Understanding And Dealing With Stress And Anxiety

It goes without saying that the modern world that we all live in is filled with all sorts of hassles, demands, difficult deadlines and more. For a lot of people, stress is such a normal thing to deal with that it almost becomes a way of life for them. While it is not bad in small doses, it can help you to learn about the best ways to perform when you are under pressure and it can boost you so that you will be more motivated to do your absolute best. However, when you are always running in an emergency mode mindset, you could find that both your body and mind will end up paying the price. Instead of falling victim to the condition, you can learn the different ways to protect yourself as you are able to understand the signs while learning how to reduce the harmful side effects.

You can start by asking yourself a couple of questions so that you can better understand how you relate to anxiety/stress on a personal or professional level. How stressed are you today or on a regular basis? Are you able to realize when there is too much of it in your life? When faced with pressure in any given situation, how do you tend to respond to it?

Anytime that you perceive some sort of a threat, you will find that your nervous system will respond by letting go of a flood of hormones that include cortisol and adrenaline. When released, these hormones are readying the body for emergency mode. As this takes place, you are going to recognize the tell tale signs that come along with emergency action. For most people, your muscles will tighten, blood pressure can rise, your heart can pound faster and you will even start to see that your senses will seem sharper.

The physical changes that your body goes through when you go into stress-mode or emergency mode will build up your stamina and strength while also boosting your focus and your reaction time. This is all in preparation for you to flee the danger that is in front of you or sticking to your guns and fighting through it.

You should know that stress is actually a normal physical response whenever you are faced with a situation or a series of events that are threatening or work to break your balance in any way. Once you sense it or any other kind of danger, even if it is imagined, your body will automatically go into response for you without your control. Just by learning more about the body’s natural defence mechanism and what it does to you, it is easy to see why stressed for a prolonged period of time can have such a drastic impact on not only your body but also your mind.

It is important to understand how the pressures of life affect your body so that you can immediately recognize when things are getting out of control. One of the most dangerous things about stressors is how they can creep up on you, especially when you least expect it. When you get used to it, the anxiety starts to feel familiar or even normal. Because you do not notice it happening, it can take a much bigger toll on you than you might realize. In more severe cases, one can experience anxiety or panic attacks.

Whenever you are getting into a mode where overload is normal, it will start to impact your mind, body and even your behaviours. Of course, each person has their own way of not only manifesting anxiety but also dealing with it. Being stressed too much can bring on both physical health problems as well as serious mental concerns. Many people will start to see that their relationships will suffer and their performance in either work or school can end up taking a turn for the worse.

If you are starting to notice that you are not able to handle the pressures that are in your life, it is important that you seek help in any way possible. In some cases, you may be able to talk through some of your issues with the people that are closest to you. However, if home life or relationships are part of the problem, you will need to seek an outside source to help you out. A therapist or even your physician can be a great way to get started whenever you want to address it head on, so that you can get on a healthier path both emotionally and physically.

Today, there are a number of classes that you can look into that will help you to better deal with the pressures of life. Courses and seminars are a wonderful way to learn all about the various skills that you can use to not only deal with your stressors as they come on but even to avoid them altogether. No matter what level of stress you are facing, you can learn a valuable set of tools that will help you in many different aspects of your life.

In some situations, a person will find that simply being able to recognize and avoid what causes their stress will be the perfect remedy. However, if you are unable to avoid it, it is going to be best if you know how to properly deal with is so that it does not run your life completely.

An acupuncture regime designed to re-balance your body can have tremendous benefits in being able to manage stress in your life. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us in the Toronto / North York area at 416-788-3837 for a FREE first consultation visit.

Living With Fibromyalgia: What You Should Keep In Mind

There are many people in Toronto dealing with fibromyalgia. There’s no magic pill that will get rid of the pain and fatigue this condition causes. However, these symptoms can be managed — and it’s absolutely vital that they are.

