If you’re looking for acupuncture treatment in St. Albert or Edmonton, you’ve come to the right place.

At the Maloney Elkassem clinic in St. Albert we have been providing rapid, effective relief for our valued patients since 1997. You'll see that we utilize a variety of state-of-the-art healing methods to give you individualized care that's right for you. 

Sophia Hibbard, R.Ac is our registered acupuncturist on staff. Sophia provides both acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine services.

Sophia Hibbard

Registered Acupuncturist


Sophia Hibbard is a Registered Acupuncturist and member of the College and Association of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAAA). Her passion for alternative medicine began with her interest in nutrition while living in Toronto. She attended the Institute of Holistic Nutrition where she learned the value and importance of eating a whole food diet and its impact on health.

Sophia continued her studies at MacEwan University earning a Diploma in Acupuncture. In the final year of her program she had the opportunity to travel to Beijing China, where she com-pleted a 3 week internship. Her time spent interning in China helped to enrich her knowledge and understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Since graduating, Sophia has taken a special interest in treating musculoskeletal disorders, sports injuries and chronic pain. Sophia has completed multiple professional development courses in the Sports Medicine Acupuncture series.

In Sophia’s spare time she enjoys travelling, hiking, snowboarding and spending time with friends and family.

Acupuncture is one of the oldest health disciplines in the world, originating in China over 2500 years ago. Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body in order to encourage natural healing and normalize body function.

What is Acupuncture?

According to the classical Chinese explanation, channels of energy flow in regular patterns (called meridians) through the body and over its surface. Along the meridians are specific points that can block the flow of energy. Acupuncture is a treatment that serves to remove the block of energy and therefore activates the body's innate ability to heal. The needles stimulate the normal flow of the body's energy, or "qi" (chee), to flow and function normally, thus bringing the body back into a state of health. 

The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release neuro-chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will trigger the release of other hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system.

How does Acupuncture work?

Acupuncture can reduce or eliminate pain and improve overall bodily function, promoting both physical and emotional well being. 

Acupuncture has been successfully recommended to treat many ailments including:

What conditions can be treated by Acupuncture?

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Sports Acupuncture
  • Sports Injuries
  • Pain Management
  • Neck and Shoulder Pain
  • Low Back Pain/Sciatica
  • Knee and Leg Pain
  • Breech birth presentation
  • Pregnancy induction
  • Headaches
  • Migraines 
  • Tennis/Golfer's Elbow
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • TMJ
  • Arthritis
  • Whiplash
  • Stress
  • Asthma
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Nausea/morning sickness
  • Cold/flu symptoms
  • Hip and muscle pain
  • Depression and anxiety

Individuals with an aversion to medical needles are generally pleasantly surprised at how minimal the sensation is, as acupuncture needles are barely thicker than a human hair. 

People experience acupuncture differently, but most feel either no pain or very minimal discomfort as the needles are inserted. A dull, mild ache is often an indication of the therapeutic benefit of a treatment. 

Treatments are generally pain free with very little potential for complications.

Do the Needles hurt?

Did you find yourself wondering what all these marks were on the athletes in the 2016 Summer Olympics?

These purple marks are from an ancient Chinese healing practice called “cupping”.


What is cupping?

Cupping is one of the oldest forms of traditional Chinese medicine and has been around for thousands of years.

Specialized cups are placed on the skin, and either heat or an air pump is used to create suction between the cup and the skin. This results in pulling the skin slightly up and away from the muscle.

Cupping increases circulation, which relaxes and increases blood flow to the muscles. This usually causes purple circles on the skin as shown on some athletes in Rio 2016. 

Cupping is thought to draw blood to the affected area, reducing soreness and speeding healing of overworked muscles. Athletes who use it swear by it, saying it keeps them injury free and speeds recovery.

Drawing up the skin in the cup is believed to open up the skins pores, which helps to stimulate the flow of blood and create an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body. 

Why Cupping?


Michael Phelps holds 23 Olympic gold medals and is a big advocate of cupping. He has talked about using cupping on his sore muscles and more specifically his shoulders.

He posted this photo on Instagram of cups along his legs during the 2016 Olympics. There are also marks along his shoulders from previous treatments. 


“I’ve done it before meets, pretty much every meet I go to”
-Michael Phelps