Michelle Phillips

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture  |  Musculoskeletal Pain  | Cancer Care | Nutrigenomics | Diet and Nutrition Optimization

Helping you thrive, not just survive.

Until the age of 34, I thought Acupuncturists were quacks.

Look at me now!! I came to be an Acupuncturist via the scenic route, starting with a Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Biology, then a Master’s of Science in Human Genetics, followed by 15 years of working with patients in hospitals, and finally, after a lightbulb moment, back to school for another 5 years to do my Acupuncture and TCM Diploma. All told, 30 years working in health care, and I have the grey hairs to prove it.

My passion for medicine has never wavered and I have helped 1000’s of patients with a wide variety of health challenges. Humans have an innate ability to heal, and guiding that process is what I love to do. Life should be more than just surviving day after day. Nobody aspires to just eat, sleep and work. I understand that desire to do more, to actually thrive — connect with your tribe, enjoy activities with family and friends, hang out with furry four-leggeds — it’s all about feeling great and being able to do what makes life meaningful. I look forward to helping you feel your best so you can live the extraordinary life you deserve.

Challenges I can help you with:

Addictions | Allergies | Anxiety | Arthritis | Autoimmune Disease | Back Pain | Cancer Care | Carpal Tunnel | Colds and Flu | Depression | Diabetes | Facial Rejuvenation | Fibromyalgia | Headaches | HIV and Aids | Hypertension | IBS | Insomnia | Menopause | Multiple Sclerosis | Muscles, Tendons, Ligaments and Joints | Neck Pain | Pain | Pet Wellness | PMS |  Quit Smoking | Stress | Weight Loss

Want to know more?

Michelle Phillips is a proud member of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia and College of Acupuncturists of Alberta. Michelle is also a member of the British Columbia Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Practitioners, Alberta Association of Acupuncturists and Traditional Chinese Medical Doctors, College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies, and holds an international certificate in Oncology Acupuncture.

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture is a complete system of medicine that allows a properly trained and qualified practitioner to manage many different health concerns. TCM acupuncture can be used alone or in conjunction with other systems of medicine to help facilitate improvement in health and resolution of symptoms. The goal of TCM acupuncture treatment is to resolve health issues and to restore and maintain the body’s natural state of wellness. It is a unique system of medicine that utilizes and encourages the bodies innate ability to heal. The documented physiological effects of TCM acupuncture support the observed clinical benefits. Like any form of medicine, it is both a science and an art.

What is TCM acupuncture?

TCM Acupuncture is a complete system of medicine, based on Traditional Chinese Medicine foundations, that has been updated and modernized to reflect the science and research behind it.  TCM acupuncture has physiological effects on the immune system, nervous system, and cardiac system to name a few.  Insertion of needles at various points on the body causes a response that may include changes in hormone levels, immune cells, neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain) and other cellular responses.  In short, it can make you feel awesome!!

What should I expect?

When you schedule your first appointment, you will be sent an intake form, with your appointment confirmation, to complete and submit prior to your appointment. During your appointment, we will review your form together and do an appropriate physical exam which may include taking your pulse and looking at your tongue.  Based on the findings during your assessment, a treatment plan will be created to address the challenges you are currently experiencing. We will discuss the best treatment options for you and answer any questions you have.  Needles are most commonly used to stimulate various points on the body which bring about the changes that promote healing.  And take it from a wimp (that’s me!!) acupuncture needles are virtually painless.  Some spots will be more sensitive than others, but most you probably won’t even feel.  You get to relax and listen to music or sleep for 20-30 minutes on a very comfy treatment table (with a warmer on if you like) and a foot warmer.  Then the needles are removed and you’re done!

Is acupuncture safe for children?

In short, the answer is yes. Acupuncture can be used on a person of any age.  The youngest patient I have treated was a two week old infant who had constipation. Children generally respond really well to acupuncture.  The trick is convincing them that letting someone stick needles in them is a good idea.  If that doesn’t fly, there are other options like Acutonics, acupressure and laser.  Monashee Health Collective also has an amazing Chiropractor, Dr. Kelly Perrott, who has a special interest in treating infants and children.  With team work, we can usually create a treatment plan that works for your child.

How many treatments will I need?

The number and frequency of treatments depends on various factors – the severity of the condition being treated, how long you’ve been experiencing symptoms, what your diet and lifestyle are like, and how open you are to making any recommended changes.  As a general rule, I tell patients that they should start to notice changes/improvements after 4-6 treatments, and usually feel significant improvements after about 10 treatments.  Keep in mind this is only a general guideline.  The longer you have had symptoms or have felt unwell, the longer it generally takes to get you back on track. 

Will my insurance cover acupuncture?

At Monashee Health Collective we offer direct billing to a large number of insurance providers. Though most extended health benefits cover acupuncture, we recommend checking with your provider prior to your first treatment, to confirm whether you have coverage. Here are a few questions to ask:

  • Will my plan cover acupuncture?
  • How many visits per calendar year?
  • Do I need a referral?
  • Do I have a deductible?
  • If yes, has it been met?
How should I prepare?
  • Wear comfortable clothes that are easy to tuck and roll.  Most treatments are done with clothing on but usually require some adjusting to access commonly used points, such as at the elbows, knees or on the belly. 
  • Please make sure you have something to eat prior to your treatment and avoid caffeine the day of your treatment, especially if you are coming in for a concern related to pain. 
  • Do not use recreational drugs or alcohol on the day of your appointment.
  • Following your treatment, regular daily activities are fine but doing strenuous workouts or intense activity is not recommended.