Fibromyalgia negatively effects your life in a number of ways. It puts you in a bad mood, makes it difficult to get sleep, and can cause you a great deal of pain. Unfortunately, people who have fibromyalgia are still subject to the pressures of day to day life. People with this condition need to find ways to take care of themselves and ways to get relief. It’s important that they make their own well-being a priority.

The more you understand fibromyalgia, the more you’ll be able to do to treat it. Keep up to date with the latest information about the condition. Research new treatment options that are working for other people. You should make sure you always have all available information. That way, you’ll be able to do everything you need to to care for yourself.

It’s also important that you take steps to reduce the stress in your life. Many believe that stress is the primary trigger for fibromyalgia symptoms. Some research has shown that a reduction of stress can cause a reduction in symptoms. Whether it’s scheduling a monthly massage or just giving yourself time to enjoy a nice cup of tea, do what you need to do to make your life more relaxing.

In addition, you should remove yourself from stressful situations whenever possible. If there’s an issue that’s causing you a great deal of stress, ask yourself if you need to continue to deal with it. If possible, just walk away from the problem. You’ll feel better in the long-run, and will be able to get more restful sleep.

You should also take steps to reduce stress at work. For most people, working isn’t optional, and they may feel there’s little they can do if their job brings stress into their life. However, even minor modifications can lead to a big change in your life. For example, a later work schedule will allow you to sleep in and feel refreshed for the day. Occasionally working from home will allow you to get your work done without dealing with the stresses of the office. Even small changes to your work routine can reduce stress significantly.

Give yourself the chance to say no. If you try to please everyone, you’ll only increase the amount of stress in your life. There’s nothing wrong with saying no to something that you can’t handle. If someone tries to pressure you or make you feel badly, explain your condition and that you need to take steps to reduce the stress in your life. They’re sure to understand.

It’s a good idea to track your day so that you can see what might be triggering your fibromyalgia symptoms. Jot down what you do throughout the day, and make a note of what symptoms you experience and when. Over time, you’ll start to see patterns. Noticing these patterns will make it easy for you to spot things that might be causing issues. From there, you can make adjustments and see if that reduces your symptoms. Eventually, you may find that this provides you with a great deal of relief. Keeping up with a journal may be tricky at first, but once you get into the habit, it’s very simple.

If you’re looking for instant relief, one of the best ways to get it is with a soak in a warm bath. Alternatively, you could take a warm shower or visit a sauna. The heat will instantly relax your muscles, which will provide you with a great deal of pain relief. In addition, research shows that this type of heat can decrease the amount of stress hormones your body produces. Taking a warm bath right before bed can also help you to get more restful sleep.

It can be hard to exercise when you’re experiencing stiffness and fatigue. Unfortunately, this creates a dangerous cycle. Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce fibromyalgia symptoms in the long term. It’s best to choose low impact types of exercise with analgesic effects, such as aerobics. Walking or swimming can also be a big help.

While many feel they can’t get through the day without a cup of coffee. However, the caffeine in coffee can actually increase the amount of stress you’re under. In addition, it can make you nervous and anxious, and can make it more difficult to sleep. You don’t need to cut yourself off from coffee cold turkey. Instead, slowly reduce the amount of caffeine you consume. This will reduce stress and keep you from experiencing withdrawal symptoms. You should keep in mind that caffeine can also be found in chocolate and tea.

Look into other relaxation techniques. For example, many people get a great deal of relief from meditation. Others find that guided imagery and deep breathing help a lot. Relaxation exercises help your body to become more peaceful. Providing your body with this peace can reduce the frequency and severity of fibromyalgia symptoms.

Living with fibromyalgia isn’t easy, but there are many techniques that can help. Give these things a try, and you’ll slowly see your symptoms reduce. Relaxing and exercising will improve your life in other ways as well.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call in Toronto. We can absolutely help you. Call us at: 416-788-3837.

Get Migraine Relief Without Using Medication

People who have never experienced a migraine may not understand just how debilitating they can be. They can last up to 72 hours, and their symptoms can be incredibly severe. Some people experience nausea and vomiting, while others experience extreme levels of physical pain.

