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Night Sweats – Sleep Hyperhidrosis

Night sweats, or sleep hyperhidrosis, are episodes of excessive night time sweating even when your bedroom isn’t excessively hot. It is a fairly common problem, with many people experiencing them from time to time. Night sweating usually isn’t considered a serious medical concern, however it can be uncomfortable when it occurs regularly or interferes with sleep.

Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer's elbow, or medial epicondylitis, involves pain and inflammation on the inner side of the elbow, where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of the elbow. Symptoms include pain and tenderness on the inner side of the elbow (which may spread into the forearm and wrist), stiffness in the elbow, weakness in the hands and wrists, and numbness or tingling in one or more fingers (usually the ring and little fingers).

Chronic Fatigue

Fatigue is a feeling that most of us have probably experienced at one time or another. Whether from stress, poor eating habits, sleep deprivation, overwork, or even medical treatments, fatigue often has a lot to do with our habits and routines, though it can sometimes be caused by an underlying medical condition. But sometimes in spite of what we do, fatigue can become an ongoing problem. In severe cases, it may be diagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome, a complicated disorder without obvious onset or causes.

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is pain and discomfort experienced anywhere in your torso between your chest and your pelvis. Abdominal pain may appear as an accompanying symptom to many diseases such as abdominal masses, appendicitis, hernia, and many gynecological disturbances. In many cases of abdominal pain, no definitive diagnosis can be made, and is considered benign.

Frequent Urination

Frequent urination can have wide-ranging causes, whether due to a medical condition such as diabetes or a neurological disorder, or from poor kidney function, urinary tract inflammation, bladder infection, or certain medications. In many cases, doctors are unable to exactly identify what’s causing this symptom but nonetheless it can be an uncomfortable and difficult problem to live with.

Dizziness

Dizziness is one of the most common reasons adults visit their doctors. Although it may seriously interfere with a person’s day-to-day life, it is usually not indicative of a serious or life-threatening condition. Dizziness can be caused by many things such as an ear infection, stroke, migraine, heart problems, or anxiety disorders.

Heart Palpitations

Heart palpitations are the sensation of rapid, fluttering, or pounding heartbeats. Common causes of heartbeats include anxiety, stress, exercise, caffeine, nicotine, fever, hormonal changes in women (due to pregnancy, menses, or menopause), and certain medications. Heart palpitations may sometimes be a sign of an underlying disorder such as hyperthyroidism or abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia).

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition where there is stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint leading to a limited range of motion in the joint. Frozen shoulder usually only affects one shoulder, but some people may eventually develop it in the other shoulder as well. This condition usually develops slowly, over a period of months. The shoulder starts out in the painful stage, where pain occurs with movement and the range of motion begins to become limited. Gradually there is a decrease in pain along with a drastic decrease in the range of motion of the shoulder.

Hyperhidrosis / Excessive Sweating

Sweating is the body’s mechanism to cool itself and in most cases it is a natural and healthy response. But some people suffer from what is called hyperhidrosis- frequent or constant excessive sweating, much more than is needed to maintain a normal body temperature. Usually this happens on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and the underarms, and may also happen on the head or the chest.

Cervical Spondylosis / Neck Pain

Cervical spondylosis is a neck condition due to age-related wear and tear to the neck vertebrae. There can be soreness, distention, radiating pain or heaviness of the neck, shoulder, arm or head, and even numbness of the fingers. It is usually seen in patients over the age of forty. The cause is commonly due to degeneration of the discs and cervical vertebra which stimulates or oppresses the spinal cord or surrounding nerves in the neck region.

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a a distinct and separate medical system and practice from modern Western medicine. TCM is a highly developed professional medicine with a history of more than 2,000 years, making it the oldest, continuously practiced professional medicine in the world. It is used by one quarter of the world's population- and growing! In fact, Chinese medicine has been proven to work so well that the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended TCM for worldwide use.

