Trouver un acupuncteur
Home Frequently Asked Questions

What isTraditional Chinese Medicine?


Documented and used for more than 2500 years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has evolved from the analysis and observation of the human body in its dynamic state. It is essentially a natural and empirical science in which the individual is considered as a whole—body and spirit—with his strengths and weaknesses and as an integral part of his environment.

THERE ARE 5 MAIN THERAPEUTIC BRANCHES IN TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)

  • ACUPUNCTURE: See What is acupuncture?
  • PHARMACOPEIA (HERBAL MEDICINE): TCM herbal medicine comprises of natural products, mainly of plants and minerals but sometimes of animal origin. The most frequently used remedies are plant-based. Chinese herbal medicine is prescribed as a formula of ingredients rather than a single ingredient. The Formula is meant to take in consideration the global condition of the patient and aims to address a group of symptoms or a TCM pattern.
  • DIETETIC: Different from the Western diet, it works much like the pharmacopeia and is based on the flavors and natures of different foods or plants, which have effects on the body's dynamic. Diet is modified according to symptoms and TCM patterns of the patient.
  • QI GONG: Consists of different exercises or movements that integrate breathing techniques, specific physical movements and postures as well as a focused mind in order to promote global circulation, maintain health, increase vitality and  help the healing process.
  • TUI NA: Consists of different massage techniques performed on specific points, meridians or areas of the body in order to restore or stimulate the energy flow. Acupressure is one technique, amongst others, used in Tui Na.

To learn more...
Contact an acupuncturist member of the Association of acupuncturists of Québec.

top


What is acupuncture?


Acupuncture is the act of stimulating, usually by the means of needles, certain specific sites of the skin, mucous membranes or subcutaneous tissues of the body for the purpose of improving health or relieving pain.

This section is currently being updated.

To learn more...
Contact an acupuncturist member of the Association of Acupuncturists of Québec (AAQ).

top


What happens during an acupuncture treatement?



The basic technique consists in inserting very fine needles into precise points in the body in order to redirect the vital energy to maintain or restore balance. These points are located along pathways in both halves of the body, called meridians, and correspond to the energy channels that run throughout the body. The selection and method of stimulation of these points are determined by the acupuncturist, based on the energy diagnosis. All of the points selected, as well as their combinations, have an effect on a determined bodily organ, area or function, and therefore act on a set of varied symptoms and/or on the initial cause of the imbalance.

To learn more...
Contact an acupuncturist member of the Association of Acupuncturists of Québec (AAQ).

top


Are the treatments painful?


The insertion of the acupuncture needles feels like a mosquito bite; it lasts only a fraction of a second and leaves no mark. Once the needles are in place, the patient generally feels a sense of well-being and relaxation.

To learn more...
Contact an acupuncturist member of the Association of Acupuncturists of Québec (AAQ).

top


How deep are the needles inserted?


Most acupuncture points can be stimulated on the surface, so there is no need to insert the needles deeply. Moreover, there are precise indications as to the needle depth and angle of insertion for each point. These instructions have been passed down to acupuncturists for thousands of years, ensuring a safe and effective practice. 

To learn more...
Contact an acupuncturist member of the Association of Acupuncturists of Québec (AAQ).

top


Besides needles, what other techniques can be used to stimulate acupuncture points?


An acupuncture treatment can also comprise other methods, such as:

• Moxibustion, which involves burning an herb called mugwort on the end of a needle or near an acupuncture point;
• Cupping (Ba Guan Zi), which are suction cups that are applied to an acupuncture point or moved along a meridian;
• Plum blossom (Pi Fu Zhen), also called plum blossom, which is a very small long handled hammer inlaid with seven needles that is lightly tapped on the skin;
• Contemporary methods such as 
   - the use of a mild electric stimulation to the needles to complement the acupuncture treatment
   - the use of laser as a replacement for the needles.
• Tui Na: a TCM modality of treatment that uses specific massage techniques to stimulate points, meridians or regions of the body based on the inherent principles of Traditionnal Chinese Medicine. Acupressure is one of the techniques, amongst many others, used in Tuina.