Because migraines are so intense, most people can’t do anything when they experience them. They can’t work or keep up with their household chores. It’s vital that people find ways to deal with this debilitating ailment in order to cope with their day to day life. Without a good treatment method, these severe headaches can make getting things done impossible.

Many people have had a lot of success using medication as treatment. However, you can’t rely on medication alone. You should take additional steps to reduce the frequency of your migraines. This can provide you with more relief, and is far better for your overall health.

If you feel one coming on, you should immediately seek out a quiet and calm environment. Turn off the lights and do your best to rest. If possible, try to take a short nap. Doing this can stop a migraine before it ever starts.

If your headache has already begun, you may be able to get some relief from temperature therapy. Try applying a compress to your head. Both hot and cold compresses work very well. If you don’t want to use a compress, you can try taking a warm shower or a bath.

You should also try giving yourself a massage. Carefully rub your temples and scalp. Help relieve the tension in your muscles by massaging your neck or shoulders. You may want to buy a home massaging device.

Caffeine is the active ingredient in many types of migraine medications, and it can do a lot to enhance the effects of pain relievers. Drinking some coffee or tea when you feel a headache coming on may stop it in its tracks. However, you shouldn’t consume too much caffeine. Doing this can cause withdrawal symptoms.

It can be hard to get a proper night’s sleep when you are experiencing a severe headache. Unfortunately, migraines can also be triggered by a lack of sleep. Take additional steps to get the sleep that you need.

One of the best things you can do is establish a sleep schedule. Make sure you go to bed at the same time every day, and try to wake up at the same time as well. Try to avoid napping as much as possible. Naps make it very hard to stick to a sleep schedule.

Find ways to get in extra relaxation at the end of the day. You may want to try taking a warm bath before you sleep, or sit down with an interesting book. Try to avoid eating before bedtime unless you’re very hungry. Heavy meals can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep.

Making changes to your diet can also help reduce your migraines. One of the most important things you can do is eat consistently. Schedule your meals, and make sure you don’t skip breakfast.

Keep a food diary, and pay attention to what you eat on the days you experience pain. For many people, foods can be migraine triggers. Eliminating potential harmful foods can bring you a great deal of relief. Common triggers include chocolate and aged cheese.

You may want to track things other than your diet. Migraines can be triggered by all kinds of things, from sounds to smells to things in the environment. The more detailed a diary you keep, the easier it will be for you to avoid the things that cause you pain.

Exercise can also help provide migraine relief. The body produces chemicals that block pain during a workout. Exercise can also alleviate anxiety, which is a major migraine trigger. When you get regular exercise, you’ll find that you experience migraines far less often.

It isn’t easy to exercise when you’re in pain, but there are ways to get the workouts you need. Low-impact workouts, like walking or swimming, tend to be best. Try to get little workouts in throughout the day. Stretch at your desk at work, or go for a walk during your lunch break.

As mentioned above, stress and anxiety are major migraine triggers. Cut stress from your life as much as you can. Give yourself breaks when you need them, and find ways to simplify your life. Make to-do lists so that you don’t get overwhelmed. The less stressed you are, the better you’ll feel.

Even if you’re happy with the medication that you’re taking, you should give these methods a try. You don’t want to rely on medication for relief entirely. If you do, you may find that you have trouble when your body no longer responds as well to your normal treatment methods.

If you work to find additional methods of relief, you’ll be able to get relief no matter what. Your migraines will be less debilitating, and the pain you experience will be less severe. This is what every migraine sufferer wants and needs.

No matter what kind of treatment methods you use, living with migraines can be a challenge. However, if you take steps to become more healthy, you’ll see your symptoms reduce. Following the advice above will improve your life on multiple levels. You’ll reduce your migraines, and you’ll be a better you.

Acupuncture can is one of the more effective methods of dealing with the pain. Immediately relief can be experienced within the first few sessions. For a FREE consultation visit in the Toronto / North York area call 416-788-3837.

