Toronto Acupuncture Studio (961 Bloor St. W, at Dovercourt) has been a welcomed health care fixture in the Bloorcourt neighbourhood for over a year, bringing affordable & healing ancient Chinese medicine to people in need. They offer a sliding scale “pay what you can” model of payment, with a range of $15-35 + hst for 45 minute – 1 hour appointments. Comparatively, this is a great price for this service. The chalkboard sign outside reads “Come and take a healing nap.” Droolsies. How about…yes, right now, all the time, please and thanks.

What is acupuncture? It’s an ancient Chinese medicine that’s used to treat pain, injuries, stress, PMS, nausea, and all kinds of other issues that plague us busy modern humans, with  proof of this treatment starting possibly as far back as the stone age. That’s a looong time ago, baby (1600 BCE). Typically tiny thin needles (which are seriously so tiny, calling them needles is a stretch, imho) are tapped into the top of your skin where pressure points are. Different pressure points correspond with different pains around the body, or mental stresses, which any trained and experienced acupuncturist should know well.

The studio’s three practitioners, Ash H. Yoon, Daryl Fang, and Jeffrey Chung, treat patients in an open-concept studio-like space to maximize efficiency and to be able to provide affordable treatments to the neighbourhood. Meet the lovely Ash in this whimsical little video about Toronto Acupuncture Studio. As you are fully clothed when getting treated, about 10 feet from anyone, and laying back in a soothing, quiet space, this model seems to work well.

The last time I went to get a treatment, my feet, knees, hands, scalp and cheeks all were all utilized to treat things I told Ash about, like stress, sore muscles, stiff neck, headache and sinus congestion. After the initial tap which causes a tiny pinch (less painful than getting blood drawn), you really don’t feel much of anything, and you just lay back and relax. After a while I felt some tingling and warm fuzzes throughout. Generally you lay there and let good things happen for about 45 minutes, which on it’s own could pose a challenge (hey, ADHD, nice to meet you, you jerk). To try and make the time pass, I usually start by reliving my entire life up until that exact moment, and then my thoughts drift to what I’m doing this weekend. Occasionally I try and think about nothing for as long as physically possible, which I’m sure is ideal. I’ve had nothing but good results doing this, and I always have noticed a difference afterwards. Typically I feel very relaxed, light, headache-less and with less tension in my body and formerly-sore muscles. People from all walks of life seem to go, from athletes nursing injuries to stressed out business people to the elderly.

If you have a curiosity to try this, or have before and love it, you’ll have the perfect opportunity this very weekend! This Saturday, August 18th, from 11am-10pm, Bloor Street from Dufferin to Montrose is hosting the 2nd annual Bloorcourt Arts & Crafts Festival, with tons of street vendors selling awesome stuff, fun entertainment, comedy, workshops and many participating businesses having open houses and special promotions. Toronto Acupuncture Studio is offering free treatments to all new patients for the day, 10am-7pm! Stop by, try it out. Stroll about and check out this awesome neighbourhood and all that it has to offer! Psst- insider tip: Pam’s Roti by Ossington is the best in the west, for a lunchtime stop. Happy neighbourhood-festivaling!

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~ Becca Lemire