Copyright © 2017 Vicki Rivard. All Rights Reserved.

What led you to study and practice Traditional Chinese Medicine?

I stumbled upon TCM in my own quest for self-wellness and have not looked back since. This medicine changed my life. It changed my life, in ways I never could have expected or predicted. It is a great joy and a deep honour for me to share the gifts of this medicine with others.

What led you to add Holistic Nutrition to your practice?

Food is something we ingest every single day of our lives. As such, it plays a huge role in how well or unwell we feel. As I began to heal my own body-mind-spirit-heart, I realized that changing how I ate was key to fostering long-lasting wellness. I loved my eastern nutrition courses, which were part of my TCM training, and wanted to enhance those with western nutrition knowledge, so that I could be better equipped to make proper food and supplement recommendations—to myself, my loved ones, and my clients.

Why is your site named Mahina Medicine?

Mahina is the ancient Hawaiian goddess of the Moon. 

I have both a deep connection to Hawaii (it is where I got married to the best man I know) and to the Moon (she is my constant reminder that change is good and that women's cycles are wise & wondrous). The name Mahina Medicine came to me in a dream.

Do you treat men as well as women?

Absolutely. The focus of my practice is on treating women, but I often treat men and children as well.

Are Traditional Chinese Medicine and Holistic Nutrition regulated in Ontario?

 

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a Regulated Health Profession in Ontario. As of April 2013, all Practitioners of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncturists must be members of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO). 

 

Look for the letters R.Ac (Registered Acupuncturist) or R.TCMP (Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner) when seeking a practitioner.

Although Holistic Nutrition is not currently a Regulated Health Profession in Ontario, it has been a self-regulated profession for decades. Look for practitioners who have completed at least two years of training at a recognized learning institution and have acquired the designation RHN (Registered Holistic Nutritionist) or CNP (Certified Nutritional Practitioner).

 

What kind of training do Acupuncturists & Practitioners of Chinese Medicine have?

 

In Ontario, Acupuncturists must complete three years of full-time training, while Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine must complete four years of full-time training.  

 

People are often surprised to hear that the training does not only cover all aspects of Chinese Medicine (theory, philosophy, meridians, points, etc), but also includes western medicine courses, such as Biology, Biomedicine, Pathophysiology, Immunology, Pharmacology, as well as in-depth clinical training.

(Note that I completed four years of full-time training and continue to update my knowledge base through rich and varied continuing education.)

 

Are you a Doctor?

 

At the moment, there is no “Doctor” designation for TCM in Ontario (although there is in BC).  This designation will mostly likely come into effect within the next few years and, when it does, I will ensure that my training meets the Doctor requirements. 

 

Do you practice Ayurveda as well?

 

As part of my training at the Institute of Traditional Medicine, I completed two certificate programs in Ayurveda:  Ayurveda for Self-Care and Ayurveda for Healing the Psyche.  I incorporate the wisdom of Ayurveda in my intakes as well as in my nutritional counseling.

 

Does acupuncture hurt?

 

In the hands of a qualified acupuncturist, acupuncture does not hurt. Slight initial discomfort may happen, but tends to dissipate within a few seconds.  Other sensations, such as tingling, pulling, throbbing, or buzzing, are totally normal and often even pleasurable.

 

Isn’t acupuncture only good for pain relief?

 

In the West, acupuncture is best known as a way to treat pain.  However, it has been used, for thousands of years, in the treatment and prevention of hundreds of conditions.  The reason acupuncture is so versatile is that it treats the person, not the disease.  This means that it works to re-balance the entire being, treating the presenting disease in the process, as well as other (seemingly unrelated) symptoms.  

 

It is not uncommon for patients who initially come in with back pain as their main concern, for example, to be astounded at the other changes happening in their body as treatments progress, such as deeper sleep, clearer skin, better digestion, more energy, and overall better health.

 

Can Chinese Medicine be used in conjunction with conventional western medicine?

 

Absolutely.  Chinese medicine often supports and enhances western treatments and/or can counter-act the side effects of western drugs (chemotherapy, for example).

 

Do you treat everything or do you have a specific area of focus?

 

The beauty of Chinese Medicine (as mentioned above) is that it works to re-balance the whole person. As such, it can, indeed, treat any disharmony that is manifesting in the body-mind-spirit-heart.

 

Having said this, the majority of my practice is focused on the following: women's health conditions, fertility and pregnancy care, mental-emotional wellness (specifically anxiety and depression), insomnia and other sleep troubles, allergies and asthma, digestive disorders, and Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome.

Will my employment insurance cover treatments?

 

Many employers are now including Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in their employment insurance plans.  Check your plan to see if you are covered.

Have more questions? No problem.