Doctor Lauren Straub -
Doctor of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine
306.565.1747 2216 Smith Street, Regina, Saskachewan, Canada
"Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy" -Lao Tzu
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Frequently Asked Questions
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What conditions can Traditional Chinese Medicine Treat?
Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?
How about acupuncture for children?
What does a session entail?
How many treatments will I need?
Does acupuncture hurt?
What about the needles?
Is acupuncture covered by insurance?
How is TCM regulated in Saskatchewan?

What conditions can Traditional Chinese Medicine Treat?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a comprehensive and complete system of medicine. While it is more commonly known to treat pain and physical injury, it can, in fact, be used to successfully treat a wide variety of internal disorders. The World Health Organization officially recognizes over 50 conditions that may benefit from TCM.

The diseases or disorders for which acupuncture therapy has been tested in controlled clinical trials reported in the recent literature can be classified into four categories as shown below.

1. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved-through controlled trials-to be an effective treatment:

Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
Biliary colic
Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
Dysentery, acute bacillary
Dysmenorrhoea, primary
Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
Hypertension, essential
Hypotension, primary
Induction of labour
Knee pain
Low back pain
Malposition of fetus, correction of
Morning sickness
Nausea and vomiting
Neck pain
Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
Periarthritis of shoulder
Postoperative pain
Renal colic
Rheumatoid arthritis
Tennis elbow

2. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed:

Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
Acne vulgaris
Alcohol dependence and detoxification
Bell’s palsy
Bronchial asthma
Cancer pain
Cardiac neurosis
Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
Competition stress syndrome
Craniocerebral injury, closed
Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)
Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
Female infertility
Facial spasm
Female urethral syndrome
Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
Gastrokinetic disturbance
Gouty arthritis
Hepatitis B virus carrier status
Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)
Labour pain
Lactation, deficiency
Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
Ménière disease
Neuralgia, post-herpetic
Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
Pain due to endoscopic examination
Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein-Leventhal syndrome)
Postextubation in children
Postoperative convalescence
Premenstrual syndrome
Prostatitis, chronic
Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
Raynaud syndrome, primary
Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Retention of urine, traumatic
Sialism, drug-induced
Sjögren syndrome
Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
Spine pain, acute
Stiff neck
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
Tietze syndrome
Tobacco dependence
Tourette syndrome
Ulcerative colitis, chronic
Vascular dementia
Whooping cough (pertussis)

3. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which there are only individual controlled trials reporting some therapeutic effects, but for which acupuncture is worth trying because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult:

Choroidopathy, central serous
Colour blindness
Irritable colon syndrome
Neuropathic bladder in spinal cord injury
Pulmonary heart disease, chronic
Small airway obstruction

4. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture may be tried provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment:

Breathlessness in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Convulsions in infants
Coronary heart disease (angina pectoris)
Diarrhoea in infants and young children
Encephalitis, viral, in children, late stage
Paralysis, progressive bulbar and pseudobulbar

For more information:

Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?

Acupuncture, when performed by a properly trained professional, is very safe during pregnancy. It can be used for many concerns such as morning sickness, insomnia, pain, bloating, threatened miscarriage, stress and anxiety. Closer to the due date, I use acupuncture to start preparing the woman for labour. Acupuncture can also be used to induce labour so is very helpful for overdue babies. During the actual labour, I have done acupuncture in order to help it along, reduce pain and relax mom!

How about acupuncture for children?

Children are a delight to treat as they respond very well and quickly to acupuncture. The needles are inserted quickly and then withdrawn at once so the child need not stay still for too long. I have treated babies as young as 6 months and children of all ages. Sometimes children are unsure of the needles at first but once they experience what it is all about, are very open and eager to get more treatment. Many say that it "tickles" them!

Sessions for children are shorter taking usually 15-25 minutes and are offered at a reduced rate.

What does a session entail?

The initial session lasts 1 hour and includes of a consult, health history intake and usually an acupuncture treatment. Subsequent treatments will take 45-60 minutes. The needles will stay in approximately 15-25 minutes again depending on what our objective is. Once the needles are in, the client has the opportunity to rest or to even take a nap!

If someone is interested in only herbal therapy, I will spend the first session gathering information and consulting with the client in order to determine what is appropriate.

A follow up session will be booked in order to evaluate the individual's progress.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments necessary may vary considerably depending on the condition being treated and the individual's response to treatment. I usually ask that the person commit to 5-8 treatments each given a week or so apart. Again, this may vary according to our objectives. For example, treatment to prepare a woman for in vitro fertilization consists of 8 treatments given over the 4 week period preceding the procedure.

Many individuals notice some relief right away but for some, it may take more treatment. Chronic conditions sometimes take longer. After the initial consult, I am better able to give some idea of what treatment (acupuncture and/or herbal therapy) is preferable, as well as to how many treatments the client should expect to have.

Does acupuncture hurt?

The needles I use are very fine and my insertion is very shallow and gentle. The client may feel a tiny prick (like a mosquito bite!) or tingle. This sensation will disappear within a couple of seconds. Once the needles are in, the person usually does not feel anything at all and are able to have a good rest. If anything is felt at all, it is usually described as an interesting sensation or tingle. This sensation is of your body's qi (energy) moving and is neat to feel!

What about the needles?

Fine, high grade surgical steel needlesAcupuncture needles used in this clinic are fine, high grade surgical steel, used once only. Sterile and safe needle procedure is followed at all times.

Is acupuncture covered by insurance?

Yes. Most private health insurance companies and work plans provide a set amount of money for acupuncture. Please check your own insurance policies to see if coverage is provided. Unfortunately, acupuncture is not yet covered by our Canadian health care system.

How is TCM regulated in Saskatchewan?

Currently, there is no legal regulation of TCM in Saskatchewan. This means anyone is able to legally practice TCM, therefore there may be discrepancies in training between practitioners. It is important to ask what education your practitioner has received. We are working towards providing better regulation here in Saskatchewan so that one day it will be easy to determine the training of each practitioner.


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