Toronto Family Acupuncture

JoAnn L Alafriz, R.Ac


Acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, with over 5000 years of history. The emphasis of treatment is to balance the body into its natural state of harmony. It is a safe and holistic style of treatment.

The premise of Acupuncture is that Qi (vital energy) flows through the channels of the body. When Qi is blocked or deficient, discomfort or disharmony is felt. Acupuncture re-balances the body and ensures the smooth flow of Qi.

Needles are inserted at specific points of the body to access and manipulate Qi. A sense of relaxation and relief is felt after a session of Acupuncture.

Many MD’s are recommending Acupuncture for its effective relief of various medical conditions.
Tui-na can be used in conjunction with acupuncture to help treat a wide range of complaints, including muscular aches and pains, headaches, migraines, digestive issues and menstrual complaints.


Tui-na is another branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which literally means ‘push and grasp’. The practitioner may brush, knead, roll or press the body to get blood and energy moving within the meridians and muscles. Tui-na is a hands-on therapy involving more dynamic, moving pressure than is used in shiatsu. This style of pressure helps to release tension that has built up in the body.


Cupping is a method of relieving local pain or congestion by applying a partial vacuum created in a glass cup with heat. It is an excellent modality for treating muscular aches and pains. It is also used relieve cold symptoms, constipation and asthma.

Ask if cupping is appropriate for your condition. It may be incorporated into your treatment.


Moxabustion is a heat treatment used to warm specific areas and points on the body. Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is the herb used in this ancient treatment.

The heat of the Mugwort herb can be used to treat menstrual discomfort, low back pain, headaches; cold hands and feet. It is used to improve circulation and decrease pain.

Moxabustion can be applied directly or indirectly to the skin. A comfortable, warm and relaxing sensation is felt.


Shiatsu is a Japanese, non-invasive physical therapy designed to stimulate the body’s inherent ability to heal itself. It is founded upon similar principles as acupuncture.

The Shiatsu therapist uses her hands, thumbs and elbows to manipulate the body using various techniques. Pressure is adjusted to the client’s comfort level and can range from light and gentle to strong and vigorous.

Treatments directly address the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). We feel calm and relaxed, sleep is improved and we feel less pain. The goal of shiatsu is to improve body functions, prevent illness and promote health and well-being various medical conditions.

Craniosacral Therapy

Crainosacral Therapy (CST) is a light-touch technique that is used to evaluate and improve the function of the Craniosacral system. This system consists of the soft tissues and fluid that surround the brain and spinal cord.

CST consists of gentle manipulations as the therapist tests for restrictions and listens to the quality of the Craniosacral rhythm. The focus is mainly around the head and spine but may be applied anywhere on the body.

The gentle release of chronic tensions within the body can greatly decrease pain and stresses. The entire body can relax and self-correct thereby improving both physical and emotional well-being.

Because the CST is very gentle, treatments tend to be relaxing and calming. It is suitable for all ages.