FAQ

You asked, We answered

How do I book an appointment?

The easiest way is to use online booking on our website. You can book a same-day appointment, if available, but you have to do it online to ensure contactless payment. 

If it’s your first time booking with us, we’ll send you a new INTAKE FORM to fill out. This form has updated INFORMED CONSENT information specific to COVID-19. We are legally required to have this on file, so you gotta do it.

Can I book an appointment for my kid?

Yes! We treat all ages here at The Village - babies, kids, teens. Please email us and we will set up an appointment. We prefer to book Initial appointments with kids and babies before shift starts so that we can fully explain the process and our tools. We often start littles with a laser treatment to get them comfortable with us and our process, next we graduate to acu “buttons” (press tacks) and then, depending on their comfort level, needles.

How do I pay?

You put your credit card information in our secure system when you book so we can process your payment without touching your card. The payment process is fast and secure. Your card will be saved on file for easy future payment. We also accept debit and cash, just let your practitioner know how you’d like to pay and we are more than happy to accommodate.

What is your COVID-19 policy?

Please reschedule if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms, including:
  • Body aches
  • Congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • New or worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat

If you DO show up with symptoms, you will be turned away and charged for the appointment. To keep you safe, we will also reschedule if we have flu-like symptoms. There are no exceptions to this policy. It is here to stay.

How are ICBC claims paid?

We will continue direct billing for ICBC claims for you, so no changes there, phew!

What’s your cancellation policy?

You will be charged IN FULL for your appointment if you:

  • Don’t show up
  • Give us less than 24 hours notice and we can’t fill your appointment
  • Arrive with any symptoms of COVID-19

Our online booking system allows you to reschedule your appointment 24 hours or longer in advance of your appointment time.

If you must cancel with less than 24 hours notice, please EMAIL us as early as possible to increase the chances that we can fill your appointment. We don’t have a receptionist, so we can’t take phone calls while we’re with patients. Please email!

Three exceptions to our cancellation policy: 

We will not charge you if (1) this is your first offence, (2) you have a positive COVID test result or (2) you don’t show up because you are pregnant and in labour (showing up for your sweet new blessing is way more important!).

What if I’m running late for my appointment?

We keep a tight schedule between patients to help keep our fees lower than many other acupuncture clinics. If you are late for your appointment by 10 minutes or longer, you’ll either be asked to reschedule or (space permitting) wait until the practitioner can squeeze you in. If she CAN fit you in, your treatment will be shortened and she may do the check-in while she begins placing the needles.

How do I prepare for my treatment?

Fill out the COVID-19 screening questionnaire — Four hours before your appointment, you’ll receive an EMAIL REMINDER for this MANDATORY SCREENING asking you about any signs or symptoms. We need to have your response before your appointment to be able to treat you.

 

Plan to come alone — Unless you’re accompanying a minor or you need assistance, come solo.

 

Wear a MASK — Everyone in the clinic is masked for safety, so put yours on before you step inside. It can be a scarf, bandana, medical-grade or other face covering. Just be sure it’s comfortably secured so you won’t have to fuss with it but it must stay over both your nose and mouth during your treatment. 

 

Wear loose, comfortable clothing — Skinny jeans make for awkward (or impossible) needling! To work our magic, we need easy access to your lower arms and legs, so please show up in loose, comfy clothes or bring a pair of loose pants to change into. Or just wear your jammies, because every day is PJ day at The Village!

 

Dress warm and bring a blanket — We can no longer supply blankets, so wear some cozy layers and bring a warm blanket to snuggle up with. In cool weather, chilly winds blow in when our front door is opened, and it’s easy to get chilled during an acu-nap. 

Optional items to bring — An eye mask, earplugs, or a book to read or listen to once your needles are in.

You don’t have a receptionist, so how do I start my appointment?

Here’s what to do every time you enter the clinic:

 

  1. Sanitize your hands at the front desk OR head back to the bathroom and wash ’em.
  2. Leave your shoes at the front door, especially if it’s raining.
  3. Step into the treatment room, choose a chair or bed, and hang your coat and bags on the hook. 
  4. Get comfy in the chair/bed, we’ll be with you soon!

How long will my appointment take?

Once the needles are in, they need to be kept in for a minimum of 30 minutes. We TCMers call this a “complete cycle”; it gives the brain time to check in with each and every needle and help them jumpstart your inner healer. Most people “acu-nap” for 40 plus minutes. Ah, bliss! For your first treatment, give yourself about an hour and 20 minutes — time for a thorough consult and a nice, gentle, slo-mo departure.