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the medical procedure of stimulating sensitive points on the body with special needles and other methods to regulate the flow of energy within the body’s system for specific health results. It is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has been practiced for thousands of years in the East to cure various illnesses, pains, and to proactively maintain good health throughout one’s life. It is a standard practice that is used by practitioners in the East in conjunction with Western medical methods.

Chronic pain is in the spotlight as one of the most common afflictions that affects millions of people around the world. People are always looking for relief from their discomfort that ranges from mild irritations to debilitating conditions, and many wish to find ways of relieving pain without having to use conventional drugs that may have unwanted side effects.

An acupuncturist focuses on relieving pain using natural and proven methods. Back pain, neck pain, joint pain, sciatica, arthritis, fibromyalgia, muscle aches, headaches and migraines are among the most commonly treated. Carpal tunnel syndrome, menstrual cramps, injury pain and dental pain can also be successfully relieved – practically all types of pain can be effectively relieved by acupuncture, and there is ongoing research to support it as a reliable anesthetic.

Although acupuncture is extremely effective in relieving pain, it also treats a wide range of other disorders such as skin problems, digestive disorders, respiratory disorders, hypertention, inflammation, asthma, allergies, just to name a few. It also supports weight loss programs, helps to quit smoking, and increases fertility in women.

What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Philosophy On Health?

The foundation of acupuncture is based on the concept of Qi energy. Translated in English, Qi can be described as the “Universal Life Force” that flows throughout all things in nature. Eastern views on health is also based on the polarities of Yin and Yang, which are the opposing, yet complementary, forces that co-exist in nature.

In conjunction with Yin & Yang and Qi are the Five Elements. These five energies and their relationship among them have been observed over the millenniums and have been classified into five categories: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Not to be taken in a literal sense, these elements are an ideological structure to explain natural phenomenon and their dynamics, including how health is regulated within the human body.

Acupuncture harmonizes Yin & Yang, Qi, and the Five Elements in the body to ensure that the body system is fully balanced.

How Does Acupuncture Work To Manage Pain?

Health is determined by how smoothly Qi flows in an ecosystem. If the flow of Qi is obstructed, by either being deficient or overly active, then disharmony occurs, and these patterns can be manifested in the human body.Controlling the flow of Qi is the foundation of acupuncture and its focus.

Qi energy flows through specific channels of your body called Meridian Lines, where bundles of nerve fibers accumulate. Each Meridian has its corresponding organ network that determines how harmoniously your body is working with your other organs, as well as with your environment.

Stimulating points along the Meridian, by insertion of small needles or other methods, tones deficiencies or excesses within your body system and restores it to its healthful and optimal function. It also triggers signals to your brain and the rest of your body to release bio-chemicals such as endorphins (your body’s own painkilling hormones) and serotonin to regulate pain and mood, along with an increase in blood flow to release tension in your muscles.

Pain is your body’s way of communicating disharmony and it is usually the result of a blockage in the natural flow of Qi energy along the Meridian Lines. It is a signal from the nervous system that something is wrong, and attention needs to be given to a deeper, underlying condition. An Acupuncturist determines where the pain is originating from and treats the corresponding imbalances accordingly.

For example, to treat the chronic headaches that usually result from liver imbalance, an acupuncturist would stimulate the flow of Qi along the liver Meridian to open up its blockage, while toning other organs that may indirectly be contributing to the imbalance. If you are experiencing poor digestion, jaundice, chronic headaches, low blood pressure and melancholy, it may be that heart is not being supplied with enough Qi energy. These blockages in the Meridians must also be opened through acupuncture.

Arthritis is an accumulation of heat and toxins that pool up in blood around the joints. Blood and Qi stagnate and chronic pain results until the circulation is restored. By increasing the circulation of blood and Qi by opening up the corresponding Meridian Lines, toxins are effectively eliminated, heat is cleared, pain is gone, and movement is restored in the joints.

Other Factors Influencing Health

Health also depends on how well your body is functioning with your environment, as your body is constantly adjusting to the stimuli of your external environment. This dynamic of this balance determines the how well your internal organs are working harmoniously together. When one or more of your organs are deficient or working excessively, then there is a chain-reaction, and disharmony and disease results.

