Millwoods Acupuncture Center

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Frequently asked questions

Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions we have at Millwood Acupuncture Center. We hope that you find this page useful. If you don't find the answers to your questions here, please contact our clinic and speak to a live representative that can answer your questions or schedule a consultation today.

1. How can you help me?
2. Does Traditional Chinese Medicine mean acupuncture?
3. What’s difference between acupuncture and acupressure?
4. Acupuncture – is it painful?
5. But… I still fear the needle.
6. How often do I need the acupuncture treatment?
7. Does acupuncture mean simply to insert a needle into an acupuncture point?
8. How long time do we need to see if acupuncture works or not?
9. What kinds of clinic conditions are in your clinic that you may have higher effective rate?
10. How does acupuncture work?
11. I have diabetes, can you help me?
12. I have tried other acupuncturist, but not work.
13. My acupuncture treatment works before but seems worse again.
14a. Is acupuncture covered under Alberta health insurance?

14b. Do you do direct online claim for acupuncture or massage?
15. Do you need doctor’s referral to have acupuncture?
16. How long time is it for each acupuncture treatment?
17. How much does it cost for acupuncture treatment?
18. Do you have acupuncture always the same way?
19. Is there any specific thing I need to care after improvement of my pain?
20. What about if I am still taking drugs from my western medicine?
21. What about your results?

22. What means "Healing crisis"?

23. Do you also use herbal therapy the same time with acupuncture ?


1. How can you help me?

We can help you by the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes, but not limited to, the Chinese herbal therapy, acupuncture, massage, cupping, bleeding therapy, ear acupressure, etc.

For some people who fears acupuncture needle, we may use acupressure, acupuncture machine, cupping, etc., though acupuncture with needle works much better.


2. Does Traditional Chinese Medicine mean acupuncture?

Not that. A major part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is herbal therapy. Acupuncture is only a small portion of it. Although, it is also very useful and effective in clinical treatments.

3. What’s difference between acupuncture and acupressure?

They are principally the same, in terms of working on acupuncture points. The difference between these two is the fact that acupuncture is using acupuncture needles acupressure mostly uses fingers. The healing effect is, of course, better with acupuncture.

4 Acupuncture is it painful?

Not really. The acupuncture needle is not the same as the one used in hospital to take blood samples or for infusion.

Acupuncture needles are very thin and only pierce a very small area of skin.

Traditionally in acupuncture, the patient needs to feel something, such as numbness, tingling, slight soreness, a little bloating or the feeling of hot or cold during treatment, depending upon the aim of the healing.

Of course, you may feel less pain if your practitioner uses thinner needles. You may feel more comfort for such acupuncture practice. But, we, as acupuncturist, may really question the overall healing effect if you feel nothing during the acupuncture treatment. It is not difficult for us to let you feel no pain from needle, but it is really a practice challenge if it works. Remember: no pain, no gain, as English said.

5. But… I still fear the needle.

 I completely understand your feeling. To fear needle is not your fault. Some people fears sharp material naturally, such as needle, knife, pin… In this case, we use herbal therapy, therapeutic massage, or cupping therapy. 


6. How often do I need the acupuncture treatment?

It depends on the kind of disease and its severity. Typically in China, the acupuncture is performed once every day for 6 to 10 days as a healing period. With a break of two to three days, the second period starts again if the condition has not fully improved. Based on our years of experience, we recommend acupuncture at least once every two to three days, especially, during the first few weeks for the best healing results. This is especially true with weight loss program and quit smoking program.


7. Does acupuncture mean simply to insert a needle into an acupuncture point?

Not so simple – Acupuncture is a highly professional healing art. To obtain the best healing effect the practitioner manipulates the needle according to the nature and severity of the disease, and the patient should feel something, as tingling, numb, slight bloating, fine electric shaking, light cold or light warm feeling on the spot. It will be excellent in the treatment if you can feel the feeling past to other part of the body, especially to the painful area.

Consideration is also given to the sequence of the needle and the time of treatment (season and time of day). It does not mean that the more needles used, the better the healing effect, nor does it mean that the deeper the needle, the better the healing effects.


8.  How long time we need to see if acupuncture works or not?

To tell if it works and if it cures are different questions. Both are affected by the nature of the diseases and the individual person. Quite often we can have miracles by only one acupuncture (even only with our fingers) for only less than ten minutes and the pain disappears (even permanently) but some times it could be so hard to reduce the pain. Each people is quite different. It depends very much on the person too. Some people have quite good reaction to the acupuncture treatment and the release of pain is so fast that it makes us feel as it is not what we do, but God does.


9.  What kinds of clinic conditions are in your clinic that you may have higher effective rate?

In brief, we are much confidence in the treatment of the following clinic conditions:

(1). quit smoking;

(2). allergic disorders, including chronic sinus problem and asthma;

(3). menopause syndrome;

(4). emotional disorders, such as depression, anxiety, sadness and craving (for chocolate, cigarette, alcohol, water, vitamins, sex, travelling, shopping, drugs, or counting numbers, imaging things or persons, etc.).   