To learn more...
Contact an acupuncturist member of the Association of Acupuncturists of Québec (AAQ).

 

top


Can diseases be spread by the needles?


The measures taken in 2003 by the Ordre des acupuncteurs du Québec have eliminated the risk of diseases being spread by acupuncture needles. In fact, the Ordre requires that all acupuncturists practicing in Québec must use only sterile, single-use needles.

To learn more...
Contact an acupuncturist member of the Association of Acupuncturists of Québec (AAQ).

top


Do you need to believe in acupuncture to see results?


You do not need to believe in acupuncture to see results. The efficacy of treatments in children and animals is proof of this. Consult the “Info Plus” section Acupuncture: beyond belief to read more on this subject.

To learn more...
Contact an acupuncturist member of the Association of Acupuncturists of Québec (AAQ).

top


Are there risks or side effects related to acupuncture?


The National Institutes of Health (Consensus 1997) reports that acupuncture causes very few or no side effects, representing a significant advantage over certain conventional treatments.

Although minimal and occasional, some side effects are possible. Normally, these reactions disappear on their own or are corrected during the treatment, and rarely pose a problem for the patient. These include but are not limited to: slight bleeding, small bruises and/or sensitivity at the needle insertion sites.

To learn more...
Contact an acupuncturist member of the Association of Acupuncturists of Québec (AAQ).

top


What conditions can acupuncture treat?


Acupuncture can have an impact on the following systems or conditions:

Pain management       Neurovegatative system
Digestive   Respiratory
Allergies   Circulatory
Urinary   Gynecology & Fertility
Auditory   Ocular
Locomotor   Dermatology
Substance Abuse   Other conditions

_______________________________________________________

Pain Management:
Arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, torticollis, neck pain, sciatica, low back pain, muscle pain, headache, migraines, sports injuries, epicondylitis, cramps, sprains, bursitis, trigeminal neuralgia, facial neuralgia, knee problems.

Neurovegetative system:
Nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, stuttering, nervous tics, phobias, depression, generalized fatigue, obsessions, nightmares, bulimia, vertigo, tremors, loss of balance.

Digestive system:
Ulcer, dyspepsia, stomach pain in general, loss of appetite, anorexia, hiccups, difficulty swallowing, colitis, bowel disorders, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, hemorrhoids, gallbladder and liver disorders, vomiting.

Respiratory system:
Asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, laryngitis, sinusitis, rhinitis, cough, cold, flu, dyspnea.

Allergies:
Hay fever, various allergies.

Circulatory system:
Numbness, cold limbs, chills, swelling, edema, hypertension, hypotension.

Urinary system:
Prostate problems, cystitis, incontinence, difficulty urinating.

Gynecology & fertility:
Vaginitis, painful, heavy or irregular periods, amenorrhea, menopause, loss of sex drive, genital problems, impotence, realities associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

Auditory system:
Ear pain, certain types of hearing loss, ringing in the ears, tinnitus, Ménière's disease.

Ocular system:
Vision problems, conjunctivitis, certain types of vision loss, glare, cataracts, glaucoma, black spots.

Locomotor system:
Hemiplegia, certain types of paralysis, certain types of atrophy and muscular dystrophy.

Dermatology /Skin :
Eczema, shingles, boils, dermatitis, psoriasis, acne, urticaria, athlete's foot.

Other health conditions:
Acupuncture has proven to be helpful and complementary with the following: Diabetes, arteriosclerosis, cholesterol, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, anemia, mononucleosis, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, ataxia, myelitis, fibromas and can help minimize side effects of certain medical treatments like chemotherapy;

Substance abuse: it can also help with addiction problems: cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, over-bindging.

To learn more...
Contact an acupuncturist member of the Association of Acupuncturists of Québec (AAQ).

top


Are there contraindications to acupuncture?


