Acupuncture & TCM

In addition to being a licensed naturopathic doctor, Dr Andréa Proulx is also a registered acupuncturist R.Ac. with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a complete medical system that has tools for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.
Based on the philosophy of balancing Qi or Chi (energy) through the meridian pathways by examining the harmony – or lack thereof – between Yin and Yang.  TCM can be used to treat physical, mental or emotional ailments.

Acupuncture treatments are used in a wide variety of conditions from sports injuries to female hormone issues & fertility to pain management.  It is very effective in treating musculoskeletal concerns such as low back pain, sprains & strains and to speed the recovery from injury.

NDs are trained in two systems of needle location selection; the TCM system and the ‘medical acupuncture’ system based on local anatomy.


Have a few questions? Hopefully these FAQ will help.


What does an acupuncture needle look like?

Afraid of needles? Compared to needles that draw blood, these needles are very thin since they don’t have to be hollow. Needles come in different gauges (thickness) and lengths and are very flexible. Each needle comes in a sterilized package and is disposable after use.Acupuncture needles


What does acupuncture feel like?

Depending on the point selected, the reason for the treatment and how sensitive a person is, acupuncture can feel have many different ‘feelings’. In Traditional Chinese Text, the goal of each needle is to ‘stimulate the Qi’. Patients will describe the feeling as a warmth, heaviness, funny feeling, mild tingling, muscle release, or maybe they don’t feel anything at all. What you feel does not indicate how well the treatment is working.

If you are getting acupuncture for myofascial or muscular pain, the goal of treatment is often to release a muscle knot. In which case, you may feel a muscle release, mini-spasm and release or a ‘melting’ feeling of the muscle.


Does acupuncture hurt?

Maybe. Depending on the point location selected and how sensitive a person is, some people do say that it is uncomfortable when the needle is initially inserted. Of course, a qualified practitioner will do everything to minimize any discomfort. The vast majority of patients – even those afraid of needles – feel a mild pressure as the needle goes into the skin. Once the needle is in the right spot, patients experience feelings ranging from nothing to a mild tingling or ‘the Qi’ (read more in What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?)


Are there negative effects of acupuncture?

Consent forms will try to scare you with side effects including organ damage, lung collapse and bruising. A licensed practitioner such as Dr Proulx has taken hours of hands-on training and many anatomy classes to reduce the risk of such negative side effects.

A mild red spot that lasts less than an hour or a mild bruise are the most frequent negative effects.


Can all naturopaths do acupuncture?

In Ontario, all licensed naturopathic doctors (ND) have the training and qualifications to perform acupuncture.   To your insurance company, this is communicated via the registration number for naturopaths found on your invoice. However few naturopaths are also registered with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (TCMPAO) which is the licensing body that gives a practitioner the right to call themselves (and bill insurance companies) as a Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac). Dr Proulx is both a naturopathic doctor AND a registered acupuncturist!

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