The Alex Centre

CITCM has been working with The Alex providing free supervised acupuncture services to the people in need since January 2014. The Alex is a non-profit organization that focuses in crisis prevention and giving preventative care in a welcoming, easy to access environment. The Alex Health Centre is for low-income Calgarians who do not have a regular family doctor. We are very proud and honored to be part of The Alex health centre team and will continue to provide the acupuncture services as needed.


The Mustard Seed

For many years CITCM has offered massage interns the opportunity to complete their massage practicum at The Mustard’s Seed. The Mustard’s Seed is a non-profit community centre that provides assistance to the underprivileged, such as access to health and wellness, shelter, meals, basic necessities, and employment assistance. Our massage students are grateful for the opportunity to assist those who do not have access to extended health benefits by providing regular, complementary massage therapy treatments.

The Mustard SeedThe Mustard Seed


Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre

CITCM Acupuncture Offsite Clinic was first set up back in October 2012 at Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre in Calgary. The Acupuncture Clinic is operated by CITCM Interns and Supervisor (a Registered Acupuncturist) and opens every Tuesday evening from 5:00PM – 8:00PM serving Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre residents free of charge. Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre’s mission is to create thriving and prosperous communities, within and outside the walls of the organization by providing shelter, housing, and wrap-around supports to Calgary’s most vulnerable people – those experiencing homelessness and those struggling through extreme poverty. Being part of the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre for more than 6 years now is very rewarding to many of our interns and supervisors. We are deeply thankful to have the opportunity to work and experience with various patients as part of the learning and be able to contribute our time, skills, and knowledge to the Calgary’s most vulnerables.


In the News

Published on Metro News Calgary on Sunday March 15, 2015. By:

Calgary’s most vulnerable benefiting from ancient Chinese medicine

Some of Calgary’s most vulnerable populations are trying a new medicine with ancient roots.

Not being able to sit in a chair for more than a few minutes, or work at a computer without experiencing pain, Michelle Bella said the chronic ache in her right shoulder had her at her “wits’ end.”

With medication and physiotherapy not helping the injury, Bella’s doctor recommended she try acupuncture. However, with her husband’s benefits only covering a few sessions, costs of the treatment would have presented a challenge.

Now, with the help of a partnership between the Alex Community Health Clinic and the Canadian Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine (CITCM), she’s been able to access the service free of charge and said the change has been drastic.

“The pain has gone away, it’s just amazing,” she said of her treatment. “I don’t like needles myself, but you don’t feel them when they go in.”

The Alex Community Health Clinic is just one of three locations where the CITCM is providing the service, as they’re also treating clients of the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre and the Alex’s Abbeydale Place as well.

CITCM executive director Xia Cheng said one goal of the institute is to ensure that there is “acupuncture access for everyone” noting the service also deals with emotional and mental stress as well.

“We’re not only there to give them acupuncture,” she said. “We do talk with them, we do have a lot more one-on-one contact and conversations.”

Officials with the Alex say providing acupuncture to its clients was a unique opportunity, as for many, it’s something they would never get to experience.

“I honestly believe that many of our clients would never have the ability to go and see an acupuncturist,” said Alex health programs manager, Loretta Dobbelsteyn.

She said an introduction to new medicine in a safe space is important.

While the Alex is currently treating chronic pain with acupuncture, the clinic has been monitoring its effectiveness, in hopes of expanding the program to help treat those dealing with substance abuse and addiction issues.