Whereas modern Western medicine treats diseases, TCM views healing as a process of restoring the harmony and balance of the entire individual. By looking at each individual's particular pattern of imbalance, TCM is able to design a treatment specifically catered to bring the patient back to balance without short or long-term side effects. Because we are all so unique in our constitution and our symptoms, it follows that no two people should necessarily receive the same treatment, even if both have been diagnosed with the same Western disease.This is one of the incredible strengths of TCM, and part of what makes it such an effective complement to Western medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine uses a number of different therapies to enact healing. These include acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, dietary therapy, therapeutic massage (tui na), and healing exercises (qi gong).

Pulled Hamstring

I have had a light hamstring pull and a sore leg for 20 years or more, after 8 treatments the leg is feeling better than I can remember.

-Richard, Kelowna, BC

*Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person.

Quit Smoking

I wanted to quit smoking. I feel by coming in and relaxing with acupuncture that it certainly helped keep me honest by having a constant reminder that I am actually quitting smoking and also after many previous attempts at quitting, the acupuncture certainly seemed to completely eliminate any side effects due to quitting.

-Todd, Kelowna, BC

*Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person.

Will my insurance cover acupuncture? What about MSP, ICBC, WCB, DVA?

Acupuncture is very widely accepted and most extended medical plans do cover acupuncture. However, because every policy is different, we recommend you check with your insurer to find out the exact coverage. Most insurance plans do not require a doctor’s referral for acupuncture, however some do so again, check with your plan. We do not bill insurance companies directly, but we will provide you with an insurance receipt that you can submit to your plan for reimbursement.

MSP: MSP covers a portion of acupuncture treatments for those enrolled in the premium assistance program. This means that you are not paying full premiums for BC Medical; eligibility is based on income. If you are on the premium assistance program, MSP will cover a portion of the treatment, up to 10 treatments per calendar year. If you are not on this program but feel you should be, please contact MSP for application information.

ICBC: ICBC may allow acupuncture as part of your treatment program; if you would like to receive acupuncture, please discuss with your claims adjuster to find out more.

WCB: WSIB (WCB) may allow acupuncture as part of your treatment program; if you would like to receive acupuncture, please discuss with your claims adjuster to find out more.

DVA: Department of Veteran's Affairs covers acupuncture for certain conditions. If you would like to receive acupuncture, we will require a doctor's referral for treatment, your K number, and some additional information from you. Please call our office for more information.

5 Questions to ask your insurance company:

There is a 1-800 number on the back of your insurance card. Please call your insurance company to find out if your plan includes acupuncture benefits. Questions to ask:

1. Does your insurance policy cover acupuncture care?yes / no
2. Do you need a referral from a primary care doctor?yes / no
If yes, is your referral for a specific number of visits or specific time limit?yes / no
Does your referral need to be proved by the insurance company first?yes / no
3. Is there a dollar limit per year?
yes / no
If yes, what is the dollar limit?
4. Is there a limit to the number of visits allowed per year?yes / no
If yes, how many are allowed per year? 
5. Does your insurance company cover your conditions?yes / no

 

What is an acupuncture treatment like?

During treatment, the needles will be placed in various points on your body, then you will be left to relax with the needles in place for roughly 30 minutes. We may be using points on the torso, back, legs, or arms so loose, comfortable clothing that can be pulled up to access these areas is best. If removing some articles of clothing for treatment, we have very lightweight paper sheets available for cover if you prefer. Some patients bring clothes that they change into before treatment, such as shorts or a skirt and tank top.

During your first consultation, the practitioner will collect a complete history and detailed evaluation of your condition. The acupuncturist will ask questions relating to many different aspects of your life, not only the condition for which you are seeking treatment. The initial visit usually lasts 1.5 hours including the treatment and filling out forms. Subsequent visits usually last about 1 hour. The initial consultation is included in the first appointment at no extra cost.

It is best to eat a light meal before your appointment so that your body has energy to work with. Sometimes a person who has not eaten will feel lightheaded or weak when receiving an acupuncture treatment. In this case, inform your practitioner immediately and they will take the appropriate actions.

