What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a clinical procedure that comes out of a system of medicine developed in China some 5,000 years ago. The term is derived from the Latin words acus, which means needle, and puncture, which means to puncture.

Acupuncture is a natural means of restoring health and preventing future illness by changing the flow of the body′s energy system. This energy is referred to as Qi (pronounced "chee"). Qi is the life force of our existence. It keeps the blood circulating, warms the body and fights disease. It is Qi that distinguishes living creatures from inanimate objects.

According to acupuncture theory, Qi circulates in the body along twelve major energy pathways, called meridians, each linked to specific internal organs and organ systems. Each is connected to and named after its corresponding internal organ. When there is physical injury, mental stress, emotional conflict or lack of inner spiritual resource, over time the natural healthy flow of chi will be impeded within the meridian system.

On each meridian there are specific points into which sterile disposable needles are inserted and manipulated to re-establish the correct flow of energy. These are acupuncture points. Thus, healing results from changing the way a person′s life energy moves on all levels.

Other methods are also employed in acupuncture. Some patients may bennefit from Electro-Acupuncture which involves the application of electrical impulses. This method is often used when continuous stimulation over long periods of time is required. Moxibustion involves burning an herb called moxa above the point to be treated. Moxa is a unique herb that stimulates acupoints and promotes healing. Chinese herbal medicine can also be used in conjunction with acupuncture.

“I was prone to migraines every week and nightly insomnia so I decided to try acupuncture. Since trying this form of treatment I have not had a migraine in nearly two years. My sleeping has also improved dramatically. I would recommend Dr. Roya for these treatments and over and above her professional services, Dr. Roya is a wonderful person.” TJ

What Conditions can Acupuncture Help with?

Acupuncture has been used over centuries to treat a multitude of conditions. The World Health Organization has recognized the following list of conditions that can be helped with acupuncture treatment:

  • Sciatica/Low Back Pain
  • Headache & Migraine
  • Frozen Shoulder & Tennis Elbow
  • Paralysis Following Stroke
  • Facial Palsy (Early Stage)
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Acute Bronchitis
  • Bronchial Asthma/Allergies
  • Common Colds
  • Acute Sinusitis
  • Gastric Hyperacidity
  • Acute/Chronic Gastritis
  • Duodenal Ulcer
  • Constipation & Diarrhea
  • Toothache (After Extraction)

Some of the common conditions often treated bu acupuncture are:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Sports Injuries
  • Accident/Whiplash Injuries
  • Arthritis & Rheumatism
  • Depression, Fatigue (CFS) & Stress
  • Trauma & Insomnia

“I had tried other methods to stop smoking in the past. I knew acupuncture was used for things like pain relief and relaxation. In doing some research on the internet I found Dr. Roya and contacted her to book a series of appointments. I continued smoking for the first while, and the day before my sixth session I put my pack down. We continued the sessions over the next few months, decreasing the frequency as we went. I celebrated my first smoke free year November 2011. I believe there is a difference between being smoke free and stopping smoking. Being Smoke Free I don’t have cravings like I had with other stopping smoking methods.” HN

What Is Involved in an Initial Acupuncture Session?

Acupuncture begins with the diagnosis of the individual′s energy system. The initial examination is the foundation upon which treatments are based. In the initial exam, various things are taken into account such as medical and family history, lifestyle, the state of various functional systems (ie. sleep, appetite) and any presenting complaints.

Observations are also made of facial colour, voice, pulse, tongue, emotional state and the nature of the symptoms. All this is essential in determining the necessary treatment required to re-establish correct energy flow so that the body may heal itself.

What will I Experience During an Acupuncture Session?

During the treatment, you may feel some heaviness, tingling or electrical sensation up or down the affected meridian. If there is any discomfort, it is usually mild. After treatment, a deepened feeling of relaxation is usually felt.

If a person has a complicated health problem, sometimes a slight aggravation of the symptoms will occur. This type of reaction usually occurs with patients who have taken numerous drugs or have a lifestyle that predisposes them to toxic overload. The aggravation is a result of the acupuncture reactivating the energy system, nervous system and eliminatory organs which have been suppressed by drugs and toxins.

Is There Anything Else I Should Know Prior to my Treatment?

Yes. Alcoholic beverages should not be consumed 24 hours prior to treatments. Saunas or hot baths should not be taken 4 hours before or after treatments. Patients should not be extremely hungry or overly full before treatments. Try to relax before and after treatments. Also, bring a description of any medications you are currently taking and what they are for.

Please note that pregnant women, hemophiliacs, those with other blood disorders, cardiac pacemakers, and communicable diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS or HIV should consult the acupuncturist regarding their condition prior to beginning treatment since some points cannot be used in these cases.

