Marie-Andrée Saint-Pierre

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Attentive listening and personalized care
Femme sereine traitée à l'aide de l'acupuncture à l'aiguille - Une aiguille est placé sur son front

Acupuncture is a 3000-year-old Medicine

Acupuncture is one of the five disciplines of traditional Chinese medicine and based on an energetic view of man and the universe.

It is a safe complementary medicine now widely accepted in the West. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized, since 1973, the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of 43 diseases. This recognition has help tremendously in raising awareness of acupuncture and making it more accessible around the world.

Concretely, acupuncture involves inserting very fine needles at specific locations on the body. Most of these points are located along the path of a meridian (also called “channel”) and are designated as acupuncture points. Other points are called “extra points” because there are not found on the meridian pathway.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a Holistic Medicine

Although most people seek acupuncture for the treatment of physical pain OR the treatment of emotional disorders, traditional Chinese medicine addresses all conditions in a holistic way, integrating the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the person.

To this approach is added the notion of the environment in which the person lives: a country (of adoption, of origin), a region and its climate, the living environment (the home, neighborhood). All of these are considered in the understanding a disease and its development and in conception of a treatment plan.

Traitement d'acupuncture traditionelle à l'aiguille effectuée dans le dos d'une jeune femme

Acupuncture in terms of today's science

In scientific terms, the insertion of needles is known to cause micro lesions at the insertion sites, prompting a rapid local immune response. Cells of the immune system are produced, allowing healing and reducing pain.

It is important to note that the insertion of needles rarely causes pain, but sensations may vary from one technique to another and will also depend on other factors such as the level of tension in your body at the time of treatment.

Health explained as a state of energetic balance

In traditional Chinese medicine, when the body and mind are healthy, there is a balance of energies that allows the body to preserve itself and adapt. This balance, called “correct energy” (ZhèngQì) allows good circulation to take place and the conservation of homeostasis state.

When the body is weakened, its regulatory and adaptation capacities are reduced and may become insufficient to defend itself against pathogenic factors (called perverse energies, or XiéQì). It is this imbalance that will lead to the development of a disease.

The energetic imbalance can be the result of a pathogen that is far too strong in relation to the adaptative capacity of the “correct energy”. However, we need to remember that the mere fact that the body is aging causes a weakening of the body, making it more likely to become sick.

Statue miniature du corps humain placée devant une bibliothèque remplies de livres portant sur l'acupuncture, le corps humain et la santé

Prevention of disease according to traditional Chinese Medicine

One of the fundamental principles of traditional Chinese medicine is the preservation of the body’s vitality by maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet, physical activities, quality and quantity of sleep, etc. When the correct energy is maintained, the body has a better capacity for adaptation and self-defence against pathogens.

However, optimal health can be quite difficult to maintain. In addition to illnesses (simple or complex, one-time or chronic), there are many little things in everyday life which, if not taken care of quickly, can degenerate. A sprain, a digestive problem, worries causing insomnia or migraines, very heavy periods, etc. are all problems that, without care, could worsen.

In addition, you should know that the first appearance of a symptom or a health problem indicates that the body has reached its maximum capacity to adapt to an imbalance which had started some time ago. It is on this principle that preventive acupuncture treatments are based. This means that by receiving a few treatments throughout the year, you’ll be better positioned to rapidly restore any imbalances that started de develop.

“Overview of health problems treated with acupuncture”

Acupuncture is effective in treating the symptoms of many physical and mental health issues. Below, you will find the outline for all of the conditions treated with acupuncture. In the My "fields of interest" section on My Approach page, you will find specific information on my specialties.

Acupuncture in the treatment of emotional problems

Acupuncture is effective in reducing symptoms related to anxiety disorders (palpitations, feeling choked or strangled, insomnia, obsessive thoughts, etc.); depression (sadness, loss of motivation or appetite, excessive fatigue, insomnia, etc.); post-traumatic stress disorder (heart palpitations, shaking, excessive sweating, etc.).

Acupuncture in the treatment of emotional problems

Acupuncture is effective in reducing symptoms related to anxiety disorders (palpitations, feeling choked or strangled, insomnia, obsessive thoughts, etc.); depression (sadness, loss of motivation or appetite, excessive fatigue, insomnia, etc.); post-traumatic stress disorder (heart palpitations, shaking, excessive sweating, etc.).

