Acupuncture Supported by MSP
April 1st rung in more than just April Fool's
Day. It's no joke that B.C.'s provincial
government is continuing to expand its recognition of acupuncture as a valid
treatment method. As of April 1st this
year, MSP will now cover $23 per treatment for up to 10 treatments of
acupuncture for those on premium assistance.
To clarify, if you are making less than $28,000 in income per year and
have part or all of your monthly fees to MSP subsidized, then you can access
this benefit for up to 10 treatments for a combination of your choice of
acupuncture, massage, physiotherapy, chiropractic, naturopathy, and podiatry.
clinic is pleased to offer those who qualify an official receipt and an
MSP claim card following treatments. The patient pays the clinic the
full cost of the treatment and submits the card to MSP for
I am excited about the recent addition of
acupuncture to our MSP system as it is another step in bringing this
time-tested and effective treatment to the forefront and make it a bit more accessible
to those with lower incomes. If you have
any questions about the new benefits, please let us know.
Read here for CTV's article about this. B.C. Puts Acupuncture Treatment on Medical Plan.
Does Acupuncture Work? Prove it!
Are you still skeptic about getting pins to heal your ills? I
have to say that I can understand the doubts. My mother is a nurse practitioner and my father has a PhD in
chemistry. My favourite classes in school were the
sciences. I did well in chemistry, biology, and math because the
answers were concrete and there was "proof" (at least as far as I was
For my first year of university, I enrolled in a now discontinued
program at the University of Guelph called Akademia. It was
unique in that it offered courses that were a blend of arts and
science. Examples are "Whales for Sale", blending ecology and
economics, and "Discovery of Insulin", blending history and
research. After only one semester, I knew that sciences were my calling
and I switched into the Human Kinetics B.Sc. program. At the
time, I did not yet know about acupuncture or other "alternative"
practices, but would surely have thought them all quackery as I didn't
even believe in any benefit from multivitamin supplements.
After graduating from Guelph, I went to Japan to work as a research
assistant at a medical university. That was an eye-opener, as I saw
first hand that science and research could show bias and be
miscommunicated! My science foundations were shaken up. At the same time, I was exposed for two years to a different way of thinking. Instead of the reductionistic
(i.e. that a complex system can be reduced to simply the sum of its
parts) viewpoint that leads western society, I saw the more eastern
view of holism.
Holism is the idea that any system cannot be explained solely by
looking at the parts, but by looking at the system as a whole and
studying the interactions.
A simple way to communicate how these basic philosophies are portrayed
in society is to look at the emphasis placed in the Western world on
individualism and self-determination. Go into any bookstore
self-help section and you will see a multitude of such
expressions. In Japan, the emphasis is placed on the group, be it
country, company, or community. It is encouraged to do more for
the group even to the detriment to the individual. As you can
see, both ways of thinking are important. Either extreme creates
imbalance and problems.
Through a series of wonderful “coincidences” (at the time
they felt coincidental, but I now feel that they were inevitable) I
came to study TCM shortly after my return to Canada. How
appropriate that the life I have now chosen is truly a blend of art and
science, just as I had studied in my first year of university. My passion now is to be a bridge between the eastern and western philosophies, the art and the science.
For the Science:
Acupuncture increases local blood circulation. Blood carries in nutrients and moves out
toxins and waste products.
Acupuncture enhances generation of nitric oxide
and increases local circulation.
Acupuncture affects the responses of the
brain. Since the brain receives and
sends signals to the rest of the body, it is important to see if the brain
responds differently to real acupuncture than to pretend (i.e. sham)
acupuncture. It does.
the limbic system and subcortical gray structures of the human brain: Evidence
from fMRI studies in normal subjects.
Amygdala Response to Acupuncture Stimuli in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
In fact, classic acupuncture points used for
treating body parts located away from the location of the point, do in deed
affect the body part that they are meant to treat. In this case, a classic point on the foot
meant to treat vision, does indeed affect the same parts of the brain that are
stimulated when light is flashed in the eye.
New findings of the correlation between acupoints
and corresponding brain cortices using functional MRI.
cerebellar activities by acupuncture stimulation: evidence from fMRI study.
So, does acupuncture actually relieve symptoms and change how a person feels?
The Analgesic Effect of Acupuncture in Chronic Tennis Elbow Pain
of acupuncture as adjunctive therapy in osteoarthritis of the knee.
Acupuncture for chronic headache in primary
care: large, pragmatic, randomised trial.
Can acupuncture have specific effects on health?
A systematic review of acupuncture antiemesis trials.
Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of patients with seasonal allergic
rhinitis: a randomized-controlled clinical trial.
There is much, much more information that can be presented
here, but you get the point. No pun
For the Art:
Come in and experience it for yourself. Everyone has a different perception for their
acupuncture experiences. Take a look at
the book on my reception counter.
Patients have written about their own personal interpretations of how
acupuncture feels to them. If you have
come in for acupuncture and haven’t written in my book, then please, write in
it or write to me.