About Acupuncture in Nanaimo


Acupuncture is an effective treatment that has been successfully practiced for centuries. The modern system of acupuncture consists of over 300 points located at specific areas on the body. Thin, sterile acupuncture needles are inserted into these points to promote blood flow, relieve pain, and to help restore function to muscles, joints, and organs.

Insertion of acupuncture needles may go unnoticed by some patients, and others may feel like a small pinch followed by a sensation of warmth. Needles typically remain in place for 15-20 minutes to allow for the treatment to take full effect. Acupuncture provides an immediate benefit for many conditions but may require more time to treat chronic and deep-rooted illnesses.

Over 13 000 studies have been conducted on acupuncture over the past 20 years. During this time period, acupuncture has shown tremendous benefits in a wide variety of clinical areas. These areas include joint and muscle pain, mental health, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, headache prevention, irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, and many more.

Health professionals certified to practice acupuncture in British Columbia are held to the highest standards. Our certified naturopathic doctors trained for years, over hundreds of hours, at an accredited college to competently learn the art of acupuncture. They are committed to offering safe and individualized acupuncture treatment plans to best suit your health needs.

Acupuncture needles, moxa sticks, lavender petals with macerated oil, giner and herbs in jars. TCM Traditional Chinese Medicine concept photo

Because We Know You’re Wondering…

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that aims to restore function to muscles, joints, and organs. Thin, sterilized needles are inserted at specific points on the body and are retained for 15-20 minutes per treatment.

What education and training is required?

Our naturopathic doctors trained heavily in acupuncture during their 4-year tenure at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. They accumulated hundreds of hours in theory and practicum training, and were rigorously tested prior to certification.

Does it hurt?

Most patients experience sensations of mild tingling, heaviness, or warmth during treatment. Sensations may vary depending on one’s unique stress levels, energy levels, immune status, general sensitivity, and so forth.

Are the needles sterilized?

Yes. High-quality, sterilized needles are purchased from reputable companies and are single-use only.

How Can it Help Me?

The best available evidence shows that acupuncture is effective for joint and muscle pain, mental health, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, headache prevention, irritable bowel syndrome, and nausea. However, there are many additional conditions that acupuncture can help treat.

What is so special about your Integrated team based approach?

An integrated, team-based approach to health care can have many facets, each offering patients different paths to their goal of achieving optimal health & wellness. From the most basic level (practitioners sharing office space) to the highest level (multiple practitioners working together to create, implement, and monitor your unique treatment plan) integration offers you a more comprehensive approach to your health. At our wellness centre, we offer our patients ALL levels of integrated care! Our practitioners feel strongly that it is our responsibility to inform you of the choices you have, the pros and cons that come along with each, as well as our recommendations, but we always respect that your health is your responsibility, and your choice is always the best choice!

Dr. Olena Gill ND

Naturopathic Physician

What to Expect on Your First Visit:

Your first visit is never rushed. This is where we need to spend time with you to make sure we understand exactly what your concerns are, the primary issues that are keeping you from being healthy, your expectations in your recovery, and your health goals in general.

You will be greeted by our caring staff in the reception area and will be asked to fill out some short health forms.  After Dr. Tomlinson has had a chance to review these forms he will discuss with you any other pertinent information.

After all of the information has been obtained, our naturopath will analyze your findings and present you with his best understanding of your case, the best method for restoring your health, alternative options, the cost and time commitment, and the expected outcome of your treatment plan.

There is ample time for questions and discussion before treatment begins.  It is our goal that every patient will be optimally informed regarding their health to ensure they make the most appropriate health care choices.

What Makes us Special?

Scheduled Progress Checks:  Along your journey back to optimal health you will have many Progress Examinations.  These provide a time for both the doctor and patient to check in to determine that recovery is progressing as expected, that you are happy with the care you are receiving, if you have any new concerns or questions, or simply to give each other a high five and continue on with your care.

Education:  We believe in the importance of education, that you should know the why and how of your care, as well as other ways to improve your health.  As a patient in our centre you will have many options to become motivated and encouraged towards better health.

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