Acupuncture FAQ


What sets us apart from other Chinese medical practitioners?

Many health care practitioners, such as chiropractors, massage therapists, and physiotherapists, perform acupuncture only as adjunct therapy to their primary therapies. At North York Acupuncture & Physiotherapy, acupuncture is our primary form of treatment. While most of these health care professionals have taken only weekend or intense acupuncture courses (220 hours), May Huang received 5 years (5,400 hours) of formal acupuncture training at Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. She has been practising acupuncture for more than 25 years in China and in Canada. 

Comprehensive Service: Your treatment is  tailored to your needs. Many acupuncturists use the same protocols on all of their patients. At North York Acupuncture & Physiotherapy, your treatment specifically reflects your unique condition. When you get acupuncture treatments, at no extra charge, we give nutritional counselling, herbal consulting, cupping and shiatsu as needed. We will provide a comprehensive diagnosis and educate you on your condition and its prognosis based on Chinese medical principles.

Safety: All of our herbs are GMP certified, safe and effective.

Flexibility: Evening and Saturday appointments are available.


Is acupuncture painful?

Some people may assume that acupuncture is very painful. That's a misconception. The needles used for acupuncture are solid and extremely fine - they are much thinner than those used for injections and blood drawing. When the needles reach the acupuncture points, there is a sensation that could be described as tingling or numbing, rather than "painful." Sometimes the sensation may transfer to other parts of the body.


Is acupuncture safe?

One of the striking advantages of acupuncture is that there are rarely any side effects. Only new, sterile needles are used for treatments. The needles are used only once and then are disposed of. Therefore, there is no risk infection of blood-borne diseases, such as AIDS and hepatitis.


What if I'm afraid of acupuncture?

We can provide acupressure and herbs instead of needles. However, a longer treatment period is usually expected.


What has the World Health Organization (WHO) stated about acupuncture?

WHO stated that numerous laboratory studies have provided further evidence of the efficacy of acupuncture. Many acupuncture patients utilize this method of treatment because "its therapeutic actions are achieved by mobilization of [an] organism's own potential; acupuncture does not produce adverse effects, as do many drug therapies."

Furthermore stating: "Generally speaking, acupuncture treatment is safe if it is performed properly by a well-trained practitioner. Unlike many drugs, it is non-toxic, and adverse reaction is minimal."


Is there anything I should do to prepare for my appointment?

Tongue diagnosis is an important part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Please refrain from brushing your tongue before an appointment.

Bring a list of any medications/supplements/herbs, etc. that you are currently taking.

Wear loose-fitting clothes that is convenience for accessing to areas (such as arms, legs, abdomen, and back) of the body for treatments.


Are there any adverse side effects?

Occasionally, the original symptoms of your condition may worsen for the first few days following your initial treatment; this is not uncommon. However, it is important for you to inform your practitioner of this reaction at your next visit. Appetite, sleep, bowel, or emotional patterns may also change. This should not be a cause for concern, as a change in patterns are a sign that the treatment is working. The most common side effect is drowsiness as a symptom of deep relaxation during and after your treatment.


How many treatments are expected?

The total number of treatments required depends upon the conditions of the symptoms. For acute conditions, 80% of patients can see some improvement after 1-2 treatments; after 4-6 treatments, they will notice significant changes in their conditions.

For complex or prolonged conditions, more treatments may be recommended. It usually takes 4-6 sessions to see the improvements, and It may take 2-3 months for a chronic condition to be completely cured.


Physiotherapy FAQ


What is physiotherapy and how can I benefit?

Physiotherapy is the science of movement and function. Physiotherapy will help people move better, become stronger, and live life free of pain. A Registered Physiotherapist (R.PT) can help clients who have sustained injuries, strains, fractures or any loss of movement. Physiotherapists can also help anyone looking to improve their endurance, mobility and strength.

Our physiotherapist, Amy Chen, will use soft tissue release, manual therapy, individualized exercise prescription, and acupuncture to help you reach your fullest potential!


Can I see a physiotherapist even if I’m not injured or I don’t have any pain?

Absolutely. At North York Acupuncture & Physiotherapy, we are strong believers of preventative health. Your body is less likely to sustain injuries when it is strong. Our physiotherapist, Amy Chen, will help create individualized exercise and stretching programs to meet your needs and goals – it can help you improve your flexibility, posture, performance, or just to stay fit!

If you have a desk job (i.e., receptionist, programmer, researcher), we encourage you to have an ergonomic assessment conducted by our physiotherapist. She will be able to recommend adjustments to your work environment to ensure that there is minimal repetitive strain when you work.


Will physiotherapy be able to treat my problem?

Unsure if physiotherapy is the right fit for your condition? Send us an email and we will respond within 24 hours. 


Does insurance cover it?

Please check if you have extended health benefits by consulting with either your Extended Health Manual, or speak with your Human Resource department.


Do I need a referral from my doctor?

There is no need to have a physician’s referral to see a physiotherapist. However, some extended health benefits require a physician’s referral in order to get treatment costs reimbursed. Please check your Extended Health Manual.


How long does a physiotherapy treatment session take and how many appointments do I need?

Initial Assessments are 60 minutes and follow up treatments are 30 minutes. All appointment time are one on one with your physiotherapist.  Our physiotherapist, Amy Chen, will take a comprehensive assessment of your condition, and formulate a treatment plan for you.


What happens at my appointment?

On your first visit, our physiotherapist, Amy Chen, will talk to you about your condition, medical history, and perform a thorough physical assessment. Your first visit will also include treatment, which can include education, acupuncture, exercise prescription, or manual therapy.


What do I need to bring with me? How should I dress?

Please bring a set of clothes that you can change into - shorts and a t-shirt is preferred. Please bring any test reports or other medical documentation you feel may be helpful in your treatment planning to your appointments.


How quickly can I be seen for my first appointment?

Patients are generally able to be seen within 48 hours of calling to book their first appointment.