ABOUT PTCMAAS
How can my business become listed on the FIND A PRACTITIONER page?
You have to become a member of the Society. Membership dues are paid annually. More information on becoming a member of PTCMAAS is here.

Can I advertise on this website?
Yes! Members and non-members can advertise on this site. Please see our Advertising page for more details.


ABOUT ACUPUNCTURE
Does acupuncture hurt?  
Acupuncture is rarely described as painful. Typically, when the needle is inserted into the skin, there may be a pinprick sensation followed by a dull achy sensation. However, the needling sensation often relies on the skill and the intent of the practitioner. Acupuncture needles are designed with a doweled end and therefore do not cneedlesut the skin as regular injection needles do. Instead, they separate fibres to reach the acupuncture point.  

Is acupuncture safe?
When practiced by a skilled and well-trained practitioner, acupuncture is completely safe. It is possible to inflict injury with an acupuncture needle if the person providing the acupuncture is not properly trained or does not know what they are doing. When in doubt, ask about length and location of your acupuncturist's training. Furthermore, you may ask if your practitioner is a Member of PTCMAAS. A full membership status indicates that your practitioner has met our education and safety standards.

Are the needles clean?
Before undergoing any acupuncture treatment, ask the practitioner if the needles are single use (disposable). You may also inquire about how they dispose of their needles. You should see your practitioner place used needles into a Sharps container designed for proper disposal. Proper hand washing should also be observed.  

What conditions does acupuncture treat?
The world health organization lists many diseases that acupuncture is able to treat.

The most common uses for acupuncture in the West include:
  •     pain management,
  •     stress,
  •     drug abuse,
  •     smoking,
  •     gastrointestinal (GI) disorders,
  •     gynecological and obstetric problems,
  •     fibromyalgia, and
  •     chronic fatigue.
However, acupuncture can be used to treat a number of symptoms and conditions that do not have a specific Western Medicine diagnosis. Traditional Chinese Acupuncturists will use a series of questions and observations to arrive to a pattern diagnosis, and determine if it is possible to treat your condition with acupuncture.

Is TCM or Acupuncture covered by insurance?
  • Many Saskatchewan employee insurance plans cover acupuncture treatments and assessments to some degree. A few insurance plans cover overall TCM including herbal treatment. Check your insurance policy or your Human Resources (HR) office.
  • Saskatchewan Health does not cover acupuncture or TCM.
  • SGI Auto does cover acupuncture under specific conditions. Ask your SGI Claims case worker.
  • Acupuncture treatments provided by PTCMAAS members are covered by these insurance providers.
  • Individual PTCMAAS members may be covered by other insurance providers.
Since providers, policies, and professional association agreements do change, the most certain way to know your current coverage is to ask your own insurance provider.

Are Acupuncture or TCM expenses tax-deductible?
PTCMAAS does not give tax advice. We recommend that patients consult an accountant or contact the Canada Revenue Agency for advice.  

Is GST/HST charged on acupuncture treatment?
In 2014, the Canadian government changed GST for acupuncture services in Canada.
“The professional services of acupuncturists and naturopathic doctors are now regulated as a health profession in
at least five provinces. Accordingly, this measure adds acupuncturists and naturopathic doctors to the list of
health care practitioners whose professional services rendered to individuals are exempt from the GST/HST. The
new exemption only applies to the professional services of acupuncture and naturopathy rendered by provincially
recognized acupuncturists and naturopathic doctors.” http://www.fin.gc.ca/pub/C31/02-eng.asp

The rules which apply to acupuncture practitioners are in the “Exempt Supplies” sections of the Excise Tax Act –
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-15/page-172.html (search for “acupuncture”).

According to the law, a practitioner who supplies acupuncture services means a person who
“where the person is not required to be licensed or otherwise certified to practise the profession in that
province, has the qualifications equivalent to those necessary to be so licensed or otherwise certified in
another province.”

Acupuncture is unregulated in Saskatchewan, so no license is required to practice. To clarify how the GST exemption
should apply in Saskatchewan, CRA gave me the following information (Feb. 13, 2014):
• An "acupuncturist" is what the provinces with regulation define an acupuncturist is, in other words a licensed
acupuncturist.
• If practitioners in unregulated provinces have a recognized license from one of the regulated provinces, they will be
considered an "acupuncturist" who is exempt from charging GST for acupuncture services.
• If a practitioner does not have a license from a regulated province, they must decide for themselves if they meet the
training requirements for a regulated province [this approach is called the “honour system”].
• If CRA decides to audit an unlicensed practitioner in an unregulated province, they will assess that practitioner's
training, etc., and then decide if the person meets their requirements to be exempt from charging the GST.

Presumably if they decide the person does not meet their requirements, that person must then pay the uncollected GST.
CRA does not plan to assess all unlicensed practitioners who call themselves "acupuncturists".

PTCMAAS was formed, in part, to prepare for TCM and acupuncture licensing requirements in Saskatchewan. We
anticipate that such licensing requirements will be substantially similar to the requirements in regulated provinces.
Therefore, our membership requirements are the same as in those provinces. (Our requirements are detailed in our
bylaws at http://www.saskacupuncture.ca/index.php/about/bylaws). Although we believe that approved PTCMAAS
members meet the requirement for exemption (Excise Tax Act, Schedule V. II. 1. c.), if there is ever a question, the
CRA (not PTCMAAS) will decide if someone is exempt.

Some people may offer acupuncture as only a supplement to another practice. If they don’t have the same training, they
may have to charge GST on acupuncture. However, TCM/A is the primary practice of PTCMAAS’s members. Our
practice requires extensive professional training and qualification. Although, we believe that CRA’s attention to
standards recognizes this distinction, each member should try to understand the law clearly to decide about charging
GST. We recommend consulting a tax professional.

Finally, I wish to mention a few related points.
• Some practitioners with very small businesses did not have to charge GST before the 2014 change. Although this
exemption change will probably not affect those people’s business practices, they should keep in mind that GST
still applies to other services that they might provide. Also, if their income rises above the business-size exemption
level, they might still be liable for GST on the overall business. We recommend consulting a tax professional.
• Some practitioners registered for GST before 2014 mainly because they had to collect it from their patients, and
now they are thinking of deregistering. However, deregistering may affect their accounting practices in ways that
are not related to acupuncture services. We recommend consulting a tax professional.
• Cosmetic service supply is treated distinctly in the Excise Tax Act. Many acupuncturists provide “Cosmetic
acupuncture” under various names. It might be helpful to contact CRA or a tax professional for guidance on GST
for cosmetic treatment.

David Ip
President, PTCMAAS
April 3, 2017