Bring on the Needles: Acupuncture in Calgary

I’m always up for trying new things, and I few years ago, I got into acupuncture. I loved the way it made me feel – plus my skin glowed. Whether you’re looking to revitalize your face or want to work on specific spots, acupuncture is definitely worth your time. Here’s a look at my experience getting acupuncture in Calgary.

Acupuncture in Calgary: Everything you need to know
Though needles are involved, acupuncture isn’t painful. I promise! (Credit- Antonika Chanel)

Acupuncture in Calgary

Every time I feel my life spinning out of control or when my health isn’t up to par, I head to my favourite acupuncture clinic in Calgary. There’s quite a few places in the city where you can get acupuncture treatments done, but once you find a practitioner you vibe with, you’ll probably be dedicated to them.

Acupuncture SW Calgary

Since I live in SW Calgary, it’s most convenient for me to get my acupuncture done in SW Calgary. I go to Johal Health Centre, just off 4th Street SW, where Jugg, is the master.

The clinic is in the basement of Jugg’s house, so there’s free parking for three vehicles behind the house, plus in front, on 5th Street SW. The vibe is very relaxing and not at all clinical, like you might find in a professional building. Rest assured, they’re all professionals at this SW Calgary clinic with the proper accreditation and everything.

Bring on the Needles: Acupuncture in Calgary
Facial acupuncture is a more natural way to reduce wrinkles. (Credit: Antonika Chanel)

What happens during an acupuncture treatment?

First up is an obligatory tongue examination. This is pretty standard and is also a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (which acupuncture is a facet of). Usually from my tongue they’re able to pinpoint what’s going on with me. I’ve got a lot of dampness of the liver apparently.

Then I’m left to undress. When I’m getting facial acupuncture I’ll just roll up my pants (if I can over the knee) and take off my top, leaving my bra on. If I’m getting a full session, I’ll go down to my bra and underwear.

Then you dive between the sheets on a massage-type table. Sometimes it’s a legit massage table, but Johal Health also has this tricked out vibration table, which is quite lovely.

When you’re ready, they’ll begin by placing a few extremely fine, thin needles onto the meridian points on your body. For me, it’s usually on my arms, hands, feet, legs, face and top of my head. While placing the needles, they’ll ask you how you’re doing, what you’re feeling and if you feel stuck anywhere (mentally or physically).

During the needle placement and chat, I’m often given good advice on what to think about. It’s almost like a therapy session. But if you don’t feel like talking, you don’t have to. It’s your session, so you can ask questions or just soak up the positive vibes.

It should be noted that the needles usually don’t hurt. Sometimes, in 1 out of a dozen spots, I feel the twang of a needle being placed. Most of the time, I don’t feel a thing, but occasionally, I do feel a quick zing, and then it’s gone. It’s not painful, but if anything feels awkward, be sure to let your practitioner know and they’ll likely take it out and assess.

After the needles are placed, you’ll be left alone for anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes. I used to never really know what to do then. Is it OK to have imaginary conversations in your head?

I’m not so good at meditation, but Jugg tells me not to sweat it and just let my mind wander. I do and sometimes I fall asleep as my parasympathetic nervous system is totally relaxed.

After the first round, they’ll either tweak the needles or take them out. If they take them out, you’ll flip sides and get more needles placed in different areas. You’ll be left alone again for what hopefully turns into an intense nap if you didn’t get one the first time around.

After the final 20-30 minute round, they’ll take out the needles and leave the room while you get dressed.

acupuncture needles.
The needles are super tiny. You’ll barely feel them.

What I love most about seeing Jugg at Johal Health, is that he’s not trying to change me. He’s trying to help me be the best I can be – knowing what I’m made of.

Here’s a replay of a recent conversation while he was sticking it to my meridian lines:

Jugg: I bet a lot of people tell you to slow down.

Me: Yes. Everyone!

Jugg: Well, don’t worry about it.

Me: Huh?

Jugg:  You just need to learn to replenish yourself. You don’t have to do less. You have to learn how to get grounded quickly – like how Gretzky could bring his heart rate down super fast on the bench.

Me: I love you!

What to expect after acupuncture

Besides being asked if it hurts, the most common question I get is what to expect after acupuncture treatments. Pretty much every wellness article will mention how you “float” out of your session, which seems a bit airy fairy, but that’s been exactly my experience.

In fact, a day later, I still feel like I’m vibrating on a different frequency. When getting dressed and on the drive home, I have to admit, I do feel a bit weird, like you do after waking up from an efficient nap.

I’m extremely chill and serene, yet at the same time, hyper awake. I like getting daytime sessions done, because when I get back to work I’m so efficient and focused, it’s crazy. Hyper mental clarity to the max!

But if I can’t get in until later afternoon, it’s just as well, because I know it’ll set me up for a great night sleep.

Have you ever tried acupuncture or another alternative therapy? How did it work for you?


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2 thoughts on “Bring on the Needles: Acupuncture in Calgary”

  1. acupuncture is amazing and I have experienced many a “juggism” insight at the johal health myself!

  2. Leigh McAdam (@hikebiketravel)

    I’ve never tried it but you make it sound very worthwhile. Fantasizing about crab dip are you – sounds delicious.

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