What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Documented and used for more than 2500 years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has evolved from the analysis and observation of the human body in its dynamic state. The individual is considered as a whole—body and spirit—with his strengths and weaknesses and as an integral part of his environment.
THERE ARE FIVE MAIN THERAPEUTIC BRANCHES IN TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
ACUPUNCTURE: See below.
HERBAL MEDICINE: TCM herbal medicine comprises of natural products, mainly of plants and minerals but sometimes of animal origin. The most frequently used remedies are plant-based. Chinese herbal medicine is prescribed as a formula of ingredients rather than a single ingredient. The Formula is meant to take in consideration the global condition of the patient and aims to address a group of symptoms or a TCM pattern.
DIETETIC: Different from the Western diet, it works much like the pharmacopeia and is based on the flavors and natures of different foods or plants, which have effects on the body's dynamic. Diet is modified according to symptoms and TCM patterns of the patient.
QI GONG: Consists of different exercises or movements that integrate breathing techniques, specific physical movements and postures as well as a focused mind in order to promote global circulation, maintain health, increase vitality and help the healing process.
TUI NA: Consists of different massage techniques performed on specific points, meridians or areas of the body in order to restore or stimulate the energy flow. Acupressure is one technique, amongst others, used in Tui Na.
SOME OTHER THERAPIES: Cupping therapy, Guasha, Moxa, ear seeds or ear acupuncture
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the act of stimulating, usually by the means of needles, certain specific sites of the skin, mucous membranes or subcutaneous tissues of the body for the purpose of improving health and relieving pain.
Are the acupuncture treatments painful?
The insertion of the acupuncture needles feels like a mosquito bite; it lasts only a fraction of a second and leaves no mark. Once the needles are in place, the patient generally feels a sense of well-being and relaxation
How do you feel during acupuncture?
Once a needle reaches its intended depth, you're likely to feel a mild, dull ache or a slight tingling sensation. This may be a sign that the treatment is working and the acupuncture point is being activated. You may also feel a heavy or electric sensation. Feelings of warmth may arise at the acupuncture points.
What happens during an acupuncture treatment?
The basic technique consists in inserting very fine needles into precise points in the body in order to promote and restore homeostasis. These points are located along pathways in both halves of the body, called meridians, and correspond to the energy channels that run throughout the body. The selection and method of stimulation of these points are determined by the acupuncturist, based on the energy diagnosis. All of the points selected, as well as their combinations, have an effect on a determined bodily organ, area or function, and therefore act on a set of varied symptoms and/or on the initial cause of the imbalance.
How many acupuncture treatments are needed?
The number of treatments depends on the severity of the condition, its progression and how long it has been present, and, above all, the patient's vitality. In acute cases, frequent sessions are needed. In chronic cases, treatments may be more spaced out and are administered to improve or stabilize the symptoms of the patient. The acupuncturist will be able to provide more details about the treatment after the first consultation or following a few treatments.
Can diseases be spread by the needles?
The measures taken in 2003 by the Ordre des acupuncteurs du Québec have eliminated the risk of diseases being spread by acupuncture needles. In fact, the Ordre requires that all acupuncturists practicing in Québec use only sterile single-use needles.
Is acupuncture covered by the CNESST, SAAQ or RAMQ or any other insurance?
Treatments are not covered by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ). However, more and more insurance companies are reimbursing a portion of the treatment costs. Check with your insurance company and request that they add acupuncture to your insurance policy if it not already there