Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Medicine is one of the oldest systems of medicine. It is based on the ancient belief that a vital energy, “Qi,” surges through the body and performs multiple functions to maintain health. TCM practitioners believe that chronic pain and illness results from blockage or imbalance of Qi, and that their role is to correct or balance its flow through treatment specific to the individual.

What is TCM Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the practice of inserting and manipulating thin stainless steel needles into the superficial skin, subcutaneous tissue, and muscles of the body at specific acupuncture points. In TCM, there are over 500 acupuncture points on the human body, which are connected by meridians. These meridians conduct Qi between the surface of the body and its internal organs. Acupuncture is believed to keep the balance between Yin (associated with the parasympathetic nervous system) and the Yang (associated with the sympathetic nervous system). This allows for the normal flow of Qi associated with neural transmission throughout the body and restores health to the mind and body.

At times, TCM acupuncture may be combined with cupping, gua-sha, ultrasound therapy, heat-lamp, kinesio taping, and or electroacupuncture, which is the process of applying an electrical current to the needles once they are inserted. This may be used to further stimulate the respective acupuncture points and often can be used to replace manipulation of needles. Electroacupuncture has been found to be especially effective in treating neuromuscular disorders

What health conditions can TCM acupuncture treat?
  • Mental-emotional: Anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia
  • Upper respiratory tract: Acute sinusitis, acute rhinitis, common cold, acute tonsillitis
  • Respiratory system: Acute bronchitis, bronchial asthma (most effective in children and in patients without complicated disease)
  • Disorders of the eye and ears: Tinnitus, sore eyes
  • Disorders of the mouth: Toothache, post extraction pain, gingivitis, acute and chronic pharyngitis
  • Gastro-intestinal disorders: Constipation, diarrhea, spasms of the esophagus and cardia, gastroptosis, gastritis, gastric hyperacidity
  • Neurological and musculoskeletal disorders: Headache, migrane, trigeminal neuralgia, facial palsy (early stage, i.e. within six months), pareses following a stroke, peripheral neuropathies, nocturnal enuresis (bed-wetting), intercostal neuralgia, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, sciatica, low-back pain, osteoarthritis
  • Today’s science shows acupuncture can also be used effectively in: Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and chemotherapy, allergies, blood pressure problems, infertility, sexual dysfunction (low libido, erectile dysfunction), breach position in pregnancy, induction of labour, rheumatoid arthritis.
What is the difference between TCM acupuncture and Western medical acupuncture?

Western medical acupuncture as used by physiotherapists as part of their patient treatment plan is primarily used to treat symptoms of musculoskeletal pain.

TCM acupuncture by a certified Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncturist is designed to treat the whole body as a system, root cause, as well as symptoms depending on TCM diagnosis, differentiation, and treatment protocols. Some of the modern TCM acupuncture techniques were created scientifically, such as neuropuncture and scalp acupuncture (needling along the brain map).

Preparing for your TCM acupuncture assessment appointment:

Prior to arrival, you will need to fill out a confidential initial intake form of your health history. This will be administered to you via your personal account online to fill out. If you prefer to fill it out in person, please arrive 15 – 20 minutes prior to your appointment time.

Wear or bring comfortable shorts

Initial assessment will take 60 minutes, including counseling, pulse and tongue diagnosis, and treatment. Please do not eat or drink strong coloured food (coffee, blueberries) or brush your tongue on the day of your appointment so as to have an accurate tongue diagnosis.

TCM acupuncture practitioners use 5 basic methods of diagnosis in their assessments: inspection (looking), auscultation (listening), olfaction (smelling), inquiry (asking), and palpation (touching).

The acupuncture points will be selected based on your health history information and your acupuncturist’s thorough consultation.

Are your treatments covered by insurance?

Check with your provider to see if you are covered for acupuncture treatments. We direct bill to Manitoba Blue Cross, Canada Life and Medavie. For all other coverage, we will provide you with proper documentation to submit to your insurance company.

Book your TCM Acupuncture appointment today

Call us at 204-926-2217 or book your appointment online with Manitoba Professional Acupuncture Association certified Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncturist, Aki Hada RMT, R.AC, at Elite Sports Injury St. James location.

If you have any further questions about whether TCM acupuncture is right for you, contact Aki directly at [email protected].

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Elite specializes in injury recovery for all sports and levels of athlete. Our team facilitates rapid access to complete recovery. Frequently, we see patients within a day or two of their physician exam when return to full function is critical. We immediately address acute swelling, pain and compensatory issues and initiate a home program to maintain strength and motion.

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In order to ensure a successful treatment and speed recovery, you need to be fully committed to your treatment plan. Your time in the clinic is only part of the process. The exercises and perhaps changes in your own behavior are a crucial part of your plan. We know how your body works; we may identify an underlying weakness, poor posture, work habits, or other factors that contribute to the problem.