10. How acupuncture works?

Acupuncture is to stimulate acupuncture point on the body, so to balance or adjust the body function. The functional balancing or adjusting is done and completed by the body mechanism, not by acupuncture needle itself. It stimulates the body functional maintenance mechanism by using needles just as the massage and reflexology do the same thing by using practitioner's finger and as moxibustion therapy using moxa rolls.

It is still a big mystery why it indeed works, despite of the fact that medical researchers all over the world have spend so many years and tried so many different ways to test. Current results could explain some but not all the clinic phenomenon. To us, it is not difficult to understand from the TCM point of view, but it will remain a mystery if we keep the current way to view the structure-function relationship of the body, the nature, and the universe.


11.  I have diabetes, can you help me?

TCM doctor does not work based on the diagnosis of western medicine, just as the western medicine doctor does not work on our TCM diagnosis either. You should know that they are quite different medicine systems, with different view on the body structure and function. A “disease” diagnosed by western medicine may mean several different TCM “diseases” and also a “disease” diagnosed by TCM may be found in 20, 30, or even 50 kinds of “diseases” classified by western medicine. Therefore it is hard to tell if we can help you with your “disease” if it is the medical term told by your western medicine doctor to you.

Also, each person is different in terms of their response to acupuncture or TCM herbal therapy. We cannot say if it works or not without any trying. In our clinic, we normally recommend people to try only 3 to 5 times of treatments, not keeping them for months or years to see if it works or not. People who come to our TCM therapies usually have already given years to try western medicine, so it is not so difficult for them to give us only 3 to 5 times of trying.

Anyway, we can list the name of diseases that a TCM may be able to help you: (check here).


12.  I have tried other acupuncturist, but not work.

The situation in the TCM practice all through the history is that the personal skills among practitioners are quite variable. It means that if one acupuncturist failed to solve your problem, another one may be so. This is not like the situation in the western medicine, in which if a doctor fails to solve your problem, another doctor in the same department or in a different hospital may not be able to help you either (except for a surgical department).

A lot of reasons contribute to the variations in the TCM practice. It depends on which style of acupuncture and which style of herbal therapy the doctor follows. It also depends on if he/she practices only acupuncture or herbal therapy too; depends on the quality of the herbs (this is not the big problem in the western medicine system), on the years the doctor in clinic work, how often he/she update his/her knowledge and so on.

Therefore we always encourage that, if one TCM doctor cannot help you, you still should try another one. 

One more point to this question is: many times, person's health problem is actually a side effect of the medicine they are taking (such as impotence when people are still taking anti-blood pressure pills), or a result of a failed surgical treatment (such as scar tissue that cause joint spasm), or due to lack of hormones, such as lack of estrogen after removal of ovaries. In this case, you should not expect fast healing effect from other treatment. To prevent such life-long problem, we recommend you to try no-harm therapy first, before you take advice to take something that you may need to take it for ever (medicine for diabetes, blood pressure, hormone disorders, high blood lipids, etc.) or go for a surgery. The practical problem for family doctors is that they do not know how TCM can work as a valuable alternative choice and whom they should refer their patients to.


13. My acupuncture treatment works before but seems worse again.

It should be pointed out that sometimes, it doesn't work well because you may not follow the requirement of your TCM doctor. For example, if he/she tells you do not have too much lifting activity when you have shoulder pain, but you for any reason cannot follow his suggestion. How can you expect it works? Our experience is that something is quite a common sense in Chinese culture, but not in other culture. For example for a person with severe pain, he/she should have a rest at home, not to work. But we find that once summer comes, people in Edmonton are so eager to go out for a distance traveling even if he/she is with terrible pain! No doubt that his/her condition becomes worse after travel rather than improved!

Our most urgent remind to our clients is: when you feel better with our treatment, you should NOT over work (physically and emotionally); NOT over eating (no matter what food it is);. NOT have too much sex activity (especially if you have lower back pain)!


14.  Is acupuncture covered under Alberta health insurance?

Not so far. Most people have acupuncture covered under their health insurance plan with other insurance company, such as Blue Cross, Sunlife, Great-West Life, etc. You need to check with your human  resource department or ask your manager which insurance company your current company is associated. Depending on the insurance plans, you may be covered for $500, or $1200 per year for acupuncture treatment. Take the  benefit to solve your health problem rather than wait for a treatment later. It may take more efforts to solve your problem later and you have to suffer from it for too long time. You insurance company should be more happy that you could solve your health problem earlier with less costs than costs them lots later, if you indeed have health problem and you eventually do need acupuncture treatment. We know that many people waste their benefit every year. 


14b. Do you do direct online claim for acupuncture or massage?

