Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine
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
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.
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”
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Quebec Acupuncture Act and Regulations
Quebec Board of Acupuncture
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
The Association of Acupuncturists of Quebec is a non-profit organisation created and administrated by acupuncturists. Its mission has 2 major parts:
- Promote Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in Quebec;
- 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.