NS Chapter of CMAAC - Nova Scotia Acupuncture

(the Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture Association of Canada)

The Scope of "Acupuncture"

An 'Acupuncturist' is someone who to is able to assess and apply appropriate therapy to achieve the promotion, maintenance and restoration of health and the prevention of illness using knowledge and techniques based on the specific conceptual frameworks, assessment approaches and therapeutic modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

The term 'Traditional Chinese Medicine' refers to the body of knowledge and broad range of medical practices that share common concepts, spanning thousands of years that was modernized and standardized in the 1950s.

The professional activities of Acupuncture according to TCM include diagnosis based on TCM theories; selection of principles, methods, modalities, and plans for the treatment of a patient; and the application of those treatments accordingly.TCM diagnosis is based on the following: inspection, auscultation and olfaction, inquiry, pulse taking, palpation and differentiation of syndromes according to the principles based on TCM theories.

The theories, principles and conceptual frameworks of TCM include but are not limited to: Yin and Yang, The Five Phases (Wu Xing), Eight Principles Pattern Discrimination (Ba Gang Bian Zheng), Qi, Blood and Body Fluids Pattern Discrimination (Qi, Xue, Jin Ye Bian Zheng), Viscera and Bowels Pattern Discrimination (Zang Fu Bian Zheng), The Twelve Main Meridians, the 8 Extraordinary Vessels, the Divergent Channels, The Sinew Vessels, Disease Evil Cause Pattern Discrimination (Bing Yin Bian Zheng), Externally Contracted Febrile Disease Six Channel Pattern Discrimination (Liu Fen Bian Zheng), Externally Contracted Febrile Disease Four Aspects Pattern Discrimination (Wei, Qi, Ying, Xue Bian Zheng), Three Burners Pattern Discrimination (San Jiao Bian Zheng) and the Seven Emotions.
*The 'specific points' mentioned above can include established acupuncture points located on the major meridians of the body, established 'extra' acupuncture points, points located on established microsystems such as the French, Chinese and German ear systems, the Korean hand and foot systems, the Chinese wrist and ankle systems, and the Chinese and Japanese scalp systems, so called 'ah shi' points or any reactive point identified on the body surface through palpation.

The methods and modalities used to create treatment plans, that fall within the scope of practice of  an "Acupuncturist" may include:
  1. insertion of sterile needles through the skin at specific points* ('acupuncture' in the narrow sense of the term)
  2. electro acupuncture (same as 1. but with electrical stimulation)
  3. laser acupuncture (stimulation of acupuncture point with a low level laser, without needles or puncturing the skin)
  4. scalp acupuncture
  5. moxibustion or the burning of processed mugwort (artemisia vulgaris) on or above specific points
  6. Chinese herbal medicine and prescription of herbal formulas
  7. cupping (including stationary cups and sliding cups)
  8. gua sha (dermal friction)
  9. bloodletting
  10. plum blossom needles
  11. polarity agents including magnets, ion pumping cords, diode devices and bimetals
  12. acupressure or the application of pressure to specific points
  13. tuina (traditional Chinese massage)
  14. dietary counseling based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine
  15. lifestyle counseling based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine
  16. breathing techniques
  17. meditation techniques and therapeutic movement exercises based in Traditional Chinese Medicine (e.g. Qi Gong)
  18. press balls
  19. intradermals
  20. IV (intravenous therapy) injection
  21. press tacks
  22. auriculotherapy (established microsystems such as French, Chinese, German ear systems & the NADA protocol)
  23. NAET (Nambudripad Alergy Elimination Technique)
  24. Specific acupuncture techniques and protocols (i.e. Korean hand/foot, Chinese wrist/ankle, Dr. Tan & Master Tung)
  25. Other technologies and techniques developed for use in diagnosis and treatment that apply to TCM


Membership Standards

Members Must:

  1. Uphold the Ethics Standards document approved by the Association and in keeping with the spirit of and major themes of  CMAAC Head office codes of conduct
  2. Be a Canadian citizen, a landed Immigrant or possess a valid and relevant work permit
  3. Reside in and practice in Nova Scotia
  4. Pass a criminal background check
  5. Possess proof of current malpractice insurance with coverage of at least $1 million for general liability
  6. Acquire a recommended 30 hours of continuing education credits every year with 15 hours as mandatory to maintain membership
  7. Possess proof of completion of courses in Clean Needle Techniques when not included in curriculum of their educational institution and shown on transcript
  8. As a minimum requirement, possess a diploma of acupuncture from a program at least equivalent 1900 hours full time study including a minimum of 500 hours of clinical experience, and the program and the college has to be approved by the regulated provinces of Canada, or a provincial Department of Education, or the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) in the United States, or a graduate of a full time University of TCM in China

CEU Requirements

CMAAC and NS-CMAAC require 15 mandatory hours of CEUs, every year, to renew membership, however, we expect that each member aims to set the standard higher by striving to complete an additional 15 hours in of study per annual year. 


The NS-CMAAC expects members to acquire 30 hours per year (30 CEUs) with 15 mandatory hours of Formal Education (as per the minimum requirements of CMAAC for membership renewal) and 15 additional hours as Informal Study.


1. Formal Education

  • Seminars or Workshops – all hours spent at the seminar or workshop plus 5 hours for preparation and review time (i.e. if the seminar/workshop is 1 hour in length, plus 5 hours for preparation and review of material, equals 6 hours completed in total). Members are responsible for their enrollment fees to any seminar or workshop. Documents of enrollment should be supplied as proof to the Chapter Office.” 
  • Self Study – this could include a book or instructional video pertaining directly to the profession. It is the members’ responsibility to find and/or purchase any self-study materials. The member would log the time spent in self study on which date (i.e. member studied from 1pm-2pm on Friday January 2nd, 2013) and send a copy of such log to their Chapter President.


2. Informal Study

We suggest other topics such as safety, business related topics, legal issues, case studies, bylaws, code of ethics, standards of practice, or research using books, online material, academic and professional publications by reading, researching, mentoring or teaching. These additional hours should be logged with date, time, topic, type of activity and the amount of time expended.

CEUs must be submitted at the time you renew your dues. For forms go to Governance

Application Process

Professional members must apply to the Nova Scotia Chapter of CMAAC (NS-CMAAC) to join CMAAC locally and nationally. See our Application Process.

Student members and a Student Board Member are welcome to apply. You will not be able to vote but it is an opportunity to participate and learn.

For forms go to Governance