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Thursday, July 24, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008

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TCM Regulation


1. The College of TCM Practitioners and Acupuncturists is established – a major step forward to regulating TCM in Ontario

The first public meeting of the Transitional Council of the College of TCM Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario was held on Thu, June 26, 2008. 15 council members have been appointed to oversee the practises and services of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists in Ontario.

Established under the Traditional Chinese Medicine Act, 2006 , the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine will make traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture services safer for Ontarians by ensuring that only regulated and qualified practitioners who are accountable to a regulatory body may deliver services.  The transitional council is the public's voice in regulating the future practice of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture in Ontario. For full news, please click here.

2. TCM Acupuncturists Do Much More than Needling

Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the points of meridians and collaterals to promote and restore health. As one of the primary modalities, acupuncture is done according to the theory and diagnostics of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Determining factors for effective and safe treatments include correct diagnosis of the patient condition and differentiation of individual syndromes, selection and combination of the points, and proper manipulation of the needles. Acupuncture could strengthen the weakness, reduce the excess, cool the heat and warm the cold, remove the obstruction, subdue the rebellious qi, and raise the sinking qi. Improper selection of points and manipulation of the needles may cause adverse reactions such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and palpitation even heavy bleeding. According to existing educational requirements in North America where acupuncture is regulated, qualified acupuncturists require minimum of 3 years full time post graduate professional training with minimum 2 years university studies as prerequisite.

In Ontario, some regulated health professionals may practice acupuncture within their scope of practice for limited conditions. These individuals have to prove their acupuncture training acceptable to their regulatory college. Acceptable training for performing acupuncture may vary between couple days to couple hundred hours. These professions are not trained in TCM diagnosis, but to do needling according to human anatomy following a set of standard protocols. They must inform their patients that they are performing acupuncture as who they are (i.e. physiotherapy, chiropractor, or dentist, or massage therapist) and for what condition. They can't claim that they are acupuncturists unless they are registered with CTCMPAO. Besides, they are not allowed to communicate TCM diagnosis.

TCM Profession

TCMA - A Bright Future Ahead

With the standardization and regulation of the profession, TCM will be more accepted and recognized by the general public for health promotion, and for prevention and treatments of diseases. The demands for qualified acupuncturists and TCM practitioners will increase in the future. It is an exciting time to consider a career in TCM for health. Mounting research has proven the effectiveness of acupuncture and TCM. More and more insurance companies are covering acupuncture treatment because of its high efficacy, low cost, and escalating demand. It is hoped that acupuncture could be covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) in the future, following the step that British Columbia has taken. In BC, acupuncture treatment is covered in the provincial medical service plan for low income families.

TSTCM Outreach

1. A day with seniors at York Fairbank Community Center

Over 60 seniors have happily experienced the relaxing and rejuvenating Tuina massage treatment from TSTCM students at York Fairbank Community Center. It is the 3 rd year that TSTCM participated in this annual community charitable activity. As usual, students passionately answered seniors' questions with regard to the benefits of TCM. It is estimated that drug costs may soar for Canada's seniors. Helping seniors to learn the benefits of TCM treatment and to use TCM for their health will contribute to the reduction of the health care cost in Ontario.

2. TSTCM students promote TCM and the profession among youth - Presentation at Sir Sandford Fleming Academy

Bearing in mind that the growth of the TCM profession lays on the new generation, TSTCM reaches out younger people to nourish their interest and awareness. TSTCM was invited by the Sir Sandford Fleming Academy to make a presentation to its students on May 15. It was a valuable experience for TSTCM students who took part in the event independently. They were delighted to see many students of the Academy had either heard about or experienced TCM before and had shown openness to a career in TCM as well. For TSTCM students, it was such a significant time to share their passion on TCM with these teens who could become part of the force for the prosperity of the TCM profession in the future.

3. Student Outreach Program is to launch

To encourage student to get involved in promoting TCM across different communities, TSTCM launches an initiative – Student Outreach Program in July. The program is designed to foster students' sense of ownership as a shareholder of the TCM profession and prepare them to stand at the front to educate public the benefits of TCM. It is estimated that more people will have access to TCM treatments and basic information about TCM through this program. Approved outreach activity will receive various supports from the school and be organized on a cooperative manner.