“Dr. Roya Alizadeh was great, very professional and helpful. I have seen her for headaches and stress, and the most memorable time was when I saw her to see if she could help induce labor. I asked her even though I was 2 days away from my due date if she could try to help things along as I was so uncomfortable. She said she would try a couple of labor inducing acupuncture points with me and we would see what happened. I went in for my appointment at 2 pm in the afternoon and I went into labor at midnight that same night. I would highly recommend Dr. Roya to any of my friends and family.” NR

Acupressure & Tui Na
(Chinese Massage)

For non-invasive treatments Dr. Roya combines the two traditional Chinese therapies of Acupressure and Tui Na. The major focus of the treatment is specific pain sites, acupressure points, energy meridians, and muscles and joints. Sessions last from 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the specific problems of the patient and the patients themselves. Typically patients come for regular treatment and follow up sessions. The patient usually feels relaxed but energized by the treatment.

What is Accupressure?

Acupressure is a non-invasive method of treating ailments and diseases where a person is treated by application of pressure on the surface of the body. Acupressure consists of the application of pressure on the skin overlying the appropriate acupuncture points to stimulate the body's natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the body's life force energy to aid healing. Advantages of using acupressure include relieving pain, balancing the body and maintaining good health. The healing touch of acupressure reduces tension, increases circulation, and enables the body to relax deeply. By relieving stress, acupressure strengthens resistance to disease and promotes wellness.

What is Tui Na
(Chinese Massage)?

Tui Na (or Tuina, pronounced “twee-nah”) makes use of many different strokes that are applied to acupoints, channels and muscle groups. Most importantly, Tui Na is a physical expression of the flow of Qi energy from one human being to another. When done with correct intent, the strokes and techniques stimulate an exchange of Qi energy between the practitioner and the patient, and this is the secret healing power of Tui Na.

Tuina uses the traditional Chinese medical theory of the flow of Qi through the meridians as its basic therapeutic orientation. Through the application of massage and manipulation techniques Tuina seeks to establish a more harmonious flow of Qi through the system of channels and collaterals, allowing the body the naturally heal itself. Tuina methods include the use of hand techniques to massage the soft tissue (muscles and tendons) of the body, acupressure techniques to directly affect the flow of Qi.

“I came looking for drug free, pain relief from both chronic and acute complex headaches. When I first started with Dr. Roya I was never without a headache. The waiting list at the Foothills hospital was thirteen months to see a neurologist, in their headache (champ) program. Well, I am happy to say one year later I am pain free, and twenty pounds lighter. My blood sugar problems (hypoglycemia) are almost gone, and my anxiety troubles are greatly diminished. Dr. Roya used a custom combo of acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology, and cupping during each of my treatments. My neurologist calls me a professional patient. My whole life last year was going from appointment to appointment. I am very grateful to have Dr. Roya as part of my medical team. How do you thank someone who has given your health back?” MM

Cupping Method

Cupping is a therapy in which a jar is attached to the skin surface to cause local congestion through the negative pressure created by introducing heat in the form of an ignited material. This procedure is simple and the therapeutic effects are remarkably good. This therapy has been effectively used in many parts of the world for centuries and has been proven especially when used in conjunction with other treatments such as acupuncture.

Cupping has the function of warming and promoting the free flow of energy and blood through energy pathways in the body effectively reducing swelling and pain. Today both the traditional cupping methods are used along with new cupping tools that create suction through special instruments.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine offers time-tested remedies that have successfully treated millions of people. From simple colds and allergies to stomach and gynecological problems, TCM herbal medicine offers effective relief for a wide range of health conditions.

Today, Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine is supported by laboratories ensuring that you receive safe and effective herbal medicine. Herbal Medicine comes in a variety of forms such as: concentrated herbal tablets, liquid extracts, granules and the dried herbs all prepared under controlled conditions.

Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine is one of the great herbal systems of the world, with an unbroken tradition going back to the 3rd century B.C.. Yet throughout its history it has continually developed in response to changing clinical conditions, and has been sustained by research into every aspect of its use. This process continues today with the development of modern medical diagnostic techniques and knowledge.

Because of its systematic approach and clinical effectiveness it has for centuries had a very great influence on the theory and practice of medicine in the East, and more recently has grown rapidly acceptance in the West. It continues to form a major part of healthcare provision in China, and is provided in state hospitals alongside western medicine.

Through Chinese Herbal Medicine Dr. Roya aims to treat the many ways in which the fundamental balance and harmony in our bodies may be undermined and the ways in which a person’s Qi or vitality may be depleted or blocked. Clinical strategies are based upon diagnosis of patterns of signs and symptoms that reflect an imbalance.


Reflexology is based on the principle that there are zones and reflex areas in the feet which correspond to all body parts. By applying specific pressures using thumb, finger and hand techniques, reflexology reduces tension, improves circulation and promotes the natural functioning of the related areas of the body.

