It sounds almost paradoxical but yes! Acupuncture treatments are actually really calming and relaxing. After your consultation (questions, running through of any medical conditions, surgeries or medical histories, tongue and pulse diagnosis), you will be asked to lie face up or face down on a treatment bed in a private room. Treatments are then administered on the relevant meridians that are found on the arms, legs, back, abdomen, head, scalp and sometimes the ears. Standard acupuncture sessions are usually an hour long and if it is needed, can sometimes involve cupping. However, because I work in different clinics across Toronto, treatment times for initial visits and follow-up visits will vary. Please see the links to each clinic I work in for more information on treatments and treatment times.
Check them out here
Moxibustion involves the burning of Moxa or Ai Ye (common mugwort) on the needles used during an acupuncture treatment. Moxa is made from dried and prepared mugwort leaves which are shaped into a cone, placed on a metal holder and then burned, before being placed over the handle of the acupuncture needle for its analgesic and therapeutic benefits. It comes in many forms. Traditionally it was always used in dried and prepared leaf form. Nowadays however, you may find it rolled into a cigar-like shape and also compressed into thin charcoal sticks. The choice of Moxa used in a treatment depends mainly on the type of treatment you are doing on a patient and the amount of heat required.
However, because of modern building codes and regulations requiring smoke detectors in acupuncture and healthcare clinics (no one really enjoys summoning the fire department!), I use the smokeless charcoal stick form of moxa because, unlike the prepared leaf or the cigar form of moxa, this charcoal version of moxa produces little to almost no smoke! The benefits are just as good and treatments just as effective with smokeless moxa as it is with loose leaf moxa or cigar moxa.
Example of smokeless moxa.
This is the brand that I use (Huasan Smokeless Moxa Rolls).
Moxibustion treatments are warming and relaxing when used during an acupuncture session and is used often to enhance the pain-relieving effects of acupuncture (such as in common joint or bodily injuries), warm the meridians when used in acupuncture treatments to fortify and strengthen the body (enhance immune system function, strengthen the body after chronic and long-term illness) as well as to increase the effectiveness of the body's various functional activities (boost digestion, increase lung capacity and improve one's mental function and alleviate general fatigue). It is often employed during an acupuncture session if the patient presents with severe pain or has had a chronic condition for many years.