What comes next?
  1. Updates on TCMA regulation in Ontario
  2. A new look of TSTCM's newsletter - students are about to take over the management of school's newsletter
  3. A whirlwind to promote TCM among undergrads- TSTCM at universities' career fairs.
  4. TSTCM strives for effective communication with students

TSTCM Kaleidoscope

1. TSTCM Prepares Students for Professional Regulation

The establishment of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO) marked the beginning of the regulation of traditional Chinese medicine TCM profession in Ontario. It is exciting and challenging at the same time.

The uncertainties of the profession at this stage stir up stakeholders' concerns. People interested in becoming an acupuncturist or doctor of TCM may be anxious to know which school or program they should trust and how long they should study. Students currently in TCM schools or programs may wonder if their training will be recognized. People now practicing TCM may question if they will be qualified for practice after regulation. Schools offering related programs concern whether the ongoing programs will meet the educational standards and if their students will be qualified for licensing.

Regulation is about to set up the standards for practice and requirements of competencies for entry to practice. It is about to ensure that only qualified practitioners may communicate TCM diagnosis and provide TCM including acupuncture treatments that are safe, effective and ethical to the public. All people wishing to be qualified to practice will be accountable to the regulatory body, the CTCMPAO.

TSTCM has been offering systematic and comprehensive training in acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine with high standards. TSTCM programs are designed according to the available established and recognized professional standards in North America, such as the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) in the United States and the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncturists (CTCMA) of British Columbia in Canada. TSTCM will continue to work hard in meeting the requirements of the official standards and to maintain high teaching quality to ensure the delivery of competences to its students required by the regulatory bodies.

2. Extend application deadline for Fall 2008 to meet increasing interest

A good news for people who are crunching time to prepare application for the September entry. In response to increasing requests from potential students, TSTCM has extended the application deadline from July 8, 2008 to August 8, 2008 for September enrolment. Although the class schedule is not finalized, people interested in this Fall may have a head start to plan their time with the draft schedule which is now available online.

3. TSTCM supported Sichuan earthquake victims

Leaving no time to sit mourning the Sichuan earthquake victims, students, faculty and staff of TSTCM were quickly in an upsurge to donate upon the call from the school. In a week the donation has climbed up to $660.27. This is the add-on of the $2,000 donation the school immediately made to the Sichuan Earthquake Committee, a charity organization established shortly after the disaster in a mission to help the suffered.

4. Student Advisory Council backs school improvements

Ever since its establishment in 2006, the Student Advisory Council (SAC) has assisted the school in making improvements in many areas from clinic management, school administration, to teaching qualities.

Comprised of students, faculty, and school's management, the SAC serves as a bridge between the school and the students. It commits to voicing and resolving student's on-going concerns on a timely manner. “The SAC”, noted by school's management, “helps the school to learn the needs of the students and to act proactively”. Bearing a strong desire to make TSTCM the best place for high quality TCM education, members of the council are working voluntarily and tirelessly. Their hard work has been rewarded in the means of school's many improvements and the increasing recognition from the students.

5. TCM Classics - Jin Gui Yao Lue is to be offered in the Fall – Registration is now open

Jin Gui Yao Lue, one of the four TCM classics, will be offered this Fall. It's extremely a good news for many who have been waiting long to take this course. This course mainly applies advanced theory, differential diagnosis, and treatment methods to study chapters on miscellaneous diseases from the Synopsis of Prescriptions of the Golden Chamber. Jin Gui Yao Lue is part of the Doctor of TCM diploma program and requests enrolling students have intermediate knowledge of TCM theories and herbal medicine. Registration for this course is now open for current and former students. Interest from individuals of public is also welcome given that they meet the prerequisite requirement. Registration deadline will be on August 8, 2008.

6. Active learning in teaching clinic – live case discussion guided by instructor

No better way than active learning that can help students to get the most from their studies. In addition to gaining hands-on clinical experience by consulting and treating patients, students are now able to share their opinions on cases they brought up during the teaching clinic. All discussions are moderated by the clinic supervisors who also demonstrate the treatment approach at the same time. The benefits of live case discussion comes from the ideas that the case analysis will be much facilitated if it is discussed timely and active learning will be resulted when students hold an interest. Added on these benefits are students' capability of critical thinking and examining symptoms from multiple dimensions.


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