Recently, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine was declared to be a regulated healthcare profession in Ontario.
Since April 1 2013, to practice acupuncture legally in Ontario, a practitioner needs to be registered as Acupuncturist (R. Ac) or as Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (R. TCMP) with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO).There are some reasons why you should see a registered practitioner.
If you want your acupuncture treatment to be covered by your health benefits plan, you will need to go to a registered practitioner (R. Ac or R. TCMP). Each registered practitioner will have a college registration number, which should be displayed in their place of work and on the receipts. If you do not currently have acupuncture as part of your benefits plan, talk to your insurance provider and let them know you would like it to be a part of your plan. Now that acupuncture is a regulated health profession, it will be a lot easier for insurance companies to include it in a benefits package.
All registered acupuncturists have to complete a safety exam before being registered by the college. Safety concerns such as infection prevention & control, risk management and safe procedures & processes are important aspects when running a safe and effective practice.
3.Acupuncture and the Law
Every registered practitioner also needs to complete a jurisprudence exam as set out by the college. The jurisprudence exam outlines some extremely important areas, such as ethical and professional standards, informed consent, billing, scope of practice and record keeping. You need to know that this knowledge is very important for patient and practitioner legal protection.
When you see someone who is a registered member of the CTCMPAO, you are ensuring that your practitioner’s education meets the minimum required number of hours to be a registered acupuncturist (around 2000 hours) or a registered TCM practitioner (around 4000 hours).
If your acupuncture provider is able to perform acupuncture but is not a member of the CTCMPAO (i.e. a Chiropractor or physiotherapist who performs acupuncture), you should be aware that their training is limited and rarely goes beyond 200 hours of training. Although, acupuncture is likely within their scope of practice, they are not legally allowed to call themselves registered acupuncturists.
If you wish to see a Registered Acupuncturist, contact me for a consultation.