Dr. Laura: Acupuncture- More than pain relief

Acupuncture releases natural pain killers, promotes blood flow, stimulates hormonal balance, relaxes tight muscles, calms anxiety, lifts depression, and promotes digestion.

This ancient Chinese therapy effects every major system of the body, including the cardiac, gastrointestinal, circulatory, cerebral, genitourinary, endocrine and immune systems.

Traditional Chinese medicine

Get to the point…

Some people explain acupuncture in terms of energy and meridians. While this is not wrong, it would be equally right to explain that the energy is based on nerve conduction and proper firing of the nervous system.

Each acupuncture point is a small area about 1cm in diameter. They are where groups of nerves meet below a small opening in the facia. Needling these points, electronically stimulating or even applying vibrational therapy or direct pressure activates the points. This will help dissipate energy that has built up or, alternatively, stimulate the flow of energy to the area.

Did you catch that? Needles are only one way to stimulate the point. If you don’t like needles and wish to try a needle free way of stimulating the points, there are alternatives.


1. Relieves pain.

2. Reduces inflammation.

3. Brings balance in the body.


What’s in it for me?

Acupuncture is a drug free way to address:

  • TMJ/ jaw clenching
  • sciatica
  • blood pressure
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • inflammation
  • joint pain
  • acute injuries
  • frozen shoulder
  • PMS
  • bursitis
  • arthritis
  • fatigue
  • common cold
  • headache
  • sinusitis
  • insomnia
  • muscle tension
  • PCOS
  • tinnitus
  • ulcerative colitis
  • vertigo
  • weak immune system
  • fertility

Usually relief is found after the first 30 minute treatment. It typically takes 4-8 treatments to restore balance and heal the body. Sessions can be daily, biweekly, weekly. For maintenance, once a month.

Under Ontario regulation, Naturopathic Doctors are able to perform acupuncture. If claiming under your benefit plan, it will be considered as “naturopathic services”.

From the heart and desk of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medical therapy that has been in practice for over 2000 years. It treats imbalances in the body, mind & spirit and is very effective at reducing pain. So much so, there are doctors in China that use acupuncture as their sole form of pain block for things as critical as open heart surgery!

At Forward Health, Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND is licensed to provide acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Any ache or pain may be relieved by acupuncture, but so too are things like hot flushes, constipation, diarrhea, PMS, stress, anxiety, depression, urinary flow challenges, swelling, fibromyalgia, headache, insomnia, infertility and more.

Transforming Energy


Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) dates back to the Zhou Dynasty (700-1000 BC). The balance of Yin and Yang and the flow of Qi are very distinctive concepts in Chinese Medicine.

Energy is never lost or created, it is only changed from one form to another. In Chinese medicine, the solid matter is Yin and Yang the energetic or wave of motion.

Qi is the motive force behind all physiological processes.

Acupuncture helps move blood and Qi. If there is stagnation, there is congealment of blood. If there is too much energy flow, there is rising of Qi. The body, soul and spirit are in constant flux and it is the harmonious flow of energy from one form to another that makes us feel in sync.

Acupuncture helps you feel like yourself again.

The Five Elements are how the rhythm of our health cycles with the environmental impacts and aging process. Five elements are Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. There are seasons, organs, body parts, senses and times that relate to each element.  Acupuncture accesses the channels of the body that relate to organs, nerves and brain centres.

Your symptoms and your pulse, tongue and disposition will help Dr. Laura formulate the best combination of points to relieve your pain, stress or fatigue. Typically it will take 6 weekly 30min session to re-align your being, however you can feel relief from the first appointment. Pain relief in sciatica, for example can last up to 5 days after a single treatment.

Stainless steel, single use needles are used in specific points on the body. Sometimes infra  red heat or electrostimulation is applied to the points to help intensify the healing process.

Acupuncture is increasingly recognized by mainstream medical professionals. Here is a short 1 minute video that WebMD put together for your interest.

From the heart and mind of your local naturopathic doctor, Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

Traditional Chinese medicine

Reduce Sciatica Pain with Acupuncture

Multiple studies show acupuncture is more effective than medication for effective treatment of sciatica pain. Sciatica is most often caused by an acute injury to the intravertebral disc – the fatty pad between the vertebrae. Usually some nerve root compression happens as the disc pushes out of its natural canal onto the nerve roots that sits along the spine.

From a Chinese Medicine perspective, sciatica is a gallbladder meridian channel disorder. Pain may be considered a blockage of energy or blood flow, like a dam holding up water when it is meant to run down stream. When sciatica is treated with acupuncture on points along the gallbladder meridian, it will help the energy flow again by promoting qi and blood circulation. The addition of an infrared heat lamp on the area of the disc herniation will help promote healing by stimulating the cells beneath the surface of the skin.

A herniated disc will usually take up to six months to resolve, however the pain intensity may be managed and healing may be promoted using acupuncture. The results usually last 3-5 days after the treatment, so weekly to bi-weekly treatments are recommended. Typically 6-8 treatments will serve the healing process best, but relief may be experienced in as little as 1-3 sessions.

Acupuncture pain relief seems to be instigated by the stimulation of high-threshold, small-diameter nerves in the muscles. Animal experiments have revealed that regeneration of crushed sciatic nerves is better with acupuncture than diclofenac sodium (a type of pain medication).

Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND is licensed to provide acupuncture and has been trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture therapy is part of her holistic care as a Naturopathic Doctor. A 30min initial intake at $80, followed by a package of 3 acupuncture treatments at $65 each will get you well on the way to living pain free while your herniated disc heals. Call today to book your evaluation and appointment. We can get started the same day if you mention the “sciatica” as your reason for calling.

Common symptoms of sciatica:

  • Sciatica usually affects only one side of the lower body.
  • Pain in the rear or leg that tends to be worse when sitting
  • Burning or tingling down the leg, past the knee
  • Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • A constant pain on one side of the rear
  • A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up
  • Depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected, the pain may also extend to the foot or toes

If you have issues with bowel or bladder control, progressive loss of strength in the lower body, or numbness in the upper thighs please seek emergency medical attention as you may have a life-threatening injury.


Ji M., Wang X., Chen, M., Shen Y., Zhang X., and Yang J. 2015. The Efficacy of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Sciatica: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Hindawi Publishing Corporation. Volume 2015, Article ID 192808, 12 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/192808