BBC Documentary:  The Science of Acupuncture:

Mayo Clinic: 

John Hopkins Hospital:

Q:    How Do Acupuncture Needles Compare In Size To An Injection Needle? 


Lila's Introduction to QI GONG:

Q:     Is “dry needling / medical acupuncture” the same as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture?

A:      The practices of “dry needling / medical acupuncture” and TCM acupuncture are very different as briefly described below.

     Dry Needling / Medical Acupuncture

  • Western medicine principle-based needling was first conducted by physicians in the early 1940’s. The origins of dry needling were drawn from western medicine principles and scientific, research-based conclusions.  Dry needling entails stimulating certain points on the body to release tension from knots and pressure points in muscles in order to relieve pain and/or to improve range of motion.  Certification programs for practitioners of dry needling typically consist of a three-day course covering concepts, application and safety guidelines.  The practice of dry needling is not regulated.

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Acupuncture

  • The practice of TCM acupuncture dates back to at least 100 B.C. in China.  Acupuncture is used to restore the flow of a person's Qi (life energy) along meridians on the body.  TCM acupuncturists insert needles to release endorphins and affect the nervous system. TCM acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of conditions.
  • Strict guidelines are in place for TCM acupuncturists.  To practice TCM acupuncture, a person needs to be licensed and undergo extensive training.  A TCM acupuncturist will undergo 3 or more years of training.  They learn to identify symptoms, diagnose conditions and use correct techniques with needles.
  • Before receiving a license, a new TCM practitioner must pass examinations from the provincial board and they must maintain a minimum level of continuous education each year after receiving a license.

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Mental Health & Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Acupuncture Resources and Tips


Many people have mental health concerns from time to time.  A mental health concern becomes a mental disorder when ongoing symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function.  Signs and symptoms of a mental health disorder can vary, depending on the disorder, circumstances and other factors.  A mental health disorder can make you miserable and can cause problems in your daily life.  Mental health disorders may also cause physical health problems.

If you have any signs or symptoms of a mental disorder, seek treatment therapy.  Most mental disorders don't improve on their own, and if untreated, may get worse over time and cause serious problems.  

Suicidal thoughts and behavior are common with some mental health disorders.  If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, get help right away:

Alberta Mental Health Help Line:  1-877-303-2642
Kids Help Phone:  1-800-668-6868
Alberta Health Services  811
Alberta Health Services

If your loved one shows signs of mental illness, have an open and honest discussion with them about your concerns.  You may not be able to force someone to get professional care, but you can offer encouragement and support.  You can also help your loved one find a qualified mental health professional.


2.1  Complementary and Alternative Therapies

There are several treatments including complementary and alternative therapies that may be used in place of or addition to Western medicine approaches.  These therapies include:

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Naturopathic Medicine
Herbal Medicine
Homeopathic Medicine
Massage Therapy
Spiritual/ Energy healing

Choose a therapy that suits your needs.  Research the therapy and know what to expect.  Other people may tell you what has worked for them, but the results may be different for you.

2.2   Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

If you have any signs or symptoms of a mental disorder, seek help from your medical health professional or a qualified mental health professional.  If you decide to pursue acupuncture or other TCM methodologies, contact a registered TCM practitioner.  They are trained and experienced in diagnosing and treating the imbalances of mental health conditions.  

TCM treats mental health conditions through a holistic treatment approach linking the mind, body and spirit.  This approach recognizes that our wellness comes not just from physical health, but from mental health and spiritual health as well.  To be “healthy,” we must pay attention to all three aspects of our nature.  The treatment principle in TCM is based upon recognition of the pattern of disharmonies in these aspects. 

TCM treatment for emotional disorders may involve different modalities including acupuncture, acupressure, Tui na, gua sha, cupping and herbal treatments.  These, by using a holistic and natural approach, have the advantage of being free from the harmful side-effects and dependencies of pharmacologic treatment.

Acupuncture and other TCM methodologies may be appropriate as stand-alone therapies or as complementary therapies to Western medicine approaches.

Tui na is a type of medical massage and manipulation that involves stimulating various acupressure points on the body according to TCM principles. Tui na is an especially useful modality for children with emotional disorders, as parents can perform the treatments. This enhances emotional stability and provides comfort while promoting spiritual vitality.

It is recognized that various conditions may limit the ability for in-person assessments and treatments.  There are self- treatment options.  While not as effective and not intended as a replacement for treatment by a registered TCM practitioner, these treatments may provide some relief from mental health concerns.

2.2.1. Acupressure Massage Self-Treatment

The massage of the acupressure points should help decrease the intensity, frequency and or duration of your anxiety.  You may notice immediate or a delayed reaction to the acupressure massage as ideally combined with acupuncture results are sooner and longer lasting.  

Attached are photos of the acupressure points for you to massage for 1 minute 3 - 4 times per day.   









2.2.2. Meditation Self-Treatment

Take a few nice deep belly breaths through your nose and slowly blow out through your mouth and let your body sink into the bed or chair.  If you find you’re having a hard time relaxing take your mind to happy place and remain there in our thoughts and breathing.


Guided Sleep Meditation for Kids and Parents









5 Minute Meditation for Teens