It is difficult to issue formal contraindications to acupuncture since the main objectives of this therapy are to help the body achieve balance and to resolve the dysfunction that led to the illness. Therefore, its purpose is to regulate, harmonize and rebalance the body's energy rather than to simply fight disease.

However, for safety reasons, in 2001, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the Guidelines on Basic Training and Safety in Acupuncture, which stipulated the illnesses or conditions that should be contraindicated or demand certain precautions. 

— Precautions for Pregnancy: acupuncture treatment are safe but must be administered with caution. The use of certain acupuncture points and certain methods of stimulation may trigger uterine contractions. You should tell your acupuncturist if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant so that the treatment can be adapted accordingly.

— Acupuncture alone should not be considered to treat Medical or surgical emergencies.

— Precautions in Oncology: Health and fragility of patient should be taken in consideration. Acupuncture can be used as a complementary measure, combined with other treatments, to relieve pain or other symptoms, to minimize the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy and to improve overall the quality of life in these difficult times.

— Malignant tumours: specific site of Tumor should not be needled.

— Bleeding disorders or high risk of bleeding: other methods of point stimulation should be considered and needling avoided.

To learn more...
Contact an acupuncturist member of the Association of Acupuncturists of Québec (AAQ).

top


How many treatments are needed?


The number of treatments depends on the severity of the disease, its progression and how long it has been present, and, above all, the patient's vitality. In acute cases, frequent sessions are needed. In chronic cases, treatments may be more spaced out and are administered until the disease improves or stabilizes. The acupuncturist will be able to provide more details at the first consultation.

To learn more...
Contact an acupuncturist member of the Association of Acupuncturists of Québec (AAQ).

top


Is acupuncture covered by the RAMQ?


Treatments are not covered by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ). However, more and more insurance companies are reimbursing a portion of the treatment costs. Check with your insurance company and request that they add acupuncture to your insurance policy if it not already there.

To learn more...
Contact an acupuncturist member of the Association of Acupuncturists of Québec (AAQ).

top


What is the difference between the «Association» and the «Ordre» des acupuncteurs du Québec?


The Association des acupuncteurs du Québec (AAQ) is a private non-profit organization comprised of a group of acupuncturists whose mission is to promote acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine throughout Québec and to defend the socioeconomic interests of their profession. Membership in the AAQ is voluntary and is governed by the acupuncturist's interest in upholding this mission. To become an active member of the AAQ, acupuncturists must first be member of the OAQ.

The Ordre des acupuncteurs du Québec (OAQ) is a professional Order (Board) like any other in Québec. Its government-issued mandate is to regulate the profession and monitor the professional activities that involve a risk of injury to the public. Membership in the OAQ is mandatory to practice acupuncture in Québec. To learn more about the OAQ or to check the official status of your acupuncturist contact them directly: 514-523-2882 or 1-800-474-5914.

top


How to choose your acupuncturist?


As with any other professional relationship, it is important that you trust your acupuncturist. However, he or she must absolutely be registered with the Ordre des acupuncteurs du Québec to be allowed to practice acupuncture in Québec.

Whether you get the name of an acupuncturist from the Yellow Pages, a friend, a trusted acquaintance, or the AAQ member directory, your acupuncturist must be registered with our professionnal Board. To verify the official and current status of an acupuncturist's licence to pratice in Québec, you have to contact the Ordre des acupuncteurs du Québec by calling 514-523-2882 or 1 800 474 5914.

ALSO IMPORTANT: Note that in Québec, all acupuncturists must use sterile, single-use needles.This is mandatory since 2003. Your acupuncturist must comply with this professional standard of care.

top


Other questions?


Do not hesitate to contact one of our acupuncturists. Feel free to leave you contact information, specifying the best time to reach you, since many acupuncturists let their calls go to voicemail when they are with a patient. However, if you have several questions, it might be best to schedule an appointment.

Member directory of the Association of Acupuncturists of Québec.

top