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TCM Meridian DollQ: How many treatments will I need?
Each person is unique and the frequency, length, and number of treatments needed will vary depending on your condition, age, and how you respond to acupuncture.  Acupuncture assists your body to make changes and this can be a gradual process. Once you’ve had your initial consultation with Dr. Gray, a course of action will be planned and you’ll have a better idea on your treatment schedule then.

Q: How often should I be treated?
This depends on what you are being treated for and how to obtain optimal response.  Treatments for an acute muscle/skeletal condition may be scheduled two or more times per week whereas a more chronic condition would be initially once per week.  As the condition improves, either treatment becomes more ‘maintenance’  or is spaced out accordingly.

Fertility treatments may be once per week through the cycle.  Integrating acupuncture with IVF/IUI generally is twice per week for 4 weeks leading up to procedure.

Q: How long will it take for my treatments to work?
Generally you will see positive changes in the first to fourth treatment. An exception to this would be if you were being treated for menstrual or fertility problems. These treatments usually require a minimum of three cycles for your body to respond.

Q: Does acupuncture hurt?
You will be surprised how little sensation they feel with the insertion of the eyelash thin needles. Most feel no pain at all and at worst a mild discomfort. Please let Dr. Gray know if the discomfort continues after initial insertion.

Q: I’m afraid of needles, how can Dr. Gray treat me?
A: There are several non-needle therapies that can be used. Be sure to discuss your fears with Dr. Gray.  Thinner gage needles are generally used, especially with first treatment and with someone fearful.  Most people are surprised at how deeply they are able to relax with acupuncture.

Q: Can I still see my chiropractor/massage therapist?
A: Yes, you should! Acupuncture will improve the value of your chiropractic or massage treatments.

Q: When can I stop seeing my TCM practitioner?
A: Acupuncture, and in fact most TCM, is used as a preventative medicine. Just as you would get your teeth cleaned twice a year, or see your doctor for yearly check ups, it is recommended you see your TCM regularly.  It is a great way to help prevent disease and promote health, energy, and vitality.

Q: Will my Insurance cover Acupuncture?  MSP?
A: Most extended health care plans do cover Acupuncture. MSP will cover $23 of a treatment providing you are on Premium Assistance. MSP allots 10 treatments per year of all combined allowable modalities (acupuncture, Naturopath, Chiropractor, physiotherapy, and massage therapy.)

Q: Is Acupuncture Regulated in BC
A: The College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists (CTCMA) of British Columbia is the regulatory body for Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in British Columbia and is responsible for registering Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturist throughout the province. The College protects the public by establishing and endorsing high standards of practice by registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists.

Q: What qualifications do practitioners have?
A: Practitioners are required to have a valid registration (professional licence) issued by the CTCMA to practice TCM and acupuncture in BC.

R.Ac. (Registered Acupuncturist)

Two-Year University Requirement, AND 1,900 hours including 450 hours of practicum completed in a minimum of three academic years

R.TCM.H. (Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Herbalist)

Two-Year University Requirement, AND 1,900 hours including 450 hours of practicum completed in a minimum of three academic years.

R.TCM.P. (Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner)

Two-Year University Requirement, AND 2,600 hours including 650 hours of practicum completed in a minimum of four academic years

Dr. TCM. (Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine)

Two-Year University Requirement, AND 3,250 hours including 1,050 hours of practicum completed in a minimum of five academic years.

There are also Mandatory Safety Courses taken by all TCM practitioners as noted below.

Titles Required Safety Course
Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac.) Acupuncture Safety Course


Reciprocity Safety Course (for registered acupuncturist in another regulated Canadian province)

Registered Herbalist (R.TCM.H) Herbology Safety Course
Registered TCM Practitioner (R.TCM.P) Acupuncture and Herbology Safety Courses
Registered Doctor of TCM (Dr.TCM.) Acupuncture, Herbology and Doctor Safety Courses

For more information on designations and regulations please visit the website at

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