What parts of the body do you put needles in?

We mostly use points on your head and ears, your arms below the elbows, and your legs below the knees. No need to take your clothes off. Just dress comfy in a shirt and pants that can easily roll up to your elbows and knees. We never lay you down face-first on a table like other clinics do because it’s uncomfortable and unnecessary. Anything that’s wrong on the back of you can easily be treated with needles on the front. 

Why don’t you put the needles where I hurt?

We get asked questions like this a lot: “Why are you putting acupuncture needles in my hand when it’s my back that hurts?” We practice a style of acupuncture called the Balance Method, which taps into your body’s energy superhighways (called meridians or channels) to effect change somewhere else. So you might show up with a sore lower back and get shockingly immediate relief when we treat your hands. We studied really hard to figure that out!

Traditional acupuncture treats the location of the pain. But the Balance Method pulls energy away from the pain by treating it from far away. We view the entire body as one interconnected system, rather than isolated areas of pain or blockage. 

What can acupuncture help with?

Pretty much everything, and if we can’t help you, we know who to refer you to. Acupuncture’s ability to treat pain has been proven in multiple studies, and many people come to us for pain relief. But, really, acupuncture strengthens your whole ecosystem. A typical day sees us treating digestive, mental-health, and sleep disorders. We support patients with pre- and post-surgery, fertility, migraines, pregnancy, IVF, IUI, autoimmune diseases, concussion, immune issues, hormonal balancing, post-cancer recovery, skin conditions … the list goes on. Acupuncture is also a powerful tool for increasing motivation, focus, clarity, and for building your resilience. 

Is there anyone who should NOT get acupuncture?

We haven’t met them yet. After scouring the interweb and other sources, we’ve not found any contraindications, other than warnings against things we would NEVER do, like stimulating labour in early pregnancy. Age is certainly not a limitation. Our youngest patient was 11 days old, and our oldest was 95. 

Does acupuncture hurt?

Oh boy, this is such a common question.

Short answer: NO. 

Longer answer: Acupuncture doesn’t have to hurt to work. Your treatment is not something to suffer through. Quite the opposite. We want you to relax because that’s when healing happens, and you can’t relax if you’re bracing against pain.

Most patients say they either don’t feel the needles going in at all or they feel a slight pinch. On the off chance you do experience discomfort, we’ll adjust the needle right away or take it out. 

But pain is so subjective. Maybe a friend has told you about their excruciating acupuncture session (which, we guarantee, didn’t happen at the Village). We’re on constant alert for your responses and will stop immediately at the first sign that you’re less than happy. We check in a LOT, and we welcome your honest feedback. Do not EVER suffer in silence!

And while we don’t like to brag, we CAN spot a fainter a mile away! Yes, a fainter. The more tattoos a person has and the bigger they are, the more likely they are to have needle-nerves. Weird right, because they’ve sat through hours of tattooing! We can assure you that getting a permanent tattoo is WAY more painful than anything an acupuncturist can dish out.

Telling you that acupuncture doesn’t hurt means nothing, though, until you experience it. So, book an appointment, and judge for yourself. If you’re feeling nervous, let us know. We’ll put you right at ease — and maybe even right to sleep!

Why don’t you put the needles where I hurt?

We get asked questions like this a lot: “My back hurts, why are you putting acupuncture needles in my hand?” 

Here at the Village we practice a style of acupuncture called the Balance method. We tap into your body’s energy superhighways (called meridians or channels) to cause change somewhere else. So you might show up with a sore lower back and get shockingly immediate relief when we treat your hands. 

Here’s an analogy for how this works. To turn on the light in the middle of your kitchen, you flip a switch on the wall, right? The switch turns on the electrical flow and the light receives energy. 

In the same way, we use an acupuncture point on your hand to relieve pain in your low back. By treating areas that are opposite and distant, we change how energy moves in the area of pain or illness. The points we needle are like switches we turn on to get your body back into balance. 

This is different from traditional acupuncture, which treats the location of the pain. But with the Balance method, we pull energy away from the location of pain by treating far from the symptom. We view the entire body as one interconnected system, rather than isolated areas of pain or blockage. 

We studied really hard to figure that out!

During my treatment, how do I know the acupuncture is “working”?

