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Some questions we get asked

Does it hurt? ↓
Are the needles sterile? ↓
How does it work? ↓
What’s it good for? ↓
How long will it take to help? ↓
Can I address more than one health issue at a time with acupuncture? ↓
What if I have almost every condition you’ve listed on this website?? ↓
Is it okay to get acupuncture when I’m also taking medicine/scheduled for surgery/getting chiropractic treatments/etc.? ↓
Do you treat pregnant women? ↓
How much does it cost? ↓
If I pay less/more, do I get fewer/more needles (or less/more time)? ↓
Do you take insurance? ↓
Is the clinic a nonprofit? ↓
How do I make an appointment? ↓
I have an unpredictable schedule. Can I just drop in? ↓

Does it hurt?

No – acupuncture doesn’t have to hurt. It is not like getting a shot at the doctor’s office. Acupuncture needles are much, much thinner than a hypodermic needle.

Usually patients feel little or nothing when the needle goes in. You may occasionally feel a slight pinch when the needle goes in, which dissipates quickly. If a needle is uncomfortable, we will adjust it or take it out! Our friend Nora says, and we agree: Suffering is not part of the treatment.

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Are the needles sterile?

Yes, we use disposable needles. They come to us sterilized, we use them once, then we dispose of them in an approved Sharps container.

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How does it work?

From the traditional perspective, acupuncture works by re-establishing a healthy flow of energy in the body; this enables the body to use its own resources more efficiently, so that it can heal more quickly and more thoroughly. From a modern scientific perspective, many of studies have been done, and none of them have answered that question completely.

From our practical perspective, we at GCA are less concerned with how it works, and more interested in how much it does work. By the way, you don’t have to believe in it for it to work; some of our most loyal patients were initially quite skeptical about acupuncture — and, acupuncture has been used with good results on animals.

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What’s it good for?

Acupuncture can can potentially help with nearly anything, as acupuncture encourages your body’s own healing capacity. Acupuncture can speed the healing of acute problems, it can help manage chronic pain. Acupuncture is especially effective for any condition which is worsened by stress. Here is a partial list of condition that may be successfully treated with acupuncture:

  • back pain, neck pain
  • common cold, lowered immunity, allergies & asthma
  • digestive problems, acid reflux, colitis & IBS
  • diarrhea & constipation
  • insomnia, stress, anxiety & depression
  • addictions, smoking cessation and withdrawal support
  • tendonitis, tennis elbow & frozen shoulder
  • headaches, migraines & TMJ
  • chronic pain & arthritis
  • acne, eczema, psoriasis & skin rashes
  • menstrual irregularities & menopause
  • fertility issues, morning sickness, delayed labour
  • side effects of radiation & chemotherapy

Please note that we do recommend that people check in with their regular doctor, especially for pains or infections that do not change with treatment or continue to get worse. If you are on any prescription medications, please don’t stop taking your medicine without checking in with your prescribing physician.

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How long will it take to help?

That depends. Acupuncture is a therapy, and usually requires a course of treatment. We find that people often experience relief after one or two treatments, but generally need more than that in order to stabilize the good results. Your practitioner will be able to recommend what course of treatment you can expect to need.

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Can I address more than one health issue at a time with acupuncture?

Yes, you can. And often, when someone receives treatment for one health issue, another problem clears up along with the original complaint.

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What if I have almost every condition you’ve listed on this website??

We hear this fairly often; sometimes an intake form becomes an overwhelming sea of check marks. When we see people going through periods of acute stress, and manifesting a wide variety of symptoms, we tend think of these as the body’s alarm system, saying “Slow down!” And other times, people are dealing with the accumulated stress of illness and injury over a period of years.

It’s also worth mentioning that because all the body’s systems are interrelated, as acupuncture helps with one problem, other things often come back into balance. It’s not uncommon, for example, for someone to report that their digestion got a lot better after we treated them for migraine. Or, for their sleep to improve while we’re treating them for eczema. In both cases, establishing a regular habit of deep rest can be a major factor in becoming yourself again.

When it seems like everything is falling apart, physically, mentally and emotionally, acupuncture can be an excellent tool to slow down and start getting to the root of things.

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Is it okay to get acupuncture when I’m also taking medicine/scheduled for surgery/getting chiropractic treatments/etc.?

Our answer is almost always yes. Acupuncture is very rarely contraindicated, as it helps the body to heal itself, without adding anything or taking anything away. Feel free to ask us about your specific situation, and/or have your doctor contact us.

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Do you treat pregnant women?

Yes! Acupuncture is safe and effective treatment for many pregnancy-related conditions, including morning sickness, hip pain, and sciatica, to name a few. We can also assist with inducing labour, and turning a breech baby.

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How much does it cost?

Our sliding scale is $20 – $40 per treatment. You decide what you want to pay. Please note that that this is not charity; with this business model, we make a decent living even when everyone pays at the low end of the scale. Many conditions can require getting treatments more than once a week (especially at first); we would prefer that you pay lower on the scale and be able to come in frequently enough for the acupuncture to work for you.

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If I pay less/more, do I get fewer/more needles (or less/more time)?

No. The number and placement of needles each person receives is tailored to their specific condition, and as long as we have the space, we love it when you stay as long as you like (until closing time!)

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Do you take insurance?

No, but we will supply you with a receipt which you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

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Is the clinic a nonprofit?

No. GCA is solely supported by patients paying for treatments — community-supported acupuncture.

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How do I make an appointment?

Click on the link to schedule yourself online, or call the clinic at 519-829-3000.

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I have an unpredictable schedule. Can I just drop in?

Yes — walk-ins are welcome, and we’ll take you if at all possible. Appointments are recommended, but we know planning ahead can be tricky sometimes, so we’ll accomodate drop-ins whenever possible.

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