Acupuncture comes to Canada: The struggle for professional recognition, 1970-1996.

Title: Acupuncture comes to Canada: The struggle for professional recognition, 1970-1996.
Authors: Yuan, Wei.
Date: 2001
Abstract: Drawing material from news media, organizational archives, medical journals, governmental and legislative documents as well as oral history interviews, this study examines the introduction and development of acupuncture in Canada covering the period from 1970 to 1996. It is a social professional and legislative history with an analytical narrative approach. The knowledge transfer of acupuncture from China to Canada and its cultural adaptation were part of the ongoing holistic health movement and results of new public policies in diplomacy, immigration, culture and health care. Medicalization of acupuncture was the response of the Canadian medical profession to gain control of the practice of acupuncture. Its tactics included: claiming acupuncture as a medical act, simplifying acupuncture to a technique, and subordinating and excluding traditional acupuncturists. In practice, brief training sessions were provided to a large number of physiotherapists and physicians. The study also notes the changing attitude of orthodox medicine toward acupuncture. The thesis focuses on the intricate relations of the acupuncturists, the medical establishment, the government, the judicial system and the public. The conflicts and frictions among these parties are illustrated. Rival acupuncture groups were created in Quebec in the 1970s and a united front was formed at the end of 1980s. The Acupuncture Association of BC had directed the acupuncture movement in that province since 1974. Organizational activities started in Alberta and Ontario in the early 1980s. The acupuncturists' strategies for professionalization are described and analyzed. Acupuncturists had struggled in a very challenging environment created by the medical establishment and the existing legislative framework. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, acupuncturists were prosecuted in Quebec and BC. The courts in Alberta (1979) and Ontario (1980), however, interpreted the law in favor of non-medical acupuncture. The connection of new health policies to the emergence of acupuncture as a professionalized health care system is depicted and explained. By the mid-1990s, traditional acupuncture had obtained public recognition and political endorsement in BC, Alberta and Quebec with Ontario following suit. In short, this thesis shows how the acupuncturists' struggle plus the changing societal attitudes brought about the legitimacy of acupuncture in Canada at the end of the 20th century.
CollectionTh├Ęses, 1910 - 2010 // Theses, 1910 - 2010
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