Pathways Healing


Frequently asked questions about Acupuncture,
Cupping Therapy and Moxabustion:

How does acupuncture work?
In the more traditional view, Acupuncture prevents and treats numerous health problems by modifying the flow of energy (called qi or chi) in the body. Acupuncture points open up the meridian system in the body, increasing energy flow and stimulating an healing in the body’s natural healing abilities.

In the more modern, scientific view, acupuncture points stimulate the nervous system to release endorphins from the brain, which travel along via the spinal cord, encouraging muscles to relax and inflammation to release. These natural chemicals also trigger the release of relaxing hormones. Acupuncture improves circulation to damaged tissues; increasing oxygen and helping to disperse carbon dioxide, congestion and sluggishness.

Some of the main symptoms that can be relieved with acupuncture are; pain, inflammation, stress, and mobility problems, and since 1996, the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved acupuncture to be an effective treatment for a long list of conditions including the following

  • Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, neck and back pain, sports injuries, sciatica, osteoarthritis, neuritis and facial pain, TMJ
  • Digestive disorders: irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhea and gastritis
  • Menstrual and reproductive problems: dysmenorrhea and menopausal symptoms
  • Urinary tract disorders: prostatitis and bladder dysfunction, sexual dysfunction
  • Respiratory problems: sinusitis, asthma, sore throat and recurrent respiratory tract infections
  • Stress and psycho-emotional problems including anxiety and depression
  • Addictions

Click on the link to see the complete list of conditions as studied by the WHO_list_conditions_treatable_with_acupuncture

Does acupuncture hurt?
No, acupuncture doesn’t really hurt. There can be a slight pinch when the needle goes in, but it lasts no more than a few seconds and then you begin to feel wonderfully relaxed. If you are still nervous of acupuncture, please ask about alternative methods of acupuncture treatment such as moxabustion or cupping therapy.
You offer so many services. How do I know what to choose?
Yes, I can offer many types of services because people are individuals. No one treatment works for everyone. We can talk on the phone or over email and decide if you want to try an acupuncture treatment. The intake process is the same for everyone. I have you fill out a questionnaire and we go over it together to decide what might be helpful for you, and to talk about your preferences. I will make suggestions and we decide together what options we are going to try. You will always have the choice to ask for different options or to decline any suggested method of treatment. I want to hear your feedback so we may adapt our strategies as we move through treatment together. My goal is to give you the most effective treatment I can, while moving at a pace that is comfortable for you.
What can acupuncture help with?
Acupuncture works with a long list of issues. Some of the main symptoms that can be relieved with acupuncture are; pain, inflammation, stress, and mobility problems, and since 1996, the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved acupuncture to be an effective treatment for a long list of conditions including the following:

  • Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, neck and back pain, sports injuries, sciatica, osteoarthritis, neuritis and facial pain, TMJ
  • Digestive disorders: irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhea and gastritis
  • Menstrual and reproductive problems: dysmenorrhea and perimenopausal symptoms
  • Urinary tract disorders: prostatitis and bladder dysfunction, sexual disfunction
  • Respiratory problems: sinusitis, asthma, sore throat and recurrent respiratory tract infections
  • Stress and psycho-emotional problems including anxiety and depression
  • Addictions

For more information on acupuncture and to see the complete list of conditions studied by the WHO click here.

What happens during an acupuncture session?
At your first appointment I will ask you to fill out a questionnaire and we will go through it together to decide what we would like to work on. If you have not had acupuncture before I will begin with only a few basic points to see how your body reacts to the treatment.

At subsequent visits we will have a brief talk about how you are feeling, what symptoms you are experiencing and we will decide what we are going to work on for that day. I may ask you to remove some clothing so that I can access the points we need to work on. There will be a sheet to cover up with. Once you are settled on the treatment table I insert your needles, or use whatever other treatment options we have decided on.

I will then give you a few moments to rest while I make notes and I will return and offer Reiki for you for the duration of your treatment. The needles will stay in for approximately 20 minutes. The combination of acupuncture and Reiki is extremely relaxing and soothing and use of the two approaches help to get your energy flowing clearly. This brings the necessary energy, blood, oxygen and healing endorphins to the areas of your body that need healing.