If you live in a cold, damp basement, for example, your body will take on these same patterns of cold and damp qualities and try to adjust accordingly. The resulting symptoms would be along the lines of muscle aches, chest congestion or phlegm. Again, acupuncture would work to decongest your body’s Meridians to warm the cold and eliminate the damp.

After more than three thousand years of evolution and refinement, these ideas are finally reaching the West. Acupuncture maintains and restores harmony in the body whenever and wherever it is needed. Whether it be for back pain, stress, hormonal imbalance, nerve disorders, immune deficiencies or any other disease, acupuncture can help balance and strengthen the body to overcome it.

It is a very relaxing experience. Results are usually instant, and the treatment is minimally invasive and extremely precise. A typical visit to an acupuncture Toronto clinic may involve inserting anywhere from five to 25 needles along the Meridians and certain points and leaving them there for ten to thirty minutes. Follow up visits to for treatments are highly recommended for the best possible results. Anywhere from eight to twelve treatments or more can be necessary depending on the condition being treated.

TCM also supports acupuncture treatments with alternative herbal medicines that vitalize the body system that boosts your immune system and increases overall energy.

Many people in Toronto and North York turn to TCM and acupuncture as an alternative for answers when conventional Western medical methods fail. Many of these concepts are part of a totally different way of thinking, but they offer different avenues of treatment that can work along side Western medical treatments. TCM can help explain what Western medicine lacks, and by bridging the gap between the east and west, acupuncture makes for an extremely effective treatment for getting to the root of your pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call us in the Toronto / North York area at 416-788-3837.

Six Tips to Relieve Back Pain Naturally

Whether your upper, lower, or mid back pain is temporary due to straining a muscle or permanent due to an injury or illness, this is one of the most intense forms of discomfort you may ever experience. If you don’t have a serious condition that requires surgery, your doctor is not likely to do much beyond prescribing medication. You may not even want to take medication due to the addictive nature of many prescription drugs. Luckily, there are many things you can do to improve your condition in addition to following any doctor’s orders provided.

Soak Up the Heat

Spend time in a hot tub or fill the bathtub with hot water. Soak for up to a half hour at a time to soothe and relax the muscles. If you find that heat helps during particularly painful times, you may also relax with a heating pad on your back.

Sleep on a Firm Surface

If your bed is too soft or allows your body to sink into the mattress too much, it may make your condition worse. A sleeping surface that isn’t compatible with your body’s needs may even serve as the cause of your ailment. The solution is to purchase a firmer mattress or cover your mattress with a firm topper. You can also add a sheet of plywood between your mattress and box spring to add some firmness on a tight budget.

Rub On the Heat with Capsaicin Cream

Capsaicin gives chili peppers their heat, and that heat works as a natural treatment. You can pick up creams containing Capsaicin in most local stores, making this one of the most affordable natural treatments available. You can even use topical treatments in addition to prescription or over-the-counter medication. Make sure to ask your medical provider first if you are concerned about using a topical cream.

Manage Your Weight

If you are overweight or obese, you are putting unnecessary stress on your back muscle. These muscles are at the core of your body and serve as a support system for all other muscles in your body. If you maintain a healthy weight, you keep the amount of stress on the body to a minimum.

You may not have a routine to take care of your body, but switching to a healthier diet and getting as much exercise as possible can reduce your weight for healthier, stronger back in the future.

Stretch and Train Your Core Muscles

Stretch and strengthen not only your back muscles but all surrounding ones to create a stronger core for full-body support. Your abdominal muscles will add support to your back and vice versa. Start with basic stretches, and don’t push deep enough to intensify your pain. If you stretch daily, you should notice your comfort zone extending naturally as your body loosens up. Add light strength training moves to increase muscle strength for even greater results.

Poke the Pain Away with Acupuncture

Acupuncture originated thousands of years ago as a treatment commonly used in ancient Chinese medicine. It has become more and more popular in the Western world over the years and is now commonly used along with various Western medications and alternative treatments.