Where to begin?! During your treatment, here are some things to watch for. They all indicate that the needles are doing their job.

  1. Acupuncture chill — You feel a chill rushing over you even though you’re fully dressed and have a blanket or sweater on.This is your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) shutting down and your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) chiming in to get the healing party started.
  2. Tears — Yup, tears. For no reason at all your eyes might start to water. Again, this is your SNS shutting down and your PNS turning on!
  3. Sleep or feeling like you’re asleep — You may be able to hear noises around you but they sound far in the distance.
  4. Time passes quickly. 
  5. Your limbs jump and “wake you up” — Hello nervous systems doing their jobs!
  6. You’re snoring — When you wake yourself up with a shnarful (yes, a patient has said this word), you know it’s working! (A personal favorite of ours.) 
  7. Pain level drops — If your pain drops from a 9 to a 3 out of 10  before we even get all the needles in, you know you’re cookin’.

What parts of the body do you usually put needles in?

At the Village, we mostly use points on your head and ears, and below your elbows and knees. No need to take your clothes off. Just dress comfy in shirts and pants that can easily roll up to your elbows and knees, and let us send you off to acu-nap-bliss-land.

Why don’t we lay you down face first on a table like other clinics you’ve been to? 

Because it’s uncomfortable and unnecessary. Anything that’s wrong on the back of you can easily be treated with needles on the front. Remember, we will not be needling directly into your pain because we don’t believe you have to spank the crying baby to shift the pain!

I’m fidgety at the best of times, how do you expect me to lie perfectly still? 

Lucky for you we don’t expect you to lie perfectly still. Once the needles are in, you can adjust your position, bend your legs, or scratch your face. We are inserting very fine, flexible needles. We are NOT pinning you to the table! Though we don’t recommend getting up to walk to the bathroom, we encourage you to shift about gently to get more comfortable.

If you’re concerned about scratching your face or reading a book while your needles are in, let us know and we’ll guide you. 

What if I don’t know how to relax?

First of all, join the club. And second, there’s no better way than Balance method acupuncture to experience deeply pleasurable, restorative relaxation.

Why is relaxation so important? Your nervous system relies on your body’s ability to rest and relax. When you relax, your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) takes over. The PNS is also called “rest and digest” mode, and for good reason: when you’re in this state, your body’s healing response is activated. 

On the other hand, when you’re in a hyped-up, overthinking, restless state, your sympathetic nervous system takes over. You’ve probably heard this called “flight, flight, or freeze” mode. Being stuck in this mode has long-term side effects that include chronic stress and anxiety. These in turn lead to tight shoulders, pain, hormonal imbalances, compromised immune system, and a whole cascade of health problems. 

Any of that sound familiar? We’re here to help. Book yourself in for an appointment immediately. Even if you suck at relaxing, we’ll send you off for the “acu-nap” of your dreams!

Can I read?

Yes, by all means, bring a book. Let us know you want to read and we will position the needles as best we can.

Can I go on my phone?

NO! 

And by that, we mean absolutely not. The whole point of coming in for a treatment is to step away from swiping for instant gratification and compulsively replying to work emails.  

So NO. BUT you’re more than welcome to listen to a podcast, book, music, or a meditation. That we always encourage!

Are your needles as big as hypodermics and other needles I’ve been poked with?

Very likely, NO. 

In fact, the size of needles we use in our clinic is one of our most exciting FUN FACTS. 

It’s natural to feel anxious about being poked with giant, painful needles. But that’s not going to happen at the Village. Our teeny tiny needles are a similar width to your hair! Yup, go ahead, take a look at a strand of hair and you’ve got the idea. We can fit anywhere from 20 to 30 of our needles into the width of a hypodermic needle. Talk about good news. So, if fear of needles has been preventing you from trying acupuncture, make an appointment, and we promise to be gentle!

I thought acupuncture needles were rigid, but yours are flexible. What’s with that?

Yes, many people expect something more like sewing needles, but ours are extremely fine — the width of a hair! — and kinda bendy. 

This flexibility fascinates us too! It allows us to quickly and (usually) painlessly set the needles in place, and frees you up to shift position with no discomfort.

Is it true that people fall asleep with needles in?

YES, all the time! We call this an “acu-nap” and once you’ve experienced it, you’ll want more. What’s happening is your nervous system ramps down and sends you into “rest and digest” mode, which is where the healing happens.

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