Is Acupuncture safe? Does it hurt?

Needles inserted during an acupuncture treatment should be painless. Every patient experience is different; patients may experience bruising, bleeding, needle site pain and sensation, or needle fainting. However, these symptoms may be expected (minimal bleeding) and desired (tingle, tight sensation - "de qi response"). Patients should inform the practitioner if any discomfort arises.

Is dry needling the same as TCM acupuncture?

Dry needling is a technique used by Western practitioners such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, and occupational therapists etc. based on strictly body anatomy in opposed to TCM principals. Thin metal needles are inserted in specific muscle trigger points to release tension and pain. Dry needling does not apply any TCM principals nor diagnosis. Hence, dry needling practitioners are not necessarily receiving the same level of training as set out by the standards of our College. In other words, those who practise dry needling might not meet the requirements to use the title of "Registered Acupuncturist" or "Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner" in the province of Ontario.

Is Cupping safe? Does it hurt?

After the cups are removed from the session, temporary red marks might show on the patient’s skin. These marks might remain on the skin for up to 10 days. These marks are a result of bruising and minor bleeding from broken capillary blood vessels. As with any heat therapy, there may be a chance of burning and scarring. Further, wet cupping carries a risk of exposure to and transfer of infections and bloodborne diseases, if needles are not properly sanitized.

Evidently, cupping therapy is effective in the treatment of cellulitis. Cupping therapy has been used with various level of evidence (I to V) in many conditions such as cough, asthma, acne, common cold, urticaria, facial paralysis, cervical spondylosis, soft tissue injury, arthritis and neuro-dermatitis.

Is Gua Sha therapy safe? Does it hurt?

When done correctly, Gua Sha should not be painful. The mark is a result of bruising and broken capillary blood vessels (sha). Raising sha removes abnormal qi and blood stagnation, and reduces inflammation; therefore, it provides immune protection, and improves the circulation of the body. According to Western medicine, it functions on: the nervous system to enhance human defense mechanism, and the circulative system which speeds up the circulation of blood and lymph to enhance metabolism.

Is Graston therapy same as Gua Sha? What's the difference?

In contemporary application guasha has been appropriated by several health care professions, dubbing it 'the graston technique' - re-packaged in the 1994 by Dr. David Graston as a 'new' technique.

The difference? Visibly there is not much difference - and historically Gua Sha comes from a practice which has survived nearly three millennia, not two decades like it's recent counterpart.

The Graston technique, though extremely similar to Gua Sha and offering similar benefit, fails to treat as wide a range as ailments as its predecessor. In removing the technique from the underlying theory from which it was born, has dismissed the full scope this healing practice has held classically.