Dr. Chris Pickrell, ND, RHNaturopathic Doctor
Dr. Tehseen Meghji, NDNaturopathic Doctor
Laura Burns, TCMPTraditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner
Dr. Emily Rotella, NDNaturopathic Doctor
In Community Acupuncture, the cost of a treatment is less because the acupuncturist’s time and space are shared. Groups of 5 or 6 people receive acupuncture simultaneously, resting in the quiet clinic while their needles are in place. This style of treatment is much more common in countries where Traditional Chinese Medicine and Integrated Western Medicine are practiced.
Our clinic provides acupuncture on a sliding scale of $20-$40, with no proof of income required. And if that’s more than you can afford, please come in anyway – we’re still happy to see you! What keeps our clinic open is that people pay what they can afford for their treatments, and in many cases they share their experience with others. So if you know someone who could benefit from acupuncture, please spread the word!
Our clinic is entirely on a walk-in basis. If you’d like to come see us, please simply pop-in or walk-in entirely at your convenience! We know you have a busy schedule, and we do our best to make sure we stay accessible and flexible. Because we have 7 spots, there’s almost always a space waiting for you, and in case it takes us a few minutes to see you, we’ve always got a nice pot of tea ready for you to enjoy!
WHAT WE TREAT
Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine involving the insertion of sterile, disposable needles (as thin as a hair) into the skin at specific points on the body. Acupuncture is safe and effective, and is often used as a successful alternative or in combination.
How does it work?
Chinese medicine has an interesting explanation as to how and why illness occurs. Qi (pronounced chee ) or vital energy flows in our body through a network of meridians, like a highway system. Injury, congestion, or just plain stress can interrupt the smooth flow of energy throughout the body, creating a ‘traffic jam’.
In a highway system, when there is road construction or an accident, traffic may also be backed up on secondary roads that feed into or out of the affected area. This is true in the body, too. Stress, or any disruption in the flow of energy, can affect many processes of the body, for example digestion, the ability to sleep and the immune system. Acupuncture helps to clear blockages (traffic jams) in the flow of energy, enabling our natural healing processes to function effectively.
What can acupuncture help with?
Acupuncture has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a valuable healing modality for over a large host of conditions, including:
- Stress and Anxiety
- Digestive Concerns
- Back Pain and Muscle Pain
- Injury Rehab
- Headaches and Migraines
- Labour Induction support
- Emotional challenges
- Smoking Cessation support
- Sleep Challenges
- Coughs and Colds
- Women’s Health, Menstrual Regulation and Menopause
What does acupuncture feel like?
Acupuncture should not feel painful. You may experience a tingling or slight aching feeling when the needles are placed. Most people become very relaxed and often even fall asleep during their treatment! Having acupuncture could be described as a period of deep stillness in which nothing seems to be happening, but all sorts of things get done.
How often should you come for acupuncture?
For acupuncture to have optimal and lasting benefits, you’ll want to receive it frequently enough to result in progressive improvement. One or two sessions will feel good due to acupunctureʼs relaxing effect, but regular treatments over the course of 4-6 weeks is the best way to achieve sustainable results.
Experience shows us that those who get the best results with acupuncture begin with 2-3 treatments a week for 2-3 weeks. After that, many people follow up with weekly treatments for another few. For chronic or complex conditions, it may be necessary to do more prolonged treatment. This is why it’s so important that it be affordable.
Our goal is to help support your body (including all aspects of mind, emotions, and spirit) as you move through the healing process. Our approach is one of “supported independence” in which we help to move you as effectively as possible to a place of stability that is sustainable through the activities of your daily life.
WHAT TO EXPECT
You’ll have a short discussion with the acupuncturist, who will look at your tongue, feel your pulse, and suggest a treatment plan. We will ask a few questions, begin your treatment, and return in 40 minutes to remove the needles.
What you will see
FOYER – after you pass through the Herbal Clinic & Dispensary, you will enter the foyer that leads to the clinic space. Please proceed quietly as the door is not sound proof.
COAT RACK – hang your coat on our rustic coat rack and place your shoes on the shelf or under the bench. You can bring any other valuables in with you.
ENTER QUIETLY – enter the clinic space quietly, as it’s likely others will be receiving treatment when you enter. Once inside, please keep your voice to a whisper so that you don’t disturb others.
WELCOME TO THE CLINIC – you are now inside the clinic. You’ll notice there are three chairs and four tables to choose from. We may be in the middle of treating someone else, but we’ll be right with you!
HELP YOURSELF TO TEA – help yourself to warm tea that you can enjoy until we get to you. Our practitioners will pick a tea of the day, normally a combination of healing herbs.
PAY THE TEAPOT – before or after treatment, please leave your payment in the black tea pot by the door. We have an anonymous payment system, so simply place your payment in an envelope and drop it in the pot. It’s that simple!
Before your visit
- Please wear comfortable clothing, that can be rolled up to the elbows and knees.
- Please avoid perfumes or aftershaves.
- It is best to avoid caffeine or other stimulants for a couple of hours before you have acupuncture.
- If you wish, you are welcome to bring earplugs. or eye masks.
During your visit
- If it is your first visit, please arrive early to fill out the intake form. You’ll have a short discussion with the acupuncturist, who will look at your tongue, feel your pulse, and suggest a treatment plan.
- If you are a returning patient, please leave your payment in your envelope, collect your things, and choose your favourite table or recliner.
- A significant component to the effectiveness of acupuncture is allowing the body to be in a deeply relaxed state where it can heal and rejuvenate. Please make yourself comfortable, and relax!
- Acupuncture treatments last about 40 minutes, and your total time in the clinic is usually about an hour. During this time, we will ask a few questions, begin your treatment, and return in about 40 minutes to take the needles out. If you need to leave by a certain time, please let your acupuncturist know.
After your visit
You are likely to feel more relaxed. You may feel sleepy, or you may have more energy than when you came in. Try to connect with this sense before you return to the “real world”. Stay present with that heightened sense of awareness, and carry it with you into your day.
Maintaining a quiet, healing space
The RCAC is a shared community space, and we aim to maintain a relaxed, healing environment. Although there is some exchange between you and the practitioner, most of it is done is hushed voices. If you feel you would like to speak to your practitioner in greater depth about an issue, please let them know, and we can arrange a time or a separate appointment.
Common sense responsibility
Please let us know if you may be pregnant, are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as these conditions require specific modifications or extra caution.
Lateness and cancellations
Sometimes things just happen. If you can’t make it in for some reason, that’s no problem, and we’ll look forward to seeing you again soon!
We are located within The Herbal Clinic & Dispensary at 409 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto (just south of Howard Park Avenue).
Walk-in Hours of Operation*:
Monday 2:30 – 7
Tuesday 3:00 – 7:30
Wednesday 10 – 3
Thursday 2:30 – 7
Friday 10 – 3
Saturday 11 – 3
*Please Note: The last walk-in is accepted an hour before the closing time listed. As we accept patients on a first come first serve walk-in basis, please prepare for a potential wait time. We strongly suggest arriving before the cut-off time to ensure you have a spot. If you would prefer to book a private appointment with one of our various practitioners, please see our online scheduler.