Acupuncture is the insertion of thin, metal needles to stimulate specific points of the body that reach meridians. These stimulation points are called acupuncture points or acupoints. Traditional Chinese medicine holds that there are 365 commonly used acupuncture points on 20 meridians on the human body. Typically, it takes 15 to 30 minutes of manipulating the needles in these acupuncture points and 30 to 60 minutes of retaining the needles. By doing so, it regulates the flow of qi throughout the body and restore health to the mind and body, thus balancing the yin and yang. The insertions of needles are manipulated either by the hand or by electrical stimulation, called electroacupuncture.

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.
Dry needling is a technique that is based strictly on body anatomy as opposed to TCM principles. Thin metal needles are inserted in specific muscle trigger points to release pain. Dry needling does not apply any TCM principles nor diagnosis. Naturopathic Doctors are trained in dry needling.
Cupping is a form of therapy that involves the suction of the skin and the surface muscle layer to stretch and be drawn into a cup. Cupping is used to encourage the blood flow of the body and treat conditions such as acute or chronic pains, respiratory problems and musculoskeletal problems.
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.
  • Listening to the sound of your breathing, voice
  • The quality of cough, if there is one. 
  • The practitioner will also observe any breath odour.
  • The naturopath will touch/palpate you to discover body temperature, body moisture, pain, and strategic acupuncture points.
  • The naturopath will make observations of your tongue, by examining the colour, coating, and shape. Your naturopath will also observe your face, eyes, etc.
  • The naturopath will take your pulse. This is an important aspect of a naturopath being able to diagnose, and in some cases, indicate a problem or weakness before symptoms occur. Each wrist has three positions along the radial artery that represent each organ of the body. There are 28 different pulse characteristics pertaining to position, depth, rate, width, strength, quality, and rhythm.