How long does a session take?
Please allow 60 to 90 minutes for your first session, and about 45 minutes for follow-up sessions. If you are tight for time; say perhaps you are on your lunch hour, please let me know and I can get your session completed in 35 to 40 minutes.
I am afraid of needles, but I think I would like to try acupuncture. Will you help me?
Yes. Many people are nervous of needles. I was afraid of the needles when I began acupuncture treatments myself. The first thing you need to know is that an acupuncture needle is about 1/10th of the diameter of a regular hypodermic needle. They are almost as thin as a human hair. I use high quality needles for greater comfort, and if you like, you can come into the office and we will insert just one needle to see how you feel about it. Chances are you will be asking me, “Is it in yet?” If you don’t like it we can stop right there.

We can also work with some of the alternative treatment methods I offer. We can also use acupressure, cupping therapy and Reiki.

Are there any side effects or dangers associated with acupuncture?
You should be aware that there are some inherent risks involved with acupuncture. These are rare but may include minor bleeding or bruising, minor pain or soreness, nausea, fainting, infection, possible perforation of organs and stuck or bent needles.

These risks are further reduced with the proper training and procedures. My training includes several techniques for safe needling to reduce any possible risk to my clients. I am also trained in clean needle technique to minimize any risk of infection. I will not take any chances with your health. Riskier acupuncture points are simply not used as there are many safer alternatives. If you have any concerns, please discuss them with me. I will be happy to explain how I safeguard your health.

Are you licensed? Are you insured?
I am a Registered Acupuncturist with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario. I earned my diploma in Acupuncture in 2011 and I am also a Certified Acupuncture Health Practitioner registered with the Canadian Examining Board of Health Care Practitioners and I carry malpractice insurance.
Can I use my workplace benefits for acupuncture?
Yes, but it does depend on your insurance carrier. Please be sure to ask ahead of time if they will cover an acupuncturist with the qualifications listed above. Some insurance carriers will cover any acupuncturist and some will only cover acupuncture if the practitioner is a Registered Naturopathic Doctor. Be sure to check before you come for treatment.
How often do I need to come for treatment?
Although each person is different however, I usually suggest that you come twice in the first week of treatment, and at least once the next week. We can begin to taper the visits off depending on how well you respond. At least 3 to 6 sessions are needed for most conditions.

Some people experience relief after the first treatment and others need to come back weekly or more, for 4 to 6 weeks. Some conditions, such as seasonal allergies, would benefit if the person comes back at least once every 2 to 3 months for a “tune-up” treatment.

These are general guidelines of course. Stubborn issues might require more frequent visits or a longer duration of treatment and other conditions might improve after only 1 or 2 sessions.

What is moxabustion?
Moxabustion is the process of burning herbs (usually mugwort) on a needle or directly on the skin (direct moxabustion) or near the skin(indirect moxabustion). This is done on selected acupuncture points to warm the meridians and stimulate the acupuncture points. This is particularly useful for ailments like colds, flus and achy, sore muscles and it is quite comforting to have the warm moxa stick moving over your body. The skin is not burned in the process, just warmed. This is another option for those who are afraid or intolerant of needles. Similar to laser acupuncture, if moxabustion only is used, results may take slightly longer.
What is cupping therapy?
Please read more about these two therapies here.
Do you do cosmetic acupuncture?
Yes. Please read more about cosmetic acupuncture here.
Frequently asked questions about Reiki:
What is a Reiki session like?
A Reiki session involves a brief chat about your reasons for coming, your knowledge of Reiki, and what you can expect to experience during the session. You will be given the option to stop the session at any time.

Whenever you feel ready to begin, you will be asked to lie, fully clothed, on a massage table, or sit in a chair. You will be offered a blanket and made warm and comfortable.

I usually start at the ankles and then go to the top of the head and work down, scanning and working with whatever energies I am guided to use.

You will feel a very gentle resting of my hands on your head, face, torso, legs and feet. Sometimes I also work with my hands slightly off of the body.

You may feel warmth, tingling, coolness or sensations of energy moving through your body. You may also see colours or visions, and some people even report hearing sounds like water, birds, voices etc.

You will become very relaxed, almost to the point of falling asleep. (I often have people drift off on my table.)

