Choosing a therapist of any kind is a personal decision. Even the most well-versed and skilled practitioner might not be right for you. I find it’s a combination of skill, style and personal connection. So how do you know what to look for? These next few paragraphs will attempt to serve as a guideline for you as to how to find an Acupuncturist in Kelowna, BC.
Your job, as the public, is not to know all the ins and outs of each profession. I believe it is our professional responsibility to educate the public as to how each of our modalities can serve an individual. I also believe it is our duty to serve the medicine we represent with integrity and respect. There are many ways to practice Chinese medicine but here are a few educated questions you may want to ask before you decide on an acupuncturist.
How many years did you go to school for and what is your professional designation?
In BC the CTCMA (College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists) is the governing body that dictates the standards and code of ethics with which all members of this profession must abide by. According to the CTCMA you can be registered under one of four professional titles. To be eligible to write the board exams for any of the designated titles you must have a minimum of 2 years post-secondary education before entering into Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture school.
- Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac) – means you have gone to school for 3 years and completed a minimum of 1900 hours of study of which 450 hours are clinical practice with the focus being on acupuncture studies.
- Registered TCM Herbalist (R.H) – means you have gone to school for 3 years and completed a minimum of 1900 hours of study of which 450 hours are clinical practice with the focus being on herbal studies.
- Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (R.TCMP) – means you have gone to school for 4 years and completed a minimum of 2600 hours of study of which 650 hours are clinical practice with an equal focus on acupuncture and herbal studies.
- Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (DTCM) – means you have gone to school for 5 years and completed a minimum of 3250 hours of study of which 1050 hours are clinical practice with an equal focus on acupuncture and herbal studies as well as advanced protocols and Western Medicine.
What are the main diagnostic techniques most Acupuncturists and Chinese Medicine Practitioners use?
This is usually up to individual discretion. Each practitioner has their own strengths when it comes to how they use their tools. However, there are 4 key diagnostic methods that each practitioner is taught that they should use in order to execute a well-rounded treatment and diagnosis.
- Inspection – this includes looking at the body and perceiving vitality, color, figure, posture etc. in order to better understand a patient’s disharmony. Observing the tongue is one of the main areas of the body that we inspect as it gives us a unique insight into the state of the body’s organ systems and body fluids, and particularly the digestive system.
- Auscultation & Olfaction – listening to sounds of speech, respiration, quality of a cough etc. as well as smelling and odors the patient’s body may be emitting.
- Interrogation – Asking questions as to onset, development, previous treatment, current symptoms and any other relevant information as to the person’s disease.
- Palpation– This certainly refers to palpating the affected area and associated meridians but most importantly it refers to palpating the pulse which is taken at the radial artery (the pulse on your wrist). The pulse reveals all things happening within the person’s body at that moment in time. It tells the story of the body and it is crucial – in my opinion – that your practitioner know how to accurately read the pulse.
Can acupuncture help my condition?
The answer to this is most likely yes. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is a holistic system that is excellent at treating most conditions. However, it never hurts to ask your practitioner if they have any history of successfully treating your concern. Testimonials and online reviews are a great way to find this out as well as checking their website. For a more detailed list of what acupuncture can treat click here. To see what wiki has to say about acupuncture and what it can treat click here.
When it comes to knowing the basics about what to look for the above qualifications will steer you in the right direction. Here are a few other tips on how to find an acupuncturist in Kelowna.
- Read reviews and testimonials. RateMds.com and google reviews are two great places to read reviews on your practitioner.
- Read their about section – get a sense of who your practitioner is and what they have been up to since completing school.
- Find out what their clinical experience and success is when it comes to your ailment.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
With love from Kelowna, BC,