The theory is that pain/discomfort is caused by blocked energy pathways which are opened up and cleared when small needles are inserted into the affected pathways. Whether you believe that or not doesn’t matter. What does matter is that ancient Chinese medical practice provides fast, natural relief when treatments are received at least two or three times per week.

There have been many scientific studies proving that acupuncture can make a difference for those suffering from back discomfort, especially of the lower back. The American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society joined forces to create clinical guidelines for medical practitioners diagnosing and treating back problems in patients. These guidelines suggest doctors recommend this alternative method and other natural remedies to patients who do not experience reduced discomfort after other treatment protocols are utilized. Many medical professionals recommend acupuncture right from the start, making it a vital part of the overall treatment strategy.

To effectively manage the discomfort, develop a comprehensive pain management strategy that incorporates recommendations form your doctor, acupuncture and other natural remedies detailed here. With that strategy in place, move around and enjoy your life as much as possible. Lying in bed forces you to focus on your condition and may weaken your muscles, worsening your condition. You don’t want to overdo it, but you also don’t want to trade a fulfilling life in for a life on the couch because of your condition.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call us in the Toronto / North York area at 416-788-3837

Coping With Sciatica: Tips on Short-Term and Long-Term Relief

If you’re familiar with sciatica, you’re well aware of how difficult it can be deal with such an affliction. The searing, shooting pain experienced by sufferers is impossible to ignore. The ailment occurs because a nerve is inflamed due to injury. It’s a symptom rather than an actual condition, which means it can difficult to find a method of relief that works well for everybody.

With that said, there are ways to soothe the discomfort, as this type is far more common than you might think. Many people have found and shared various solutions. Trying one of these treatment options pay provide you with the relief that you need and desire.

A good massage can help treat condition at the source. The sciatic nerve runs through the back and the buttocks, which means reducing tension and promoting blood circulation in this area can provide a great deal of alleviation in discomfort. You may want to start seeing a masseuse regularly.

Switching between hot and cold is a great way to get rid of muscle tension, and it’s also a great way to reduce the nerve pain as blood flow increases in that area. Apply an ice pack to the effected area, then follow it up with some kind of heating pad. The relief you get should be instantaneous. If desired, you can buy packs at any drugstore that will give you the hot and cold sensations that your muscles crave.

Most people who suffer from sciatica resort to taking painkillers. Focus on medications that will reduce inflammation and muscle tension, such as ibuprofen and aspirin. These pills will be able to do much more than other types of painkillers will. If you have access to prescription painkillers, use them in moderation.

Pain-relieving gels can also be a big help. Aanalgesics can help relax your stiff, stressed muscles while blocking pain receptors. For many, the effectiveness these gels provide is faster than the that provided by standard painkillers. Look for gels that contain menthol as these will provide you with more benefits.

If you’re looking for an immediate solution, losing weight is a poor option. However, if you’re significantly overweight and looking for long-term relief, slimming down is one of the best things you can do. Extra weight places pressure on both your lower body and your back muscles. When you reduce the amount of extra weight you’re carrying, that pressure is reduced, which means you’ll experience significant relief. In fact, exercise is another great way to gain long-term relief, so the improvement you experience may be quite dramatic.

If you want to reduce the discomfort through exercise, you’ll need to work the right parts of the body. Your goal should be to create a balance of strength throughout your entire body. For example, if your abdominal muscles are weak, your back muscles will have to support the weight they normally would. That leads to a lot of discomfort. Focus on working your weakest core muscles, and you should experience a great deal of relief.

Cardiovascular exercise can also be quite helpful. It can help you lose weight, but it can also help make muscles all over the body stronger, which will decrease instances of sciatic discomfort. It’s a good idea to choose low-impact exercises that won’t exacerbate the discomfort you already experience. Walking is a very good option. If you’re experiencing a great deal of discomfort, don’t feel like you need to push yourself. Give your body the rest it needs, then go back to low-impact exercises when you’re up to them.

