Registered Acupuncturist Melanie McLeod recently opened Apricus Wellness in the Old Courthouse building on Hudson Avenue in downtown Salmon Arm. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Place of healing: Salmon Arm acupuncturist opens new practice in Old Courthouse

Melanie McLeod discovered acupuncture while working with the Vancouver Canucks

For her own practice, Apricus Wellness, owner Melanie McLeod wanted to create a space where healing begins the moment you walk in the door.

McLeod is a Registered Acupuncturist who, after working with another clinic in Salmon Arm, recently had an opportunity to fulfill a goal of opening a clinic of her own. At Apricus Wellness, located in the former tourism information centre at the historic Old Courthouse building, McLeod offers acupuncture services and barre-style movement classes.

McLeod said the space, which includes three private treatment areas as well as a bright, open area for barre classes and other programs, is also being used by other local experts to offer workshops and small group classes such as meditation and breath work.

“I wanted to create a space where healing starts as soon as people walk in the door…,” said McLeod, “and where I could bring what I have to offer through acupuncture and Chinese medicine and the movement together.”

McLeod said she and her husband moved in July 2020 to Salmon Arm, where she could be closer to her parents who live in White Lake. However, McLeod isn’t a stranger to the city. She attended school in Salmon Arm between 2001/02. During that time, she played Bantam hockey on an otherwise all boys team coached by Terry Tarnow out of Shaw Centre. Her involvement with hockey led her to a career in sponsorship and marketing with the Vancouver Canucks hockey club for several years.

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McLeod’s interest in acupuncture developed after she sought acupuncture treatment for pain developed while running.

“It took some time for me to realize that I was being pulled in another direction,” said McLeod. “I had a great career going, but couldn’t shake this feeling that I was supposed to be helping people.”

McLeod went back to school for a three-year program in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture.

“What’s nice is that people are gaining awareness around acupuncture,” said McLeod. “People are starting to want to have a more active role in their wellness.”

Asked about misconceptions around acupuncture, McLeod said it is sometimes referred to as fake medicine, though the practice has been around for thousands of years, is a designated health profession under the Health Professions Act and is regulated under the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia.

Asked if there’s any pain involved, McLeod said most people would say you feel the needle go in, but it doesn’t hurt. “There’s an awareness, a bit of pressure, as you put the needle in, and once it’s in people forget that they’re there and they just rest in a nice and relaxed state,” said McLeod. “Your mind knows the needles are there but you don’t actually feel them anymore. They’re very thin, they’re as thin as a hair.”

Another misconception around acupuncture, said McLeod, is that it is only for pain management, adding that’s what lead her to it.

“At the same time (during treatment) I was recognizing I’m sleeping better, my digestion is better, I feel better, I have more energy, my skin is better,” said McLeod.

For more information, or to make an appointment, visit or call 250-253-5609.

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