It is with great excitement that I inform you that Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture are now regulated health professions in the province of Ontario! Since the bill was passed in 2006, I have been looking forward to the day when Acupuncture would finally be regulated by the Ontario government allowing the public to confidently seek out an acupuncturist and know they are being treated by a qualified practitioner.
Acupuncturists are now governed by a regulatory College (similar to the College of Physicians and Surgeons) and will be held to the highest standard of care when treating patients.
With that being said, it is my duty to educate my patients and the public about the difference between a Registered Acupuncturist and an “acupuncture provider.” With the new law, physiotherapists, chiropractors, massage therapists and even dentists are legally allowed to provide acupuncture to their patients as long as they do not call themselves an “Acupuncturist.” So as a consumer of these services you must be asking: What’s the difference? Acupuncturists have studied in class for over 2 years and are trained in Chinese Medicine theory, acupuncture point location, clean needle technique and disease transmission control in addition to a clinical internship. Chiropractors, physiotherapists and massage therapists on the other hand, have taken a weekend course, have only learned 80 of the 400+ acupuncture points and have about 200-300 hours of training (versus the 2,000+ hours of an acupuncturist). Please be aware that there is a huge difference in the quality of care you receive when you are seeing an acupuncturist who has completed formal training.
One of the advantages of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine is the ability to create customized treatment plans for each individual. Like people, no two treatments are alike. Registered Acupuncturists have the knowledge, skill and confidence to treat the entire person and get great results.
If you have any questions about how regulation will effect you please do not hesitate to contact me.
Yours in Health,
Amanda Merenda, B.Sc, R.Ac