Ask the Practitioner

Have a health question? Ask the Practitioner. One of our experts can help you answer them.

Check our previous archives or send in your own questions.

I am considering acupuncture for several different areas....

I am considering acupuncture for several different areas, mainly though, at 41 yrs old, I am experiencing hormonal acne cysts. Due to medication I take, I cannot take any type of hormones to balance this. Which type of acupuncture will help this or will it not be a benefit. I am looking for natural alternative methods of controlling this problem rather than prescription drugs which I have not tried, ie. Accutane

Thank you for your inquiry. This is quite a common condition and we have had success with it. According to Chinese medicine the cystic acne is a result of heat in the body that is rising and coming out as acne. We use a combination of acupuncture to release the heat and Chinese herbal medicine to help balance the body to prevent the accumulation of heat, preventing future outbreaks. Treatment plans will range from 2-3 months as we have to monitor you through several menstrual cycles. Acupuncture taken at once a week for 2 months, if you’re doing well we generally wean you off the acupuncture and maintain the herbs. You should see improvements in the quality and number of outbreaks by the 5th week.

There are many types of acupuncture being practiced. I am not as knowledgeable of the Japanese style, but we practice Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. Be sure to research the background of your practitioner and the number of hours of training, as it could vary from 20 hrs to 4000 hrs. To have a successful treatment for an internal condition you must choose a qualified practitioner.

Accutane is a common drug that is used. It is very aggressive and has many side effects. From personal experience, I did use it when I was in my teens and found success with it, but I have had friends that had suffered from depression while on it. So, ensure that you speak to your doctor about the side effects and if you choose to take it, ensure that your doctor is monitoring you closely.

I have chronic sinus pain that develops....

I have chronic sinus pain that develops into headaches. Will acupuncture help in long term relief or is it a temporary cure?

Thank you for your inquiry. Sinusitis and sinus headaches are a fairly common condition that we see here at the clinic. Results depend on the individual and the severity of the condition. Generally, a treatment plan will consist of 10 treatments at once a week. Patients will gradually see improvements in the frequency, severity and intensity of the headaches over the 10 week period. Treatments are a cumulative effect, so as you progress in treatment you should see more improvements. If you do not, the practitioner must discuss other treatment options with you. The treatment is not temporary. Patients may be required to do maintanance treatments at once every 1-2 months for the first 6 months but generally my experience has been that patients have been able to maintain a pain free life style after completing the 10 treatments.

I have severe palmar hyperhidrosis and am looking....

I have severe palmar hyperhidrosis and am looking for treatment options. Can acupuncture help with this, and if so, how many sessions does it typically take, how long before I see effects, and does it require ongoing treatment?

Thank you for your message. Acupuncture can be quite effective in treating hyperhidrosis. You can view my response to an Ask the Doctor question relating to hyperhidrosis on at this link.

Please note that the length of treatment can vary from person to person. If this is a chronic condition (more than 3 months), we would recommend coming for an acupuncture treatment twice a week initially until you see improvement. In general, we recommend at least 10 treatments (during which time you should see some improvement) and would then re-assess your condition to see if further treatments are needed.

If the condition resolves during the treatment course, it is highly unlikely that you will need ongoing treatment although some conditions may revert over time.

Ask your own question…

Your Name

Your Email

Your Question

Get in touch


Yonge Eglinton Medical Centre
2401 Yonge St, Suite 205
Toronto, ON M4P 3H1