Simple relaxation exercises can also go a long way towards releasing muscle stress. You’ve probably noticed that when you have a hard day, your sciatica can be far more severe. Stress has a negative effect on muscles in the body, and you need an easy way to reduce that. Otherwise, you can experience days or even weeks worth discomfort on your body. Simple stretches, deep breathing exercises, and meditating can all be very helpful. Best of all, you can do relaxation exercises even on days you don’t feel up to actual exercise.

Many doctors are reluctant to prescribe painkillers to people who are dealing with sciatica. However, if you can find some of the sources of your discomfort, they may be able to prescribe medication that will treat that. For example, if you’re also struggling with depression, it can be difficult to get the exercise you need. Treating that will allow you to do the things you need to do in order to work towards pain relief. If you struggle with anxiety, the right medication can reduce your stress, and reduce your sciatica in the process.

Finding other ways to reduce the stress placed on your body is also a good idea. For example, a back support aid can make it far easier to get through a day of work. These little things may not seem like much, but they go a long way.

Sciatica can be incredible difficult to live with. The pain is extreme, and the lack of treatment options can be incredibly frustrating. Finding methods of quick relief as well as ways to help reduce the long term discomfort is crucial. No one should have to live in fear of sciatic nerve pain. Take the steps you need to keep sciatica from taking over your life.

It has been shown that acupuncture is a natural method of managing sciatica and can significantly help relieve the nerve pain by clearing the meridian blockages and increasing blood flow to the affected area.

For more information contact us in the Toronto area at 416-788-3837. We can absolutely help you.

How To Find The Best Acupuncturist In Toronto

In a multi-cultural city like Toronto, we are fortunate to be citizens who have access to various types of health treatment options, ranging from our standard healthcare system to alternative medical healing practices such as acupuncture. If you are experiencing pain of any kind or are afflicted with a health condition that traditional Western doctors are not able to treat, then acupuncture could be a great natural alternative.

So, how do you find the best acupuncturist in Toronto? Just like with finding any other health professional, it is always worth your time to do your research first. Follow these tips to ensure that you find the right one for your needs:

Is The Acupuncturist Legally Licensed To Practice In Toronto?

The first question to ask is: Is the practitioner licensed to practice acupuncture in Toronto?

In Ontario, acupuncture is a regulated profession. The law requires that all practitioners are to be licensed by the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO) in order to legally perform these services, including Traditional Chinese Medicine. Under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 and the Traditional Chinese Medicine Act, 2006 the government of Ontario established the CTCMPAO as the official governing body of the profession.

Only practitioners who have met the educational and experience requirements, and are in good standing with CTCMPAO, are permitted to use the designations R.Ac (Registered Acupuncturist) and/or R.TCMP (Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner) if he or she also prescribes Chinese herbal medications.

Be aware that there are acupuncturists who illegally use the designations and are practising outside of the law. Make certain to only consult with acupuncturists who are properly licensed by the CTCMPAO.

Experience and Education

Like any other profession, experience is one of the most important factors to consider when looking for an acupuncturist.

Acupuncture is not only a science, but an art where it takes years of dedication and continuous study to develop the skills necessary to correctly diagnose and effectively treat the patient’s condition. It isn’t about sticking little needles into certain points on the body and magically healing it, as if the procedure was like flipping a light switch. The acupuncturist must have a considerable understanding of the body system and its complexities and use his/her experience to identify the most effectively treatment plan. There is a vast difference between just having learned acupuncture theory as a fresh graduate and a seasoned practitioner with decades of real-life experience.

Also, make sure that the school that the acupuncturist graduated from is reputable and is accepted as an accredited institution by the CTCMPAO.

Specialization

Although acupuncture is a holistic medical approach that takes into consideration the entire body system to treat different ailments, there are certain conditions such as fertility issues and cancer support treatments that require supportive measures and facilities.

If you have special needs, make sure to find an acupuncture clinic that has the supportive facilities, and an acupuncturist who has taken further measure to certify themselves in that area of specialization.

For all other general pains and ailments such as back pain, arthritis, migraine headaches, sciatica, stress, allergies, digestive & respiratory problems, finding a pain clinic in with an experienced acupuncturist is the most important consideration.

