— Music — Let’s get to the point: Does finding a career
seem like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack? Well, if you enjoy precise
work with your hands, you prefer safe and sterile conditions, and like to help
people feel healthy, look no further. You might have a career
in acupuncture. Acupuncturists use
traditional Chinese medicine to diagnose and
treat illness, physiological or
physical conditions, and injuries. They do this with a
range of techniques, by using special needles and other equipment to stimulate various points
on the body. They also treat their patients using herbal supplements, exercise, and diet. To get some pointers about this ancient practice we talked to an acupuncturist working in Alberta. — Music — Hi, my name’s Alda and I’m an acupuncturist. — Music — An acupuncturist is a holistic health practitioner. We practice Chinese medicine and people come to see us when they have a health condition that they want to
address holistically. And now you’re going
to feel the needle… The main tools that I use are very thin
acupuncture needles that I insert into specific acupuncture points in the body to stimulate
therapeutic effects. Is that OK? Some other tools
that I often use and incorporate into
treatment plans are traditional Chinese
medicinal herbs, often supplements as well. A typical day at work for me, basically starts with
my getting oriented. So I’ll usually start with
reviewing patient files so that I am well prepared and up to date on their cases for when I see them for treatments later on in the day. I will also prepare
the treatment rooms just to make sure
that they’re clean and ready to go and well-stocked with the
tools and supplies that I need for the
treatments for the day. And then I will begin to see patients. I always like to start
with a bit of a narrative and just have you tell me what’s
been going on for you, and… Every session starts
with an intake process and once I’ve determined what the problem is and
what points I need to use, I’ll usually
instruct the patient on how to get set
up on the table. So we’re gonna go
face down I’ll give them some privacy and once they’re
comfortably settled, I’ll come back to the room and I’ll insert the needles into the specific
points to treat them. You’re just going to feel
a little pin prick… Once the needles are in, we leave them in for about
twenty to thirty minutes before we remove them. An acupuncturist generally works in a clinic, or a wellness centre, and so this can be with
other acupuncturists or it can be with other
healthcare practitioners. I feel like this would be
a really good one… Some of my duties include keeping detailed, confidential, and accurate patient files, making sure that everything
is clean and safe while I’m doing treatments, and disposing of
needles appropriately. My responsibilities
also include, you know, doing patient intakes, coming up with treatment plans, establishing a treatment
plan and then communicating it
to the patients. So I’m just going to check
your pulses actually … Oh sure… Things I might examine
on a patient are their pulse, their tongue, their general appearance and their complexion. We would also listen
to patients’ breathing, abdominal sounds, and voice. Sometimes we might
examine a patient by palpating, which means through touch. The characteristics that I feel an acupuncturist
should have are being a good listener, being personable, compassionate, empathetic, supportive. I think also being
professional and articulate are
important characteristics. OK, yeah… One thing that I like to do is to make sure that
the communication lines are open between
myself and patients, and so I like to follow up by email and just check in with people and invite them to
ask me questions whenever they have any. My hours are fairly flexible. I find that being available in the evenings and weekends works well for a
lot of my patients. So, this is a really good
supplement for you to take… I did a bachelor’s
degree in biology, and then a five-year program which included a
three-month practicum in a hospital in China. In Alberta, you require to have completed an
approved acupuncture program and also to have completed a minimum of 500 practical hours within the previous two years to become licensed. So your back, you were
mentioning you’ve got back pain. I find my work really
satisfying and rewarding in that I’m helping
people to feel empowered in the face of challenges, and I feel the most proud when I can witness my time and energy
actually benefiting people. If somebody came to me expressing that they were
interested in acupuncture, I would really encourage them and tell them to go for it. It is a fascinating field, it’s amazing, it’s effective, it’s rewarding, and the growing and the
learning is limitless. — Music — If you’ve got good motor skills, are comfortable using
ancient techniques to help your patients feel well, and aren’t finicky about
using needles, you might find a
career in acupuncture to be a jab well done. Learn more about
this occupation, including
educational requirements and salary ranges, in the occupational profile on the alis website. And find out about
related occupations, like chiropractor, homeopath, and massage therapist. Explore the possibilities! Go to alis.alberta.ca — Music —

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