*Your situation or condition might require a consult with a psychologist or certified therapist. I will be happy to discuss it with you and guide you to a resource that is appropriate to your needs. Acupuncture treatments can support your therapeutic process.

Icone de verre de vin et d'une cigarette

Acupuncture in the treatment of addictions

Acupuncture is effective in the treatment of withdrawal symptoms during detoxification from substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, food (e.g., sugar or excessive food consumption), cannabis and other drugs.

Acupuncture in the treatment of various skin conditions

Acupuncture is effective in relieving common skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema; symptoms of shingles (reactivation of the varicella virus) and inflammatory skin reactions such as urticaria.

Acupuncture in the treatment of syndromes

Acupuncture can help reduce symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome; irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); carpal tunnel syndrome; Raynaud's syndrome, etc.

Acupuncture in the treatment of digestive issues

Acupuncture helps reduce gastric reflux; stomach ulcers; chronic hiccups or vomiting; bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhea, and bloating; hemorrhoids; and can prevent the formation of stones in the gallbladder, etc.

Acupuncture in the treatment of circulatory problems

Acupuncture can help reduce swelling and edema; increase circulation to the fingers and toes (Raynaud's disease); stabilize blood pressure (hypertension or hypotension); reduce numbness and tingling; reduce pain caused by the breakdown of peripheral nerves (peripheral neuropathy); reduce symptoms of Bell's palsy, etc.

Acupuncture in the treatment of gynecological problems

Acupuncture is effective in treating:

Acupuncture in the treatment of allergies

Seasonal allergies to pollen from trees, weeds or grasses; various types of non-life-threatening allergies, such as dust, mites, etc.

Acupuncture in pain management and reduction

Acupuncture can help reduce muscle tension in the neck, shoulders and back, etc.; muscle pain and cramps, whether caused by physical activity or by an accident (trauma); joint pain caused by arthritis or arthrosis (osteoarthritis), etc.; headaches and migraines.

Acupuncture in the treatment of respiratory afflictions

Acupuncture is effective in reducing cold and flu symptoms (chills, sore throat, sneezing, coughing, body aches, headaches, sweating, etc.) and in treating asthma, sinusitis, rhinitis (inflammation and swelling of the mucous membrane of the nose, causing a runny nose), bronchitis and emphysema, etc.

Request an Appointment Today

Not feeling well? Contact me to schedule an appointment or ask me questions.

Request an Appointment Today

Not feeling well? Contact me to schedule an appointment or ask me questions.

Quebec Acupuncture Act and Regulations

Quebec Board of Acupuncture

Logo de l'ordre des acupuncteurs du Québec

The practice of acupuncture in Quebec is ruled by the Quebec Acupuncture Act which first came into effect in 1995.  New acupuncturists are required to register to the Quebec Board of Acupuncture in order to obtain their license and all practicing acupuncturists renew their license annually.  The mission of the Quebec Board of Acupuncture is to ensure the protection of the public and the quality of care in the field of acupuncture. 

The Quebec Acupuncture Act regulates, for example, the use and disposal of needles. Only sterile single-use needles are allowed for treatments and, after their use, needles are discarded in biomedical waste containers that are later handed over to authorized institutions like hospitals or pharmacies.

For more information concerning the practice of acupuncture in Quebec, you can refer to the Quebec Board of Acupuncture website (in French only): https://www.o-a-q.org/fr/Accueil.aspx

If you want to be certain that an acupuncturist practices legally in Quebec, you can refer directly to their membership directory where you will find licence numbers of all members (in French only): https://www.o-a-q.org/fr/Trouver-un-acupuncteur.aspx

The Association of Acupuncturists of Quebec

Logo de l'association des acupuncteurs du Québec

The Association of Acupuncturists of Quebec is a non-profit organisation created and administrated by acupuncturists. Its mission has 2 major parts:

  1. Promote Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in Quebec;
  2. Defend the professional and socioeconomic states of its members.

It is not mandatory to join the Association of Acupuncturists of Quebec.

Private insurance and Provincial and Federal taxes

In Quebec, many private insurance providers reimburse the cost of acupuncture treatments. Check with your employer or directly with your insurer.

In addition, acupuncture treatments are tax exempt and tax deductible at both Provincial and Federal levels.

Payment receipts are in compliance with insurers and governments requirements.