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Finding Balance And Relief: Exploring Acupuncture And Chinese Medicine

Desperate for relief, you can probably see this theme throughout my blogs, along with a longing desire for my life back, which is why I have an open mind to try different treatments and products, acupuncture has supported me in finding health benefits and contributes to my overall wellness routine and slow-paced lifestyle. Sometimes weekly, but absolutely monthly, you can find me at Osteo Tuina in Toronto’s Chinatown neighbourhood switching between massage therapy and acupuncture treatments.

Setting expectations:

When I explore new treatment options, like acupuncture, my subconscious mind is wired to think “this” treatment will be the one that “fixes” me entirely and that I’ll get my life back. I’m very slowly realizing, which comes with a lot of mental health therapy, that I’m sick with multiple chronic illnesses and a quick fix is very unlikely. However, I’m slowly rewiring my brain to focus on the positive and for me the goal is about receiving a bit of relief to get me another step closer to feeling a tiny bit better. Understanding it’s not going to be a quick fix, but will aid in getting me closer to feeling more comfortable and why wouldn’t I want that!

What to expect:

What is acupuncture? Well, in short, it’s a technique used in Chinese medicine that’s used for its healing benefits for a variety of health problems and has been practiced for over 2,500 years.

During your initial acupuncture session, you can expect to be asked questions about your medical history, current health issues, and lifestyle habits. This helps the practitioner to develop a customized treatment plan for you.

A certified practitioner will then insert tiny needles, and I mean fine needles that don't hurt, into various parts of your body to stimulate nerve-rich areas and promote the flow of energy (known as qi) throughout the body to help support the immune system, improve circulation, and reduce inflammation.

You may feel a slight pinch or pressure as the needle is inserted, but most people don't experience any pain. The needles are left in place for about 15-30 minutes while you relax. Some practitioners may also use techniques like cupping, gua sha, or moxibustion in addition to acupuncture.

I’m very sensitive to smell and when I started visiting Osteo Tuina almost 10 years ago for massage therapy, I stepped into the clinic and noticed a distinct smell of tobacco. Now, years later, after having acupuncture treatments with moxibustion, I know it’s the smell of moxibustion burning during the treatment, which is mugwort leaves, and their healing properties outweigh the smell.

After the needles are removed, you may feel a sense of relaxation, calmness and slight pain relief in localized areas. You may also notice some minor side effects such as slight bruising, soreness, or redness at the insertion site, but these usually go away within a day or two.

Overall, acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment option for a wide range of health conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, depression, and digestive issues. However, it's important to note that acupuncture should not be used as a substitute for medical care, and you should always consult with your healthcare provider before trying any new treatment.

Finding balance with acupuncture:

It’s hard for me because no two days are alike and that’s because my symptoms are so varied but I’m learning to find balance and that’s why slow-paced living has been so helpful.

For me, some of the benefits I see from acupuncture are a boost to energy, some localized pain relief, reduction in inflammation and limiting vertigo-like symptoms. Overall I incorporate acupuncture and massage into my wellness routine to help get me another step closer to finding a bit of relief and maintaining balance.

One of the key benefits of acupuncture is that it can be customized to your specific needs. Your practitioner can work with you to identify the areas of your body that need the most attention and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your unique symptoms and lifestyle.

Slow-paced living:

My acupuncture appointments are weekly, however I schedule my massage appointments monthly with my partner Pete and we make the most of it. We set aside days throughout each month that we plan “date days”, this gives us a chance to plan something fun for the two of us to connect.

I talk about slow-paced living and how it's a beneficial way to to reduce stress, improve your well-being, and enjoy life more fully and be in the present moment. Our massages are one of our “date days” and after our appointment we experience the culture of Chinatown and explore the neighbourhood and try a new dumpling spot for lunch each month. It’s a wonderful way for us to connect, slow-down, experience the culture together and we have something to look forward to each month.


Osteo Tuina, Toronto Massage Therapy, $20 off discount for new clients

If you’ve been thinking of giving acupuncture or Tuina massage a try, and want to visit Osteo Tuina they are offering new clients $20 off their first visit and you’ll want to take advantage of it! As someone who has been getting massages since a teenager, to me, Tuina Massage has been the most beneficial from a healing perspective! To take advantage of this offer, when booking, use the code “EMILY20OFF”.

For more information visit and if you have any questions please contact Osteo Tuina by email at or send me an email.

Staying Connected:

In my next blog, I talk about body shaming and what I heard and learned during my weight fluctuation journey. In the meantime, drop me a note and let me know if you’ve tried acupuncture and what benefits you’ve experienced.

Stay balanced,

Emily xo


About Osteo Tuina:

📍 Downtown Toronto Location - 403 Dundas St West, Toronto, ON

📞 416-939-8888

📍 North York Location - 4789 Yonge St. Unit 1202, North York, ON

📞 416-858-8888

✅ Online booking or walk-in and direct billing available.

🛎️ Services:

RMT Massage, Osteopathy, Acupuncture, Tuina Massage, Zen Tuina Massage, Head & Shoulder Massage, Lower Back Massage, Hotlomi® Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Thai (Thaitsu®) Massage, Moxa, Guasha, Cupping


mental health emergency resources  

For a medical emergency please call 911

CAMH or Canadian Government Mental Health Support Page

Kids Help Phone: 1 800 668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868.


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