Karen Ritchie, Acupuncturist

Services & Rates

Meridian Stress Assessment

$175 per Initial session (1.25 hours)

What is Meridian Stress Assessment (MSA)?

If you have a few minutes, please watch the video from CTV, Live at 5 -  starring Penny Ormsbee, Holistic Nutritionist and myself being interviewed about MSA testing . . .     http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=407839534025

Meridian Stress Assessment or computerized sensitivity testing is a non-invasive, safe, pain-free, and highly developed method of determining imbalances in the body.  Dr. Reinhold Voll, a German medical doctor, discovered and developed this technique in the early 1940s.  The system used is the MSAS®  – by BioMeridian. www.biomeridian.com

This technology is similar to the Polygraph, Electrocardiogram (ECG), and other technologies that measure electrical energy of the body.  It is not used to diagnose or treat disease as defined by conventional medicine, yet many doctors recommend it.  Sensitivity testing allows early detection of tendencies toward disease, toxicity and imbalances before they become outwardly manifested.

The process involves measuring electrical conductivity by touching on acupuncture points (meridian points) on the hands and feet using a handheld stylus.  Acupuncture points are related to the body's organ systems.  Major groups of points are connected through channels, or meridians beginning or ending on the hands and feet.  

The results of testing are recorded and assessed by a sophisticated software program. Once imbalances are identified, recommendations are made to help you reach optimum health.

How is it Useful?

  • Meridian Stress Assessment takes the guesswork out of what your body needs or doesn’t like, and can tell you and your health practitioner  more about your current state of health.
  • It can assess the effectiveness of supplements and treatment protocols you are currently taking.
  • It provides you with immediate results in the form of a computerized printout of your test results along with remedy suggestions for correction of any energy imbalances.

What Can You Test For?

  • Organ dysfunction or imbalance
  • Specific food sensitivities
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and aluminum
  • Inhalants such as dust, plants, grasses and animals
  • Candida, mold and fungi
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Vitamin/Mineral imbalance
  • Digestive problems
  • Parasites, viruses, and bacteria
  • Thyroid imbalance, and much more.


$110 per 1 hour session

Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used forms of medicine in the world. Originating in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture is currently one of the most thoroughly researched, practiced, and respected forms of complementary medicine available anywhere.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, your overall health is determined by the quality of the Qi (energy) flow through the natural pathways of your body (meridians). Acupuncture uses a variety of techniques, including placing very thin sterile needles into specific points on the body, to stimulate and improve your Qi flow. The many benefits of acupuncture include:

  • Pain reduction
  • Stress and tension relief
  • Increased energy levels
  • Stronger digestion
  • Relief from bad habits and addictions
  • Greater sense of overall health and well-being


Cupping has been a part of Chinese Medicine for over 2,500 years. It relieves aches and pains, improves circulation, and also helps with respiratory and digestive issues. I simply place a specialized "cup" onto specific points on your body, and then use suction to draw your skin up into the cups. It doesn't hurt — it simply draws fresh blood to that area of your body, which facilitates the cleansing and strengthening of your Qi (energy). The end result is a greater overall sense of health and well-being.


Moxibustion is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing and health. Moxibustion has been used for healing purposes throughout Asia for thousands of years. The purpose of moxibustion, as with most forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of Qi (energy), and enhance your overall vitality and health.

Among other benefits, a landmark study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998 found that 75.4% of women suffering from breech presentations before childbirth had fetuses that rotated to the normal position after receiving moxibustion at an acupuncture point on the bladder meridian.

Herbs & Nutrition


Herbs are a powerful medicine and should not be taken without the direction of a healthcare professional who is aware of the possible side effects and interactions with other medications.   After thoroughly evaluating a client with both Oriental Medicine diagostics and the Meridian Stress Assessment test, I then will 'muscle test'* the herbal remedy on the MSAS, and only then do I suggest that they use a particular herbal formula. 

The majority of the herbal rememdies that I carry and recommend are from a Nova Scotia company that has 'certified organic' products.  The traditional Chinese formulas that I carry are manufactured in the United States following stringent standards to ensure purity, potency and safety.  These Chinese herbs are free of colorings, pharmaceuticals, preservatives, and sugar. 

*Based on the concept of internal energy fundamental to traditional Chinese medicine, muscle testing is a noninvasive way of evaluating the body’s imbalances and assessing its needs. It involves testing the body’s responses when applying slight pressure to a large muscle, to provide information on energy blockages, the functioning of the organs, nutritional deficiencies, and food sensitivities, among other things. It can also be used to test the body’s responses to herbs and other remedies.


Nutritional guidance is given after each Meridian Stress Assessment testing.  There is a computerized print out of all the foods that have been tested against the client.  If there are foods that should be avoided (sometimes some are for a short period of time), we discuss specific alternatives and where they can be purchased.  Most individuals find it quite shocking at first, but when they return for a follow-up visit, they usually report that they are pleasantly surprised  --- it is not as 'horrible' as they had thought!  The guidance I give in nutrition is based on Oriental Medicine theory and knowledge picked up over the years.

If more in-depth Nutrition or other guidance is required,  Ocean Heart Wellness Centre has a Registered Holistic Nutritionist - Penny Ormsbee.

Energy Healing

$110 per 1 hour session

In addition to Acupuncture, I will often use some Reiki and/or CranioSacral Therapy in a treatment.


Reiki is a Japanese form of energy work that cleanses and balances the energy system in the body. As a result, the body's natural self-healing mechanisms strengthen, helping to establish optimum health. During a session, I work directly with your energy field to remove blockages, detoxify your system, and restore your vital life force energy. Reiki utilizes a gentle laying on of hands to conduct the necessary energy force between us. The benefits of Reiki range from the release of habitual mental/emotional stress to alleviating chronic pain.

CranioSacral Therapy

 For a detailed explanation of CranioSacral Therapy, I suggest you 'google' CranioSacral Therapy and look at the explanation that Wikipedia gives.  If you would like to experience what CranioSacral Therapy is on a deeper level, then I will be happy refer you to someone who is certified or practiced it much longer than I have.