When stress is reduced the body's own natural healing processed can function more efficiently. Commonly reported benefits following a treatment are:

  • Stress relief
  • An increase in mental and physical well being
  • Reduction in pain and discomfort

Reflexology is great for any age and helps people enjoy a more healthy lifestyle. Reflexology is often used in partnership with Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Therapeutic Massage and Physiotherapy programs of health care.

Dr. Roya is a certified reflexologist and uses her expertise in acupuncture and acupressure to further enhance patient treatment.

Current Research

China, Denmark and the United Kingdom excel in their research on the benefits of reflexology as a health care modality. Each of these countries recognize reflexology as a safe and beneficial therapy that can be integrated into an existing and established health care system.

China continues to expand their areas of research in over 100 illnesses and health conditions. Denmark follows next in clinical research, where reflexology is the most common complementary treatment used by the public. In the United Kingdom clinical studies are conducted on the benefits of reflexology with qualified reflexologists and mainstream health care practitioners working together.

In North America reflexologists and conventional western medical practitioners are just beginning to explore the possibilities and benefits of collaborative research on reflexology. One such study has been documented in a respected research journal: Oleson, T. and Flocco, W., “Randomized controlled study of premenstrual symptoms treated with ear, hand and foot reflexology”, Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1993; 82(6): 906-11.

Some History

Cultures throughout history have created therapeutic practices of foot work. Foot work is depicted in relics from ancient Egypt, China, India, and Japan. Relics include a pictograph from the tomb of the physician in Egypt dating from 2350 B.C.

“Buddha’s footprints” depicting stone carvings of the areas in the soles of the feet are found throughout Asia. Buddha’s footprints are found at the Medicine Teacher Temple in Nara, Japan dating from 790 A.D. Kunz and Kunz have hypothesized that foot work is an archestructure, a physical demand within the nervous system that creates the impetus for whole cultures to practice the activity. Reflexology has been practiced in China for over 5,000 years.

What can Reflexology Help with?

  • Relieve Stress
  • Increase Mental & Physical Function
  • Reduce Pain & Discomfort
  • Enhance Personal Health & Simply Feel Great

Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy enhances therapeutic outcomes by acting directly upon the muscular, nervous, and circulatory systems to aid in rehabilitating physical injuries and various other conditions. Massage assists in maintaining muscle tone and flexibility and can interrupt potentially harmful repetitive strain patterns.

Treatments offered by Dr. Roya Alizadeh:

  • Therapeutic Massage
  • Relaxation Massage
  • Pre and Post Event Sports Massage
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Prenatal Massage
  • Acute and Chronic Injury Rehabilitation

Some of the many conditions that can be treat with massage:

  • Acute or Chronic Neck, Shoulders and Back Pain
  • Sports Injuries
  • Cervical injuries
  • Headaches
  • TMJ (Jaw pain)
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Arthritis
  • Pre and Post Hip-replacement Therapy
  • Fibromyalgia (FM)
  • Foot Pain and Dysfunction
  • Scoliosis
  • Motor Vehicle Accident Related Injuries
  • Stress Reduction
  • Pregnancy
  • Other Physical and Neurological Dysfunctions

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is a safe, painless and effective treatment for renewing the face as well as the whole body. Fine lines may be entirely erased, deeper lines reduced and bags around neck and eyes firmed.

Fine needles are placed at a variety of acupuncture points on the face, neck and around the eyes to stimulate the body’s natural energies, or Qi. Since muscle groups are addressed as well the acupuncture points, the face lifts itself, via the acupuncture points, through the muscles’ toning and tightening action. The needles also stimulate blood and circulation, which improves facial colour.

Facial Acupuncture involves a series of treatments. Throughout the process Dr. Roya evaluates the patient’s response to determine the number of follow-up visits required. Taken into consideration will also be other variables such as stress, diet, lifestyle, genetic inheritance, digestion, sleep, emotional balance, and age. The number of sessions generally range between 10 – 15 treatments with smokers and those whose skin tends to sag needing treatment of 20 sessions or more. If possible it is preferred to have two treatments per week or alternatively a single longer treatment once per week.

Age in general is not as crucial as one might assume; an older patient with a healthy lifestyle may in fact have a better prognosis than a younger person who may lead an unbalanced life.

Within the normal parameters of aging, the completion of a series of treatments should be effective. To ensure the persistence of the results, ongoing maintenance treatments are recommended. After the series has been completed maintenance treatments are recommended once every two weeks for 2 – 3 months and then once a month thereafter. Depending on need a new series may be required as time passes.

Facial Acupuncture treatment may incorporate Chinese herbal masks and moisturizers. Jade rollers, which enhance blood circulation, remove fine lines and age spots, and prevent premature aging, are used to massage moisturizer into the skin.