Sara Hodgkinson R.Ac is an internationally trained and accredited Registered Acupuncturist. She has also completed her Yoga Teacher training at the Yoga Sanctuary .
Sara has achieved positive outcomes with Acupuncture for several conditions including chronic pain, fertility issues, anxiety, headaches, digestive issues and more.
Her studies have shown her the immense power of the mind-body connection and the empowerment that can be experienced through self-care. She believes her role as an Acupuncturist is to facilitate the knowledge needed for effective and lifelong self care through individualized energetic treatments, dietary advice and manual therapy.
Sara is registered with the CTCMPAO ( College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario)
*Insurance Receipts are issued for all treatments.
“Initial Treatment” $90/75 mins
“Follow up Treatment”
Follow Up Acupuncture Treatment $50/30 mins, $85/60 mins, $130/90 mins
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a treatment used within the wider scope of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It presupposes the existence of ‘Qi”, which is vital energy which animates the mind and body. This energy circulates through the body through a system of channels called meridians. The meridians make up a network which run externally along the body’s surface as well as internally, which enables a connection between the outer and inner aspects of the body, and connects the mind to the physical body. Acupuncture works by harmonizing the flow of Qi through the body’s meridians.
How does Acupuncture work?
Acupuncture works by balancing Qi in the body. When Qi is flowing smoothly through the meridians, the body is considered to be in ideal state of homeostatic balance. When Qi is excess, deficient or obstructed within the body, it causes an imbalance which leads to illness, disease and pain. From a biomedical standpoint it is still not well understood how acupuncture works, but there is a growing body of evidence which validates that it is an effective method of treatment for a variety of issues. One theory is that acupuncture stimulates the body to release natural painkillers such as endorphins and norepinephrine, however this fails to account for the myriad of disorders which acupuncture can treat.
What happens during an Acupuncture treatment?
First the practitioner will take a detailed history of your health and ask questions about your sleep, digestion and menstrual cycle (if applicable). Further questions may be asked about your diet and lifestyle. The practitioner will then feel your radial pulse and ask to look at your tongue, which are important diagnostic tools in TCM. Your acupuncturist will then insert very fine needles (some as thin as human hair) into specific points along the meridians known as acupuncture points. These needles are sterile and single use. Your needles will be left in for 15-45 minutes. Manual therapies may be performed in addition to acupuncture depending on what treatment protocols your condition requires.
Does Acupuncture hurt?
Usually there is little to no sensation when needles are inserted, but occasionally there is mild discomfort. Many patients compare it to the feeling of a mosquito bite. There is usually a sensation of warmth around the needle once it is inserted, followed by a sensation of relaxation.
How far will the needles be inserted?
With a few exceptions, most acupuncture points can be stimulated on the surface of the body, so there is no need to insert the needles deeply. Moreover, there are precise indications as to the needle depth and angle of insertion for each point. These instructions have been passed down to acupuncturists for thousands of years, ensuring the insertions are optimally safe and effective.
Can diseases be spread by the needles?
No. Acupuncture uses sterilized single- use needles which are contained in blister packs that are freshly opened at each treatment and immediately disposed once they are removed from the body. This practice is strictly regulated and enforced by the professional regulating body of acupuncturists, the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario.
Do you need to believe in acupuncture for it to work?
No. The efficacy of acupuncture in children and animals is testament to this.
Are there risks or side effects related to acupuncture?
Although they are minimal and very occasional, there may be some side effects to your treatment. These include but are not limited to: slight bleeding, small bruises and/ or sensitivity and the needling site.
Besides needles, what other techniques can be used to stimulate acupuncture points?
An acupuncture treatment may include other techniques, such as:
Moxibustion, which involves burning an herb called mugwort on the end of a needle or near an acupuncture point
Gua Sha, which involves dragging a dull instrument down the lubricated surface of the skin in a unilateral direction to achieve a therapeutic reddening, known as ‘sha
Cupping, which are suction cups that are applied to an acupuncture point or moved along a meridian;
Pi Fu Zhen, also called plum blossom, which is a small long handled hammer inlaid with seven needles that is lightly tapped on the skin
Tui Na: a TCM treatment that uses specific massage techniques to stimulate points, meridians or regions of the body based on the inherent principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Will I be sore the next day?
You will not feel any discomfort from acupuncture the following day- this is when the results are usually felt! If you receive cupping or gua sha, you may feel a little sore a day or two after treatment, as though you have had a vigorous deep tissue massage.
How many treatment sessions are necessary to get better?
This really depends on your condition and your body’s constitution. As a general rule, you will usually begin to feel beneficial changes within the first three to five treatments. Usually the more chronic the condition, the longer it will take to resolve. Following your Acupuncturist’s lifestyle advice will usually help to maximize the effects of your treatments.
Is Acupuncture covered by insurance?
In general, Acupuncture and TCM treatments are covered by private insurance packages. Speak with your insurance company to see if they offer coverage for these treatments.
Are there any contraindications for Acupuncture?
It is difficult to issue formal contraindications to acupuncture since the main objectives of this therapy are to help the body achieve balance and to resolve the dysfunction that led to the illness. Therefore, its purpose is to regulate, harmonize and rebalance the body’s energy rather than to simply fight disease.
However, in 2001, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the Guidelines on Basic Training and Safety in Acupuncture, which stipulated the illnesses or conditions that should be contraindicated or demand certain precautions. Some of these are:
— Precautions for Pregnancy: acupuncture treatments are safe and very effective for pregnancy conditions, but certain techniques and acupoints are contraindicated during pregnancy. Be sure to tell your practitioner if you are pregnant or are planning to become so while being treated.
— Acupuncture alone should not be considered to treat medical or surgical emergencies.
— Malignant tumours: the specific site of the tumor should not be needled. However, it is still safe to have acupuncture while receiving oncology therapies. Be sure to tell your practitioner if you are diagnosed with a malignant tumour.