What Are The Other Services Offered?

Typically, acupuncture works by penetrating the skin with thin needles to stimulate specific points and energy channels, called meridians. The needles are stainless steel and one-time-use tools that superficially penetrate the skin.

This encourages the flow of the vital energy, or Qi, that causes pain and contributes to disease. The needles can be left alone in the skin for up to 30 minutes; they can be twirled, heated or even charged with a subtle electric current.

Although treatment with needles is the most effective method, there are supplemental treatment methods to the main needle treatment that can be administered alone. Make sure that the acupuncture clinic offers the following alternative services as a stand alone treatment:

Moxibustion:
Moxibustion is heat stimulation with an herb called mugwort. Usually, a cigar-like stick is lit at the tip and held just above an acu-point or meridian point to warm the area. This promotes the flow of blood and Qi where it has otherwise been stagnant. Moxibustion is used in conjunction with needle therapy in deficient conditions that result in pain, immune deficiency, sluggish digestion, fatigue, lethargy or depression.

Cupping:

Cupping is a technique that uses a glass, plastic or bamboo cup to “suck” a certain acu-point or meridian. Sometimes a flame will be lit inside the cup to create a vacuum. Other times a pump isused for suction. It is placed on the skin and left there 5 to 10 minutes to pull up sections of the skin. This method opens the pores, restores circulation of blood and Qi, removes obstructions and provides an exit for toxins to be drawn out of the body. Cupping can be effective for certain kinds of pain, respiratory disorders, digestive issues and arthritis.

Acupuncture Massage (Tui-Na):

Depending on the condition being treated, massaging can be incorporated into the regimen. Chinese massage, called Tui-na has the benefit of penetrating the muscle tissues while working with the same principles of traditional Chinese medicine. This is deeply relaxing and is very effective at relieving congested blood and Qi in certain areas of the body. Tui-na can help alleviate pain in the neck, shoulder, back, abdominal and joints and can reduce headaches and migraines.

Traditional Chinese Medicine:

After the initial moxibustion, cupping, massage and acupuncture treatments, the acupuncturist will typically recommend an medicinal herbal formula or two. Chinese herbal formulas are complex mixtures of various herbs that tone deficiencies, reduce excessive conditions and otherwise balance the body where it is needed. Somebody with arthritis, for example, would be given an herbal tea blend that stimulates blood circulation and clears the toxic heat that has accumulated in the joints, thereby reducing the pain and inflammation. Teas are typically supposed to be drank 2 or 3 times a day for the most benefit.

Ask Around To Find The Best Acupuncture Clinic In Toronto

Acupuncture has become a very popular over the years as a natural alternative medical approach to health and well being, and chances are that you know someone who has had benefited from treatments. Ask them about their experience and if they know any qualified acupuncturists that can help you with your condition.

Make sure to visit the website of the acupuncturist that you wish to consult in order to get more information, and read their bio to ensure that they are qualified, licensed, and experienced. Contact them by phone or email to schedule an appointment and ask if they offer a free consultation.

Are Acupuncturists Eligible To Be Providers Of Insurance Reimbursement Claims?

As acupuncture is covered under most insurance plans, make sure to contact your provider to inquire about your coverage plan including, any deductibles, reimbursements, limitations on numbers of visits, among others.

In Ontario, as of April 1, 2013 only licensed acupuncturists registered with the CTCMPAO are eligible providers for claims reimbursements. If your acupuncturist is not registered, then your insurance coverage will not be valid. Make sure to inquire about the acupuncturist’s licence with the CTCMPAO.

You can expect real results from visiting a top Toronto acupuncture clinic. You can feel confident about your health and feel a sense of well being. Make sure to have realistic expectations, as your condition may require several visits. Although you may feel immediate effects of acupuncture, it is important to continue your treatments to the very end to ensure long-lasting benefits.

If you have any questions regarding acupuncture treatments in the Toronto area, please feel free to call us at 416-788-3837.