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What I Do
- Linda Hersey
· Daniel Daigle takes part in community acupuncture
Chinese medicine focuses on Qi. An energy-based medical system, Chinese medicine has been around for more than 3,000 years, and maintains that if your body’s energy force or life force, Qi (pronounced “chee”), is out of balance, disharmony and disease can follow.
It’s all about mind, body and spirit, a holistic approach that seeks to correct imbalances that have resulted in illnesses or pain – or to act as a preventative measure.
Chinese medicine therapies include moxibustion (heat therapy), Tui Na bodywork, herbal therapy, diet/lifestyle changes – and perhaps the best known of all – acupuncture, the stimulation of the body by insertion of needles. It’s the blockage of Qi in specific meridians (regulatory channels that connect different parts of our body) that acupuncture is designed to remedy, and most acupuncture points run along these meridians.
Daniel Daigle of Eastern Spirit Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine (easternspiritacu.com) with clinics in both Moncton and Shediac, completed a four-year Diploma of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in 2012 at Victoria’s Pacific Rim College. He also holds a bachelor of nursing science from Université de Moncton and has been an RN for nine years. He’s a member of the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA).
His partner at Eastern Spirit, Alana Paul, complete her three-year Diploma of Acupuncture in 2012 also at Pacific Rim College, and she has her bachelor of science degree in neuroscience from Dalhousie University.
Daniel, who grew up in Tracadie and now lives in Shediac, explains that acupuncture is “commonly known to treat pain” and is a medicine “with a very broad scope.”
Patients of every age can receive acupuncture to deal with a plethora of complaints – such as digestive and gynecology issues, psycho-emotional problems (which he says he has a passion to treat) including, anxiety disorders, stress, sleep issues, and depression, and much more.
Most acupuncturists operate their own clinic, and at the outset must decide which style of acupuncture they wish to practice. For Daniel, it’s community acupuncture.
“It’s a socially-based business model where we offer acupuncture in a group setting in an open room, so multiple people can be treated at once. The other big difference is that the pricing system is on a sliding scale. It goes from $15 to $40 and the client decides what they pay, so this model increases accessibility of acupuncture to the public. It allows people who don’t have insurance coverage and people with a lower income, to still be able to afford acupuncture treatments.”
Daniel chose this line of work because of amazing results he experienced himself at the age of 15 when pain from “jumper’s knee” as well as his chronic tonsillitis was quickly resolved after treatment with Chinese medicine.
He loves to see the results from the people he has been able to help.
“Somebody who comes in with a modern medical diagnosis like fibromyalgia, or who thinks their disease is permanent and they have to live with it, believe it’s incurable or it can’t be improved. It’s not necessarily that we can cure it, but our treatments can usually reduce symptoms and improve their quality of life. We can reduce the pain, help them relax and calm the emotions, even for somebody who is severely affected by an anxiety disorder.”
Education is key when it comes to helping people better understand this practice. Additionally there is a level of expertise and preparation that patients should expect from their acupuncturist.
“Because in New Brunswick there’s no regulating body, there are many levels of (acupuncturist) education. There are some health professionals who have acupuncture in their training or as an adjunct to their training, but then the scope of that practice is not as deep or as complete as somebody who’s got their training in Traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture comes from Chinese medicine, and it is one of our healing methods that we use in clinic.”
Daniel also points out that because there’s no regulatory body for acupuncturists in this province, there can be no “registered” acupuncturists – no RAC’s, “but you see a lot of practitioners (here) that give themselves that title.” Instead look for D.Ac following an acupuncturists’ name indicating they have earned their Diploma of Acupuncture.
Of course, acupuncture is “still relatively new in the west, like in Canada” where it’s only been in place “for a few decades.” And therein lies a challenge, because people, including “certain health professionals” still see it as “an alternative therapy.” The D.Ac training, however, is intense. It is a minimum of three years in regulated provinces, such as BC.
In China, Chinese medicine is part of the health system, like modern medicine, where both medicinal models are practiced in hospitals together. Sometimes Western medicine doctors will send cases to the Traditional Medicine doctor, the herbalist or the acupuncturist, because they know it’s more effective in treating certain conditions, or easier, or sometimes even more cost effective. There’s a lot of room to manoeuvre in terms of teaching the public and health professionals about the benefits and validity of acupuncture.