After a session you may feel very “light”. I always ask people to sit and sip some water before they leave to make sure that they are properly grounded or “back down to earth.”

People will often have incredible bursts of energy following treatments. If they have been experiencing any physical pain it is can be reduced or even eliminated. Some report having deeper more relaxing sleeps after Reiki, and clients will simply feel less stressed and more able to cope with day to day events.

How does Reiki work?
Reiki is Universal Energy. Reiki practitioners have been attuned by a Reiki Master so they can channel energy through their hands. The Reiki gently clears away any stress in the physical and emotional body. It then fills you with healing energy. This energy can then be accessed by whatever part of you that needs it. Your body will naturally take what is appropriate for itself.

Reiki essentially removes energetic disturbances and boosts you up with energy so your body, mind and spirit, can more efficiently repair and maintain themselves.

What can Reiki help with?
Reiki helps with anything and everything. Be it physical, emotional or spiritual. It is a complementary therapy. Which means it will help and support you whatever you may be going through. Studies have shown that Reiki speeds up the healing process. Reiki is being used in some hospitals to help cancer patients with their recovery process.

Some clients will have dramatic results, and others will find that they simply feel better. They feel confident and full of life and vitality.

Even if you are already in good health, Reiki can give you energy to spare and feelings of inner peace.

What does “Healing Crisis” mean?
“Healing Crisis” is a scary sounding term. I prefer to use the term “Releasing” instead. After any energy work a small percentage of clients go into a “release”. What this means is your body is trying to release toxins. Sometimes the release is physical and sometimes emotional.

  • A physical release could be anything from a headache, diarrhea, skin rash, or tiredness.
  • Emotional releases could be old memories surfacing, or unexplained irritability, sadness, or weepiness.

Releasing or Healing Crisis is a GOOD THING! This means that the Reiki is doing its’ job and getting rid of these unhealthy residues.

To support yourself through a releasing time, drink plenty of water to flush toxins from your system. Eat and sleep well, and try to find some quiet time. Don’t worry, releases are usually mild and brief, but if symptoms persist, or if you find them overwhelming, always consult a medical or psychological professional.

Should I stop taking my medicine or treatment after a Reiki session?
NO!! Reiki is only meant to be a supportive experience. Please ALWAYS consult qualified medical personnel for any serious health issues. It is illegal for a Reiki practitioner to advise a client to stop taking any medical treatment, prescribe medications or make any kind of medical or psychological diagnosis. If you ever feel that you do not need to continue with other treatments, please consult with your Doctor, Naturopath, Herbalist, etc. before discontinuing your usual treatment.
Where did Reiki come from?
Reiki was developed in Japan by Mikao Usui. However it is said to be an ancient healing system originating through Tibet, or possibly even through India via Egypt, that was rediscovered by Dr. Usui.

The Reiki story many know is that Dr. Usui studied for many years looking for a healing system. He was advised by a monk to go to the mountain top to meditate for 21 days. On the morning of the 21st day he was struck in the forehead with a ray of light and was given the Reiki system of healing.

He taught Reiki to others and it has been handed down from Master to Master and has evolved into the modern form of Reiki practiced today.

We now know that there is a more detailed history of Reiki and how Usui created the system. Further down the page you can find a list of reading materials to help you learn more.

Is Reiki a religion? Will it go against my belief system?
Reiki is not a religion. It is “Universal”. There is no dogma or belief system that you must adhere to in order to give or receive Reiki. It will not go against any belief system that you hold. Reiki is simply sending loving energy with the best of intentions to another person, therefore Reiki cannot do harm to anyone.

Some people do find a sort of “enlightenment” through the practice of Reiki, but these feelings can be integrated with any of your existing practices. For example, I know Christian Reiki practitioners that say they feel closer to God when sending Reiki, and it feels like they are praying for Gods’ love to heal their clients.

Are there any books you would recommend to help me understand more about Reiki and Energy Healing?
Besides my own manuals, which can be found on the Shopping page of this site, I also recommend some of the following:

* Traditional Reiki for Our Times by Amy Rowland
* Tapestry of Healing by Jeri Mills, MD
* The Spirit of Reiki by William Rand, Frank Petter and Walter Lubeck
* Energy Medicine by Donna Eden
* The Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss





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