Acupuncture – Understanding an ancient model of health in modern language
Language has always been used as a way to interpret our experiences. Even though the objective experience of situations may be the same, it can be interpreted in different ways. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has its own way of interpreting the model of healthcare, and even though it is interpreted in a language unfamiliar to our modern culture, there is some very valuable information that can be used to help increase the health of our population. As practitioners of TCM, it is our duty to study both the TCM model along with the standard model of medicine, in order to better understand and treat the current illnesses which we are facing today. TCM practitioners, therefore, act as interpreters of the ancient and current understanding of health.
What is the TCM approach?
TCM emphasizes prevention and health preservation. A superior doctor, according to TCM, is one who can treat a disease before it’s onset. This approach to health requires more active involvement from patients, as preventative health is addressed with nutrition and lifestyle. Therefore, education plays a big role in how we treat patients.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the most common ways in which TCM treats illness. This treatment is based on the understanding that an organism has a vital force, known to the Chinese as ‘Qi’, which keeps the organism in health. illness comes when there is a sort of blockage disrupting the natural flow of energy (Qi) within the organism. There are different reasons which may cause blockages, but ultimately acupuncture aims at trying to remove these blocks in order to allow Qi to flow naturally.
What can I expect from an acupuncture treatment?
Acupuncture treatment is an uplifting and revitalizing experience where we simply aim to bring harmony back to your body.
Acupuncture needles are very thin (as thin as two scalp hairs) and can barely be felt when inserted. Because many acupuncture points coincide with nerve clusters the general sensation that is reported among patients with getting acupuncture is that of a dull feeling. This is generally a good indication that the point has been activated or that the Qi has arrived at that point.
What are the educational standards of practice for TCM practitioners and Acupuncturists
TCM is regulated by the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia (CTCMA). This allows for the public to feel comfortable with considering TCM as an alternative option for treatment and health maintenance. There are three degrees which can be obtained under the scope of TCM: Acupuncture, TCM practitioner, and Doctor of TCM. All of these titles require a minimum of 2 years post graduate education for enrolment. The Acupuncture diploma is 3 years (6 semesters) and requires 1900 hours of education including 450 hours of clinical practice. The TCM Practitioner diploma is 4 years in total (8 semesters) and requires 1600 of education including 650 hours of clinical practice and observation. The Doctor of TCM diploma is 5 years (10 full-time semesters) and requires 3300 hours of education including 1050 hours of clinical practice and observation.
Here are a few external links that may be helpful in further informing you about TCM: