The past month was the first time that I held a community acupuncture session at pureBalance Wellness centre in Port Credit, Mississauga. I wanted to share a quick blog post about how the 2 pilot events went and my experiences as the acupuncturist.
The concept of "community acupuncture" was introduced to me by a colleague of mine, Dr Chris Pickerel ND. This style of treatment is gaining popularity because it offers a unique opportunity for meaningful treatment outside of a standard naturopathic appointment. Acupuncture is an ancient and gentle yet effective treatment technique. It works on a very physical level by promoting blood flow and secretion of pain-killing compounds. However, when used traditionally, it can also remove energetic blockages and promote the smooth flow of "Qi" (pronounced "chi"). It can be said it stimulates our bodies innate ability to heal itself. Consistent treatment over a period of a few months can have a profound health benefit. While NDs regularly do acupuncture during a naturopathic appointment, the community acupuncture setting offers a number of distinct benefits.
1) The price is reduced by over 60% compare to a standard acupuncture treatment. The trade off for the lower price is that the practitioner can see a number of patients simultaneously. One patient starts to have their treatment and while the needles are in place the doctor can start another treatment or checks on other patients. We were offering the treatments for $30 + HST compared to regularly being $85 + HST for a half hour appointment. This allows for more frequent appointments leading to quicker improvements and for people that do not have extended medical coverage to benefit from acupuncture by a registered Naturopathic doctor.
2) The community atmosphere and environment is also very unique. Patients being treated at the same time is a common practice all over the world. Since one of the key goals during the whole session is to maintain a respectful silence there is a special atmosphere created when multiple patients are sharing the treatment space. Soft music is playing with dimmed soft light. Many patients enjoy and appreciate the healing energy created in a community space.
3) The flexibility of not having a fixed appointment time is another benefit. Community acupuncture sessions are scheduled for a block of time. At pureBalance wellness centre, we run our sessions from 7-9pm. If you would like a treatment you can arrive anytime in that time period and you will be taken when the next available treatment spot is free.
As a practitioner, I really enjoyed my time at both sessions. I regularly see patients in a clinical setting but community acupuncture is a special and unique experience. Patients were very happy to receive treatments in the relaxed and quiet setting. We were able to briefly chat about the concerns they wanted addressed that day, I took a chinese tongue and pulse reading and then inserted the needles. The treatment usually lasts 20-30 minutes with the needles in place. Each treatment is unique to that person since I match a certain combination of points to that specific person and their symptoms.
Our first 2 sessions were very well attended and there were a steady flow of patients. We used the whole clinic with various treatment areas and positions available. Some people enjoyed the laying down, prone position while others preferred a seated recliner. The great thing was that a number of people that attended the first session also attended the second. The most common piece of feedback they shared about how they felt after their last session was that they were very relaxed during the treatment and felt less stress and slept better that evening. A number of successive treatments can create lasting changes and resolution of symptoms. While acupuncture can be used to treat almost any disorder, the most common conditions that respond well to acupuncture is neck and back pain, menopausal symptoms (hot flushes etc.), infertility, anxiety and acute conditions such as a cough or headache. Its also is an excellent supportive treatment for standard Naturopathic, chiropractic, massage, psychotherapy and nutritional therapy. It is very safe and does not interact with any medications or other therapies. We recommend a number of our own patients to take advantage of community acupuncture as an excellent combination with their naturopathic treatments.
My vision is to provide inexpensive yet effective acupuncture treatment to people in the Port Credit and Mississauga communities. Community - Karma acupuncture is an excellent way for you to restore your health on a energetic and physical level. Due to success of the first 2 sessions I am very excited to continue to provide this service in the coming months. We will be offering a variety of days so people have options if they can't make it on a certain evening. For the next available dates please see the pureBalance wellness centre events schedule.
Dr Paul Hrkal
“Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.”- Hippocrates
The term integrative cancer care is becoming a buzz phase in medicine. Still many people (and doctors) don’t really fully understand the true depth and application of the term “integrative,” especially how it pertains to cancer treatment. The idea behind an integrative approach is that since cancer is a multifactorial disease, affecting every aspect of a person, you need a multi-faceted treatment plan. The research now clearly shows that cancer patients have improved outcomes and reduced mortality when they use complementary techniques (such as fitness therapy, diet counseling, yoga, meditation etc.). Integrative cancer care combines the best of conventional treatments (i.e. new chemotherapy agents, surgical techniques etc.) supportive natural approaches (vitamins and nutrients) and mind-body-spirit practices.
In my practice I focus on helping the patient get the best combination of treatment available. Not matter where the patient is in their treatment, we support them with the best integrative and natural therapies available. This can mean helping a patient prevent cancer or actively treat a cancer that has returned and they no longer want to do chemotherapy. Is can also mean that a patient gets natural therapies along side their conventional treatments or we help get a patient ready for resection surgery or radiation. One of the strengths of natural medicine is that it can be tailored to the needs and desires of each person.
The goals of naturopathic and integrative cancer therapy are:
· Combine the best treatments from natural and conventional medicine - which natural and drugs treatments are best for you
· Directly cause cancer cells to self-destruct and die
· Reduce tumour size and prevent further spread (metastasis) of the cancer
· Boost the overall immune system so that it is able to destroy cancer cells
· Reduce the toxicity and side effects caused by chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy
· Improve survival outcomes and patient quality of life
· Prevention of relapse after successful cancer treatment
· Learn techniques that promote dietary and lifestyle habits which prevent cancer
· Integrate the mind, body and spirit to promote healing at the deepest levels
To achieve the above goals, naturopathic and integrative cancer therapy uses the latest evidence-based therapies and interventions.
This list is not exhaustive and is not meant to be used as a "self-prescription" resource. Not every therapy may be right for each cancer or person. To find out the correct dosage and combination contact Dr Hrkal to book an appointment for a consult.
· High dose intravenous Vitamin C
· Vitamin D – includes testing and treatment to reach optimal levels
· Super-bioavailable Curcumin, Green tea and Resveratrol
· Intravenous Glutathione and alpha lipoic acid
· Mushroom extracts
· Mistle toe extract from Germany
· Modified citrus pectin
For more information please visit my Integrative Cancer Therapy page
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My goal is to post thought-provoking and informative articles so you can learn and apply the latest news from the world of natural health. Feel free to post comments and start a conversation. Stay tuned to my twitter and facebook feeds for the latest posts.