Know Your Acupuncturist

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) became a regulated profession in Ontario in 2013.  An acupuncturist practicing in Ontario must be registered with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO).  The College is established by the government of Ontario to govern the practice of traditional Chinese Medicine, and to serve and protect the public.

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Registered Acupuncturist vs Registered TCM Practitioner

Registered Acupuncturists are designated RAc and are authorized to practice traditional Chinese medicine using acupuncture, including tuina, cupping and moxibustion.  On the other hand, Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners are designated RTCMP, and are authorized to practice traditional Chinese medicine providing a combination of therapies including TCM herbal medicine, along with acupuncture.
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Acupuncture Education

To be registered with with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario, individuals must successfully complete a safety and jurisprudence exam, meet the minimum training hours (approximately 2000 hours for RAc, and 4000 hours for RTCMP), along with successful completion of the Clinical Case-Study Examination issued by the Canadian Alliance of Regulatory Bodies of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists (CARB-TCMPA).

It is possible for a medical doctor, massage therapist, physiotherapist or chiropractor to undergo 200 or fewer hours of training and to use acupuncture as a supplemental technique for pain.  Although acupuncture is likely within their scope of practice, they are not legally allowed to call themselves Registered Acupuncturists (RAc). Practitioners who are certified, as opposed to registered, generally have limited education that meet the standards of acupuncture based on Traditional Chinese Medicine.  If your acupuncture provider is not a member of CTCMPAO, ask about their education to ensure that you receive the most professional acupuncture care available to achieve your optimal wellness.

Acupuncture Insurance Coverage

Visiting a registered practitioner, either RAc or RTCMP, will ensure that you are reimbursed for acupuncture services covered by your extended health insurance provider.  Each registered practitioner has a registration number with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario, which should be submitted on the receipts issued to you.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complex practice that requires knowledge and experience for safety and efficacy.  Dr. Le is a Registered Acupuncturist with CTCMPAO.  For information on your acupuncturist or to find a registered practitioner, click here.

Source: CTCMPAO