Do not engage in strenuous activity, drink alcohol, smoke excessively, or ingest heavy meals before or after your treatment. This will allow the body to adjust to the effects of the acupuncture.

Acupuncture typically takes a series of treatments to get the best results. It is rare for any acupuncturist to be able to resolve a problem in one treatment. The number of treatments you will need depends on the nature of your problem as well as your overall health, your age, and how you respond to acupuncture. Problems that have been around for a long time usually take more treatments to resolve than ones that have come about recently.  A general rule of thumb is for problems older than one year, it usually takes at least 10 treatments to resolve the problem. Acute problems typically take fewer treatments, ranging anywhere from 3-10 treatments.

Treatments are done on a weekly basis, usually twice a week for the first two to three weeks, and once a week thereafter. Once the condition has been controlled and you are symptom-free, the treatments are done less frequently.

What can acupuncture treat? Can it help me with my problem?

Most people think of acupuncture and its effectiveness for the treatment of pain. It is indeed very effective for all types of acute and chronic pain, ranging from injuries to arthritis, back pain, frozen shoulder and more. But acupuncture can also treat almost any condition in the body. It is effective for most internal problems such as migraines, insomnia, digestive problems, PMS and menopause, asthma, and allergies. It can also be very effective with conditions that Western medicine typically has trouble treating- conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and much more. For this reason, many people turn to acupuncture because they have tried other forms of treatment with little or no success. At Okanagan Acupuncture Centre, we have seen clients for a wide range of ailments and conditions over the years.

Acupuncture is a great option because it is very safe, has few and minor side-effects, and it aims to actually improve health. It is helping your body to perform better and helping promote your body’s own innate healing ability.

If you are wondering if acupuncture can help with your specific problem or condition, please explore the articles on our website- we have many, many articles on various health concerns and how they can be addressed with acupuncture. You may also call our office and we will be happy to answer any questions, or arrange for you to speak with our acupuncturist.

Click here to explore our acupuncture articles.

What are an acupuncturist’s qualifications?

As a provincially regulated profession, Registered Acupuncturists are required to acquire a strict level of education and practical hours and pass licensing exams in order to legally practice in BC. This ensures that Registered Acupuncturists are knowledgeable and qualified to perform safe and effective acupuncture treatments.

You may find various other health practitioners that perform acupuncture in addition to their other therapies. However, we recommend that, as with anything, if you are seeking acupuncture, to seek a practitioner with the highest level of training: a Registered Acupuncturist.

Registered Acupuncturists undergo by far the most rigorous training in the theory and practice of acupuncture. This ensures that you receive the safest and most effective treatment, and with more complex conditions, that your practitioner is well-trained in the diagnosis and treatment of such problems.

Registered Acupuncturists are licensed and regulated by the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupunturists of British Columbia (CTCMA).

Acupuncture is extremely safe and side-effects are rare when performed by a highly-trained practitioner.

Neck and Shoulder Pain

I had been suffering with a painful neck and shoulder for almost four years following a car accident. Also I was experiencing pain with my hand for a few weeks. Then I went for a few acupuncture treatments and I am happy to report that they have helped me greatly to have me free of pain.

During each treatment I was able to take a short "cat-nap", altogether an enjoyable experience. I must add here that the staff are very caring, and the treatment rooms very comfortable.

-Beatrice, Kelowna, BC

*Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person.

Sports Injuries

I am a local rock climber. I am 50 years old. I come for acupuncture first when I am injured. My body is in top form. I am also a vegetarian. I do not drink or smoke. I am expecting to climb hard into my 60's. Thanks for keeping me well.

-John, Kelowna, BC

*Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person.

Lower Back Pain

I was having severe lower back pain. I saw my medical doctor and was given pain killers. I could only sleep 3 hours at a time, waking up in pain.

I decided to try acupuncture as my father did 40 years ago and the results are way beyond my expectation. My pain is virtually gone and I am again enjoying life to its fullest.

