About David

I originally got onto the help-people-feel-better-with-manual-therapy track by massaging my father to help with his chronic pain from the injuries he sustained while mountaineering. I was later exposed to acupuncture theory and the Jing luo (channels or meridians) when I learned how to give my first romantic partner acupressure massage for her menstrual cramps. After working in the spa industry providing relaxation massage for several years, I eventually settled on studying Acupuncture rather than Massage Therapy so to give my thumbs the occasional break from working all the time, while still being able to offer assistance. I also continue to deepen my clinical knowledge by studying Kinesiology at the University of Victoria.


What exactly is acupuncture?

(literally needle/moxa) usually translated as acupuncture, refers to the stimulation of particular points around the body for therapeutic effect. These points are called acupuncture points or "acupoints". The primary method of stimulating these points is through the insertion of very fine needles (the Zhen of Zhenjiu and the puncture of acupuncture). "Moxa" is the burning of compressed mugwort leaves (Artemisia Vulgaris) on or near these points stimulate them with heat and aromatic vapours from the plant. These points and channels can also be stimulated through massage, cupping, and the application of therapeutic electricty such as TENS or electroacupuncture.

Is acupuncture safe?

When performed properly by someone with proper training, yes it is a very safe treatment. In my practice, and indeed basically all of Canada, we use single-use disposable needles and follow the hygiene protocol known as "Clean Needle Technique"; this lowers the risk of potential infection immensely. A significant portion of acupuncture education involves learning the appropriate angles and depths of insertion so to avoid injuring anyone with the treatment. Like all treatments, it is possible to apply it improperly and cause serious harm, but this rarely happens. The most common adverse reactions to acupuncture are mild symptoms like light-headedness and minor bruising.

Is acupuncture effective?

This is the topic of considerable debate! As it stands, acupuncture has a great deal of traditional and anecdotal evidence to support it's efficacy, but the outcomes of randomized-controlled trials on the subject vary considerably and it is easy to cherry pick the data so to support your preferred position. These experiments are somewhat confounded by issues like creating a suitable placebo to compare acupuncture against, as well as the immense diversity of practice styles that exist under the umbrella term acupuncture.

This is a link to a non-profit dedicated to collecting the research done as well as improving the quality of future research.

If you have a library card, you can watch this half hour video about acupuncture produced by the Mayo clinic for free.

For arguments against acupuncture's efficacy, a cursory search of the internet will yield ample options to read. 

Do I qualify for the discount?

If you are a: student in any form of educational or vocational institution, an adult 60 or older, a self-identified person with disabilities, or an employee or contractor of a non-profit society or charity; then yes! Regardless if you are in one of these categories if you make less than $30'000/year there is a good chance you can get partial coverage for treatment through MSP. All you need for the coverage is to provide your health number through the Janeapp booking.

Can I just get a massage?

Absolutely! I am also fond of offering combined treatments where I give folks very few needles (or even just one if you're needle-shy) in one section of the body while I massage elsewhere.

One thing to note is that if you're hoping to claim a session as acupuncture for insurance purposes it must include the insertion of at least one needle.

Does it hurt?

Not very much for most people! The needles are incredibly thin, ranging from about 0.16 mm to 0.25 mm in diameter. Some styles of treatment that use more aggressive stimulation, such as those that seek to make the muscle twitch, may hurt a bit more. Generally though any pain is quite transient and fades in under a minute.

Are you a sex worker and/or offering happy endings?


Why did you put that needle there?

It depends! This is a link to a book answering that question.