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What is Acupuncture & What Does an Acupuncturist Do?

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Acupuncture is an ancient method of healing that uses needles to balance the flow of vital energy, Qi, in the body in order to heal disease and promote health. Acupuncture is recognized by the World Health Organization as an effective therapy for many conditions and is practiced in countries around the world.

The Ministry of Health has regulating acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, Newfoundland, Labrador and now Ontario . The Shiatsu School of Canada & SSC Acupuncture Institute has been working closely with the new Ontario regulatory body, to ensure the highest level of training in Canada.

Acupuncture therapy is an art and a science. Although it has only recently become popular in Canada, acupuncture has a long respected history in Asia.

An acupuncture treatment consists of the painless use of fine needles and may include heat, traditional Chinese medicinal herbs (for TCM Practitioners) and shiatsu or palpation in a 30-60 minute session. The treatment helps to relieve pain and discomfort, to promote proper functioning and to stimulate the body's own natural healing ability.

Traditional Chinese medicine, which includes not only acupuncture but also herbal medicine, massage, dietary therapy and remedial exercises, has evolved over the pass 5000 years.

The unique history and philosophy of TCM has produced an understanding of the way the body and mind works in health and disease that is uniquely different from the conventional Western view.

Why Study Acupuncture?

Acupuncture, as a medical therapy, is several thousand years old and is still used today. It is of interest to people looking to enter the field of complementary healthcare as well as to other practitioners looking to expand the services they offer their clients. Increasingly, people are focusing on acupuncture and other Oriental therapies despite advances in western sciences and medicine. Why is this? The answer is very simple - acupuncture is very effective. It is a safe, natural and effective therapy for many illnesses both chronic and acute as well as for illnesses that are a result of a weakened immune system or an overstrained nervous system.

Adjusting or regulating Qi, or vital energy, is most essential for healing the body. This is the basis of health in the Oriental system. It takes time to master the study of Oriental medicine. It is not enough simply to learn the techniques without taking the time to understand the mystery of the human body. The subtleties of Oriental medicine are the hardest parts to understand but are the most interesting parts of this profession.  Remember that our body is made to heal, to be healthy, not sick. For any illness, there is hope to change if you correct the energy distortion of the body and life. This is something for you to actively participate in.  This is the key - to learn by this study rationally, mentally and physically.

For bodywork therapists and healthcare professionals, learning acupuncture not only forces you to use another tool for treatment through needling, but you learn and experience the world under the skin. You learn a different diagnosis. You expand your physical and mental boundaries of the world. Challenge yourself as an Oriental acupuncturist and specialist. This study will make you a confident practitioner using the ancient wisdom that you will learn.

Employment Options Upon Completion...

-self employment, own and operate your own private clinic

-work in an established clinic

-work along side other health care professionals

-clinic supervisor, oversee other therapists in a clinic or teaching clinic environment


What Salary and other benefits can I expect as a practicing Acupuncturist?

Acupuncturists can earn between $80,000 to $110, 000 based on full time work, 35 treatments a week before expenses at a $60/hr rate.

Figures are intended as a guideline only and would fluctuate based on a variety of factors. Please call (416) 323-1818 ex.22 to discuss this in further detail.

What are the hours and working conditions?

You are likely to make your own appointments and set your own working hours. However, to meet the needs of clients, you may need to cover some weekend and/or evening appointments.

You would be based either in a health clinic or in another therapeutic environment; either your own private clinic or working with other therapists in a multi-faceted therapeutic clinic environment.

Some therapists travel to clients' homes or place of work for longer or shorter treatments.

What skills and knowledge will I need?

-good communication and listening skills

-a keen interest in the body, health and wellbeing

-self awareness and emotional maturity

-a logical approach to problem solving

-the ability to create good working relationships with a range of clients

-the ability to empathize with your patients' circumstances

-commercial awareness with the ability to develop and run a business