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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is acupuncture safe?

Yes! It has been used for well over 5000 years to help billions of people to get well and stay healthy, without drugs and surgery. The College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia (CTCMA) requires that acupuncturists follow strict safety guidelines and user only sterile, nontoxic needles that are labeled for single use only.


2. Do acupuncture needles hurt?

Naturally, people associate needle pain with their past experience with hypodermic needles. You can fit close to 10 acupuncture needles inside the tip of one hypodermic needle. Acupuncture needles are tiny, thin and flexible, about the size of a cat’s whisker. Once the needles are inserted, some patients may experience a mild tingling or a sensation of fullness, along with an increased sense of relaxation. These are all quite normal and suggest that the treatment is working.


3. What does a first visit include?

The first time visit includes a consult to develop an individualized plan and treatment. Besides acupuncture, the plan may include nutritional counselling, herbal consultations, cupping, Moxibustion and Electro-acupuncture. Herbs and supplements are an additional cost.


4 How long are the visits?

The first time visit is 1 hours. Follow-up visits are 45 minutes.


5. What should I wear to my appointment?

Loose, comfortable clothing is best. Also, don’t forget to eat something before your appointment.


6. How many treatments will I need?

Each patient is different. The initial phase of the treatment plan is usually between 4-10 visits. The length of treatment depends on how long the condition has been present and how quickly the patient responds to treatment. Generally if a condition is more acute, patients respond faster than if it’s been a chronic condition.


7. Do you take Insurance?

Currently, we have accept MSP, ICBC and Extended Medical Plans. However, some insurance companies will reimburse the patient for acupuncture. So, call your insurance agent to find out if they cover Acupuncture. So far, we can accept these companies direct bill.

8.Will my insurance cover acupuncture?  What about ICBC, MSP?

Acupuncture is very widely accepted and most extended medical plans do cover acupuncture. However, because every policy is different, we recommend you check with your insurer to find out the exact coverage. Most insurance plans do not require a doctor’s referral for acupuncture, however some do so. Again, check with your plan.


The Province of BC released new regulations for therapies covered by ICBC, which include acupuncture as a preferred modality. The updated regulation was officially launched on April 1st, 2019, at this point ICBC start covering fees for acupuncture. We can accept direct bill right now. ICBC currently cover the first 12 treatments (given in no more than 12 weeks), with more treatments being covered on a case by case basis. 



MSP covers a portion of acupuncture treatments for those enrolled in the premium assistance program.

This means that you are not paying full premiums for BC Medical; eligibility is based on income. If you are on the premium assistance program, MSP will cover a portion of the treatment, up to 10 treatments per calendar year. If you are not on this program but feel you should be, please contact MSP for application information.

5 Questions to ask your insurance company:

There is a 1 800 number on the back of your insurance card.  Please call your insurance company to find out if your plan includes acupuncture benefits. Questions to ask:

Does your insurance policy cover acupuncture care?

yes / no

Do you need a referral from a primary care doctor?

yes / no

If yes, is your referral for a specific number of visits or specific time limit?

yes / no

Does your referral need to be proved by the insurance company first?

yes / no

Is there a dollar limit per year?

yes / no

If yes, what is the dollar limit?

Is there a limit to the number of visits allowed per year?

yes / no

If yes, how many are allowed per year?

Does your insurance company cover your conditions?

yes / no

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