles tendon tears, shin splints).
  • Constant feeling of stress.

To book a session, click here to contact me now.

What Should I Expect From My First Visit?

First, here’s what you should bring on your first visit:

  • Any medications, supplements, or vitamins you are currently taking.
  • If you have any test results, related or non-related to your complaints, please bring a copy of these.
  • For the physical examination, you will usually be asked to undress down to your underclothes, so it is best to wear something comfortable and suitably modest.
  • Bring along a relative or friend if it helps you relax. For patients under the age of 16 (male or female), we insist that a parent or other responsible adult is present during all consultations.

Now that we got that out of the way, for the first part of your visit, we will go through an initial case history and interview.

During this part of the visit, you will be asked to complete the health questionnaire and sign consent forms for treatment.

We’ll discuss the information you shared on your health questionnaire, and I’ll ask you more questions about your lifestyle, level of physical activity, work environment, and diet. This will ensure a safe and effective treatment.

We will cover your personal and family medical history in much the same way your general family doctor would. However, you will find that I spend more time than a family doctor would to understand your symptoms.

Don’t be alarmed if I ask questions that seem unrelated to your current condition. The answers to these seemingly unrelated questions help me to understand patterns of disharmony. We will then examine you to tailor the best course of treatment for you.

Effective treatment is based on correcting disharmonies to resolve the symptoms you are having and help assist you in recovering from the illness or disorder.

Please note initial sessions can last between one hour and an hour and a half.

What happens during Assessment?

The process for assessment varies for TCM and Osteopathy. Here are the details for each modality:

TCM Assessment

There are two important ways an acupuncturist can determine what type of imbalance is occurring in the body:

First, is to observe your tongue, noting the color and appearance. The tongue in Chinese Medicine reflects the state of the entire body, with specific areas of the tongue relating to certain organ systems.

The second crucial diagnostic technique is evaluating the pulse. In Chinese medicine, the pulse can have a number of qualities that tell the practitioner various things about the state of a personʼs body. Different types of pulses, felt by palpation on the inside of the wrist, can be described as “slippery,” “floating,” etc.

Osteopathic Assessment

After your history has been taken, we will examine the way your body moves. You will be asked to remove some of your clothing and perform a series of simple movements. For this reason, it is helpful if you wear gym clothes. The practitioner will assess your mobility by observing your range of movement and by gently feeling your spine, shoulders and associated muscles as you perform the movements.

What happens during Treatment Planning?

After the diagnostic phase has been completed, the practitioner will be able to devise your treatment plan. It should be noted that practitioners are trained to recognize when it is necessary to refer a patient to a specialist.

How Can I Help Prepare For My First Visit?

Here are a few simple pointers to help you get the most out of your visit:

  • Have a light meal or snack an hour or two before your appointment. Acupuncture should not be done if you are fasting or have not eaten that day, as this may cause fainting.
  • Avoid caffeine for at least a couple of hours before treatment so you will be able to relax.
  • Avoid alcohol on the day of treatment, both before and after treatment.
  • Physical exertion and sexual activity should be avoided for a couple of hours before and after treatment.
  • Answer any questions in full.
  • If you do not understand the explanation of your condition or the treatment, please ask to have it explained more clearly.
  • Do not hesitate to ask for treatment to stop if you feel uncomfortable at any point in time.
  • Remember, you will be responsible for the payment of fees.
  • Please note the clinic is a scent free zone
  • Complete elimination of makeup is best

What Happens During Acupuncture?

You will be asked to stand, sit or lay down on a treatment table.

Sterile, single-use, disposable needles are used. These needles are very different than the needles you have experienced in Doctor’s offices or hospitals. Acupuncture needles are very fine, flexible needles and they are gently inserted, often no more than half an inch into the body at acupuncture points.

The most you will feel is a slight discomfort when the needle is inserted, however, you will most likely not feel anything at all.

After the needles are in place, you will rest quietly and often to the sound of relaxing music for 15-45 minutes. If needles were inserted into your back, then these will need to be removed before you are turned over and needles are inserted into your arms and legs.

Your treatment may also require moxabustion (heat therapy), cupping (suction cups), massage, herbal or homeopathic therapy, as well as diet and lifestyle recommendations.

Generally, during an acupuncture treatment, a person becomes very relaxed and may even fall asleep.

You may feel much better immediately after your treatment or you may feel a gradual improvement over a period of several hours after your treatment. If you have a chronic problem you may not feel too much different and improvement may take place gradually over a number of weeks or even months. Individual responses to treatment vary. Herbal and/or homeopathic therapy will facilitate the success of treatment, as will making the appropriate diet and lifestyle changes.

It is common to feel relaxed and uplifted after a treatment. Sometimes you may feel a bit lightheaded from laying face down.

Are there any Risks?

Any form of medical intervention carries risks. Fortunately, acupuncture is extremely safe and serious complications are rare when performed by a registered Acupuncturist.

It is not unusual to feel some aching or soreness after a treatment. This will disappear quickly on its own.

If you have any concerns, please ask. You can get in touch with me here.

What is the Cancellation and Missed appointment Policy?

Due to the high number of patients requiring interdisciplinary pain management, waiting times for appointments can be long. Because of this, there is a low tolerance for missed appointments that waste resources and prevent other patients from receiving care in a timely manner.

There will be a missed appointment fee for each appointment that is missed without adequate notice – a “no show.” A “no show” is an appointment that is missed with less than one day’s notice, or with an arrival of 15 minutes or more beyond the scheduled appointment time.

If you must miss a scheduled appointment, please notify me by phone the day before the appointment or 3 days before a new appointment. Messages are acceptable and can be left at all times including evenings and weekends.

For new appointments (evaluations), we request 3 days advance notice in order to have adequate time to reschedule the appointment time. If you miss any new appointment without notice, we will be unable to continue your care at this clinic. This means you will be discharged from the clinic.

Any fees must be paid prior to being seen at your next visit. You are responsible for any no show fees you are charged and your insurance company will not be billed.

If you no show 3 times in a consecutive 12 month period, you may be discharged from the clinic.

Please give us at least 24 hours’ notice of any changes in the agreed-upon appointment time.

In case of a late cancellation (less than 24 hours prior to the time of appointment), a $20.00 late cancellation fee will be charged if we are unable to book another patient in your time slot.

If you do not cancel your appointment and you fail to show up for your appointment, you will be charged the full appointment charge.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

This depends on how long you have had the problem. Every case will be different. Problems take time to develop, and they also take time to un-develop.

A problem that has been around for a few weeks may require 1-3 treatments. Problems that have existed for months or years may need more treatment before the benefits of treatment become apparent.

Are Treatments Covered?

It’s best to check with your insurance provider to determine if the treatment is covered. Depending on what you are being treated for, you may require a series of treatments, and this can get expensive if you are paying out-of-pocket.

If your insurance does not cover treatment, but you have a medical reimbursement plan, you may be able to recoup the cost that way.

Click here for more information about our fees.