Louise Demorest Richmond acupuncture

Questions 604.838.4714
Richmond, BC
Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine has its origin in ancient Taoist philosophy which views a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, each influencing and balancing the other. Chinese Medicine emphasizes a holistic approach that treats the whole person. Many people have found Traditional Chinese methods of healing to be excellent tools for maintaining optimum health and preventing illness. Techniques used in treatment include acupuncture, herbs and massage. (back)

Why Do You Ask Me to Stick My Tongue Out?
The tongue is a very sensitive organ and its appearance can change with many physiological changes in the body. By observing the tongue we can see how our whole body is functioning and able to detect imbalances in different systems in our body. When we ask you to stick your tongue out, we are observing the appearance of the tongue in three distinct areas:

  1. Tongue Proper - We may evaluate the size of the tongue compared to the opening of the mouth or observe any teeth marks on the sides. The color of tongue can give us ideas of the strength of one’s health.
  2. Tongue Coating - A normal tongue should have a very thin clear coating that exhibits proper enzymatic content and salivary secretions.
  3. Regional Analysis - Different areas of the tongue are represented by the functioning state of different regions of the body. Area A of the tongue represents the functioning of the nervous system and the immune system. Area B of the tongue is represented by the liver and detoxification function of the body. Area C is represented by the functioning of the digestive system. Area D is represented by the urogenital systems as well as the intestines.


What is Acupuncture and How Does it Work?
Acupuncture is an ancient science that has been around for thousands of years. Although it can be a complex discipline to learn and practice, it can be easily explained. Acupuncture is a means of adjusting the body’s life energy (chi or qi) through the insertion of fine needles into carefully selected acupuncture points along the meridians of the body. Acupuncture is gentle, safe and very effective for:


What are the Principles of Acupuncture?
There are 14 major avenues of energy flowing through the body. These are known as meridians, much like the reference points on a globe. These meridians channel through every area of the body from head to toe, including through the major organs.

The energy that moves through the meridians is called Qi (pronounced "chee" and formerly spelled as chi). Qi is meant to flow smoothly
through the meridians to even the most remote cells. When it is balanced, your health is good and strong. When it is blocked, you may experience pain, disease, depression, confusion or any other type of physical or emotional dysfunction.

Acupuncture needles are gently placed through the skin along various key points along the meridians. This helps rebalance the Qi so the body systems work harmoniously. (back)

What Should I Expect for My First Treatment?
After the first treatment has been administered, depending on the ailment being treated, many experiences may occur. Immediate, total or partial relief from pain or other symptoms may be experienced. Some patients experience a sudden burst of energy while others may feel relaxed. Many people experience a calming satisfaction. (back)

What Can Acupuncture Treat?
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are extremely successful in the treatment of a multitude of conditions. Acupuncture is also often used as a preventative medicine. Many people see their acupuncturist only 2-4 times a year for a "tune up" or "balancing" treatment. This can prevent disease and promote health, energy and vitality. (back)

How Many Acupuncture Treatments Will I Need?
There is no definitive answer to this question. The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary from person to person depending on the conditions being treated, your age and health, and how you respond to acupuncture. Acupuncture is a natural medicine that is assisting your body to make changes. This can be a gradual process. A consultation with an experienced practitioner about you and your condition will offer the best guide for the length of treatment. (back)

How Long Will it Take for the Acupuncture Treatments to Work?
A positive response to acupuncture treatments is generally seen after the first to fourth treatment. If you are being treated for a menstrual problem or infertility, give the treatments three menstrual cycles for your body to respond. You will schedule your appointments further and further apart after you have achieved optimal response. (back)

Does Acupuncture Hurt?
While some people feel nothing at all; others experience a brief moment of discomfort as the needle penetrates the skin that can be followed by a mild sensation of cramping, tingling, numbness, traveling warmth, or heaviness. The needles are left in place for about thirty minutes. Most people find the experience extremely relaxing and uplifting and even fall asleep for the duration of the treatment.
It is important to let your acupuncturist know immediately so that they can make you more comfortable. If you are sensitive to acupuncture or ‘needle-phobic’ your acupuncturist can use thinner needles and be gentler. Be sure to speak up and let the practitioner know how you are feeling! (back)

Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture therapy has been used for thousands of years in China. Acupuncture is the treatment of choice for one-fourth of the world's population! The needles are government approved, individually packaged, pre-sterilized and disposed after a single use. (back)

Are There Risks or Side Effects to Acupuncture?
Acupuncture rarely causes serious side effects. Many people feel a brief stinging sensation during insertion of the needles. Others experience a dull ache around the needle after it goes in. (back)

Your original symptoms may worsen for a few days after an acupuncture treatment. Sometimes other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work. It is also common with the first one or two treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These effects should wear off quickly. (back)

Can Acupuncture Help With In-Vitro Fertilization?
A study, published in the April 2002 edition of the medical journal Fertility and Sterility, found that acupuncture increases the chances of becoming pregnant for a significant number of women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF). (back)

Can Acupuncture Help Promote Pregnancy?
Evidence that Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine have been used to aid fertility can be found in early medical literature dating back to 3AD. (back)

What is Ear Acupuncture?
Ear acupuncture is widely used for many conditions, including addiction treatment, mood disorders, obesity, pain, and other conditions. This medical system emphasizes a holistic approach to medicine, an approach that treats the whole person. (back)

How is Ear Acupuncture Used in a Treatment?
Ear acupuncture is generally incorporated into a regular acupuncture treatment. In addition to using acupuncture points on the rest of the body, your acupuncturist may select a few ear acupuncture points that they feel will be helpful for your particular condition. (back)

What are Ear Seeds?
Ear acupuncture points may be stimulated for a longer period of time by using ear seeds or ear tacks. These seeds are held in place on the ear with a small piece of adhesive tape. Ear seeds may be left in the ear for a few days or up to two weeks. (back)

What is Cupping?
Cupping is another type of treatment. This is a method of stimulating acupuncture points by applying suction and creating a partial vacuum. This technique produces blood congestion at the site, and therefore stimulates it. (back)

What is a Chinese Herbal Formula?
Individual substances are rarely prescribed alone in Traditional Chinese Medicine. A carefully balanced recipe of several different herbs is specifically tailored for each person's entire health condition. Each herb is chosen for its own specific functions. (back)

What is the Difference Between Western Herbs and Chinese Herbs?
Western Herbal Medicine tends to use one or two herbs to treat just a specific symptom. A Chinese Herbal formula has many different herbs. The herbs are selected to work synergistically to treat the whole person. (back)

How Safe are Chinese Herbs?

One of the most appealing qualities of Chinese Herbal Medicine is the low risk of adverse reaction or side effects. Herbal medicine uses all the constituents of the plant, including the cellulose. The herb is completely balanced, and therefore has minimal side effects. (back)

How are Chinese Herbs Taken?
Matching the appropriate type of herbal preparation to the patient and health concern is very important. Here are several ways Chinese herbs are taken:


Will it Conflict With My Other Medications?
TCM treatments and acupuncture are used to complement and supplement your physician's treatments NOT TO REPLACE THEM. You should discuss this issue with your physician and acupuncturist. (back)