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  • Writer's pictureDylan Kirk

Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, a cure for modern healthcare woes: Joint Press Release

10th anniversary Joint Press Release Mar 30 2023
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Since becoming a regulated health care profession Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture have increasingly become an important part of Ontario’s medical system offering illness prevention, health promotion, diagnosis, and treatment for a wide spectrum of health concerns.

And, on April 1st 2023, as Ontario celebrates 10 years since the proclamation of the TCM Act, 2006 and the establishment of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO), the profession looks forward to continue to serve an even larger role in the province’s health care system.

“Ontario’s healthcare system has been under extreme pressure. Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture offer safe and effective treatment choices for a wide range of conditions. With recent changes being made by the Ontario government and significant federal funding increases, TCM is prepared to work hand in hand with Federal and Provincial partners in restoring our healthcare system to once again be the best in the world,” says Heather Kenny, President of Traditional Chinese Medicine Ontario.

TCM is among 26 health-care professions that are governed by the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991. It is the mandate of CTCMPAO to regulate the profession in the public interest, ensuring the public have access to Traditional Chinese Medicine services that meet or exceed required professional and ethical standards.

“It is integral for both the College and TCM and Acupuncture Practitioners to work together to ensure the profession grows in a manner that protects and benefits the public interest,” notes Dylan Kirk, President of the Council of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Schools of Ontario.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) originated in ancient China and has a history of over two thousand years. Influenced by ancient Chinese philosophy and integrating knowledge of modern science and technology, it continues to be a healthcare choice for people around the world offering a combination of therapies that include acupuncture, herbal medicine, moxibustion, cupping, gua sha, and tui na.

TCM and acupuncture are effective treatments for many common health conditions including pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, menopause, digestive disorders and stroke recovery, to name but a few. It is considered a cost-effective and safe treatment when provided by well trained and qualified practitioners. In Ontario, an Acupuncturist or TCM Practitioner must complete a three or four year full time postsecondary education respectively, and pass the national Pan-Canadian exam. The registration requirements for formal education and passing the pan-Canadian examinations ensures public safety and confidence. (

Acupuncturists and Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners are regulated in Ontario and British Columbia, while Alberta, Quebec, and Newfoundland regulate only Acupuncturists. There are over 2817 registered TCM Practitioners and Acupuncturists in Ontario. No person other than a registered member of College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario can use the protected titles of “Acupuncturist” or “Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner”. Only registered members of the CTCMPAO are permitted to perform the two controlled acts authorized to the profession including:

  1. Performing a procedure on the tissue below the dermis and below the surface of a mucous membrane for the purpose of performing acupuncture

  2. Communicating a traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis

The practice of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture in Ontario has earned increased confidence, public safety and recognition since becoming a regulated profession 10 years ago. With the upcoming development of a new class of registration for Doctor Title, and integration into healthcare teams, Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists continue to provide important health care choices and reduce wait times to serve Ontarians better.

Joanne Pritchard-Sobhani, current President of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario comments: I believe as we commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the College, we have risen to the occasion as a “College striving for excellence in governance and in regulating the practice of the TCM profession”. I am proud of this Council, staff, and members! It is with profound appreciation and acknowledgment I thank all of you for your trust, perseverance, and hard work to bring this College back in alignment with the expectations to function as a self-governing, regulated health care College! Congratulations in achieving this success!



Adam Chen, President, Traditional Chinese Medicine Physicians Associations of Canada

Bin Jiang Wu, President, Ontario College of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Cedric Cheung, President, The Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Association of Canada

Charlie Qiang Tang, President, The Canadian Society of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

Danny Canhui Li, President Association of TCM Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario

Dylan Kirk, President, Council of TCM and Acupuncture Schools of Ontario

Enza Ierullo, President, Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine Academy

Heather Kenny, President, Traditional Chinese Medicine Ontario

Ian Marshall, President, International Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine

John Liu, President, John and Jenny TCM College

Mary Xiumei Wu, President, Toronto School of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Pierre Chen, President, Canadian College of TCM and Director, TCM Association of Canada

Ryan Brooks, President, Eight Branches College of Eastern Medicine

Su Da Chao, Academic Director, Royal North American College of TCM

According to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), 113 WHO member countries recognize TCM diagnostic and treatment methods such as acupuncture, 29 member countries have established relevant laws and regulations for the standardized use of TCM acupuncture, and 18 member countries have included acupuncture in their medical insurance systems. ~Ben Wu, PhD

Major TCM Milestones in Ontario

1991: Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA)

1996: Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC) Report on the regulation of Acupuncture

1997: Michener Institute launches Canada’s first four-year acupuncture program

2001: Second HPRAC Report on the regulation of TCM

2001: The Honourable Tony Clement recommended that the profession be regulated under the RHPA and a regulatory College be formed based on the HPRAC report.

2005: Consultations with Ontarians regarding TCM and acupuncture begin

2006: Ontario's Bill 50 received Royal Assent, making us the second Province in Canada to regulate Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

2007: Ms. Emily Cheung appointed as Registrar of the Transitional Council

2008: The first public meeting of the transitional council was held, June 26

2013: Establishment of the CTCMPAO

2014: GST Exemption for Acupuncture

2014: CTCMPAO established the Doctor Title Working Group

2015: Establishment of the Council of TCM and Acupuncture Schools of Ontario

2015: First Acupuncture diploma program in Ontario community college system

2023: Update the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) to include Acupuncture when performed by a registered acupuncturist

2023: Seat to represent TCM Practitioners and Acupuncturists within CORPHA (Coalition of Regulated Health Professional Associations)

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