Currently, we can do direct online billing to the following insurance companies: Great West Life, Sunlife, Green Shield, for both acupuncture and massage. For Blue Cross, only for massage, not for acupuncture yet. To ask us to do the direct billing on behalf of you, we recommend you check with your insurance company if they need you a doctors referral (especially with Blue Cross). If they need, you need to send them the doctor's referral first, before you come to us to enjoy the direct billing.

15.  Do you need doctor’s referral to have acupuncture? 

No, we don’t need any doctor's referral. You simply pick up phone to make appointment and come to have acupuncture treatment.


16. How long time for each acupuncture treatment?

Usually it needs about one hour. For the first time, it may take little bit longer since we need time for consulting that takes about 10 to 20 min.


17.  How much it costs for acupuncture treatment?

You can check the price list here.


18.  Do you have acupuncture always the same way?

Not really. The principle is that we may have to use more efforts on acupuncture treatment in the early phase of the treatment. Along with the improvement of your condition, we should reduce the use of needle stimulations. No harm and less harm is our policy.


19.  Is there any specific thing I need to care after improvement of my pain?

Yes, you should be care not to have too much physical activities if your original problem is pain in arms, shoulders, legs, lower back… You should not eat too much if your original problem is inside your stomach. You should have less sex if your pain is specifically in the lower back and in the femoral cavity or if you are still taking some herbs that work to supply more Yang-qi to your body (check with your TCM doctor).


20. What about if I am still taking drugs from my western medicine?

This is a complex question. Basically if the drugs that you are taking are for blood pressure or diabetes, you can still take them. If it is only for sleeping or pain, you may start to reduce the dose but not stop them right away, especially if you have already had them for years. If it is only a vitamin or mineral product, stop it during the acupuncture treatment. For most people, they have already had such supplements for years but the health problem still there. Why you should continue them once you have already started to try TCM treatment? So many times, we asked people to stop such artificial chemicals and they feel much better after one to two days, rather than their condition becomes worse. Our TCM therapy does not need any “help” from other sources. So many times the side effects from the western medicine drugs make our treatment difficult rather than easier.

We have a case in which a woman’s problem is hot flash that is a side effect of estrogen product. She was given it since her two ovaries have been cut off. It turns very hard for us to control the hot flash since she wants to continue the estrogen to “prevent” breast cancer for her family history of that cancer. In such case, how can one expect a fast and excellent result with acupuncture?

21. What about your results?

We are proud of our clinic results. Surely we cannot say that we can help all our clients - we are not God. But we still gets thanks from our clients again and again. Here are some comments.


22. What means "Healing crisis"?

Healing crisis means that, after a treatment, such as acupuncture, massage, herbal therapy, or chiropractor, or physiotherpay, the symptoms become "worse". It means that you may feel more pain, more stiff, or more itch on skin. This pehnomenon can happen to about 5% of patients. The exmplanation for this phenomenon is that the current pain level is the compesatory balance of body structure and function. It is not a normal or natural balance. The treatment starts to break the current "abnormal" balance and improves the body to establish a new, more natural balance now, so that the body feels more pain. Such healing crisis usualy lasts for about half day or one day. Very rarely it will last for more than two days. The bad thing is that people has to suffer from more pain or itch before they feel better, but the good thing is that people with such healing crisis in most case will get better much sooner than those without such healing crisis.

This phenomenon is just as we clean a room. In the beginning, the room can become much mess and even more dirty, but with your conitnue cleaning, the room will become a real clean. 

23. Do you also use herbal therapy the same time with acupuncture ?

Yes, in most cases, we aske our client to drink a cup of herbal tea (Not green tea, of course) before acupuncture. By this way, the herbal tea and the acupuncture work the same time. It makes the healing effect much better and you can get maximum of Chinese medicine each session. Though the herbal tea tastes bitter, but it works well. By this way, you will save lots of time and money, for a long run. Whenever your symptoms are pretty much under control after acupuncture, or if you really cannot tolerate the bitter taste of the herbal tea, we will omit it. No worry at all.


Contact us today!

Millwoods Acupuncture Center
is located in Edmonton, Alberta Canada and serves the surrounding areas, including:
Edmonton, Saint Albert, Fort Saskatchewan, Lamont, Mundare, Ryley, Camrose, Viking, Big Lake, Red Deer, Calgary, Alberta Beach, Wabamun, Warburg, Breton, Thorsby, Rimbey, Ponoka, Elk Point, Kitscoty, Edgerton, Forestburg, Bashaw, Rimbey, Eckville, Mirror, Alix, Breton, Bawlf, Warburg, Clive, Marwayne, Vilna, Barrhead, Spruce Grove, Stoney Plain, Devon, Beaumont & Sherwood Park, Alberta Canada.



Millwoods Acupuncture Center
102, 2603 Hewes Way
Edmonton AB, Canada

Tel: (780) 466-8683

Operation hours:

 Monday to Friday:  9am to 6pm
 Saturday: 9am to 5pm