-Ron, Kelowna, BC

*Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person.

Migraines

Migraines are severe, chronic headaches that can cause significant pain for 4 to 72 hours. The frequency with which these headaches occur varies from person to person, from several times a month to much less frequently. A typical migraine attack may include symptoms of moderate to severe pain on one or both sides of the head, head pain with a pulsating or throbbing quality, pain that worsens with physical activity, pain that interferes with regular activities, nausea, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.

Menopause

Menopause is the transitional phase of a woman’s life when menstrual function ceases, which typically spans a 2-5 year period. During this time, hormonal levels in the body are fluctuating, as estrogen and progesterone levels gradually decline and the body responds by producing higher than normal levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). The main symptoms likely to be experienced (with varying degrees of severity) are headaches, tiredness, lethargy, irritability, anxiety, nervousness, depression, insomnia, inability to concentrate, hot flashes, and sweating.

Insomnia

Insomnia is one of the most common medical complaints- more than one-third of adults have insomnia at one time or another, while 10-15% suffer from chronic insomnia. With insomnia, a person usually awakes feeling unrefreshed, over-fatigued and has a hard time concentrating during the day. Insomnia can cause daytime fatigue or sleepiness, as well as irritability, depression or anxiety, a loss in concentration and focus on tasks, increased errors or accidents, tension headaches and gastro-intestinal problems.

Hay Fever / Seasonal Allergies

Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis or seasonal allergies, is an allergic response to indoor or outdoor airborn allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander. This causes cold-like symptoms such as runny nose, congestion, sneezing and sinus pressure. For many people, hay fever is seasonal, worse at certain times of year, especially in the spring, summer or fall. But some people experience hay fever year-round. Hay fever affects about 1 in 5 people and can begin at any age but is most likely to develop in childhood or early adulthood.

Headaches

Headaches are a common ailment and can make life very difficult. Headaches can have a wide range of causes, but often the causes are not well understood by Western medicine, and in most cases do not have an identifiable underlying physical cause. To make matters worse, headaches can often be a rebound effect of the very medication that people take to relieve them. Medications are usually the standard treatment method, however some chronic daily headaches are resistant to all medications.

Knee Pain

The knee is a complex joint that works much like the hinge of a door, allowing the joint to move backward and forward, but also has the ability to twist and rotate. This makes the knee joints especially vulnerable to damage, which is why they typically sustain more injuries than do other joints.

Anemia

Anemia is a condition where there are not enough red blood cells in the blood to carry oxygen to the tissues. There are many different kinds of anemia, each with its own symptoms. The main symptoms of anemia are tiredness and fatigue. Further symptoms include weakness, pale skin, headaches, numbness or coldness in the arms and legs, problems thinking, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pain, and dizziness.

Shingles

Shingles (herpes zoster) is a viral infection that causes a painful skin rash with fluid-filled blisters. The rash is usually limited to one side of the body, occuring along the spine and running towards the chest and abdomen, but it can also appear on the head or on the arms and legs on one side. Normally the blisters disappear within a couple of days to weeks, but the pain remains. Shingles causes symptoms of pain, burning, numbness,tingling, and itching. It may also be accompanied by fever and chills, general achiness, headaches, and fatigue.

Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body, running from the spinal cord to the buttock and hip area and down the back of each leg, and about the size of your little finger. Sciatica is a condition where the sciatic nerve is irritated. The most telltale symptom of sciatica is pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve- from the lumbar area to the buttock and down the back of the leg. The pain can be anywhere from a mild ache to a severe sharp or burning pain, numbness or weak muscles along the nerve pathway, and tingling or pins and needles feeling in the toes or foot.

Heartburn / GERD

GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is commonly known as chronic heartburn or acid reflux, because of the burning sensation in the chest and sometimes throat, as well as a sour taste in the mouth, which are tell-tale symptoms. Heartburn is a symptom of a condition in which stomach acid or occasionally bile flows back into the esophagus. This constant backwash or reflux can irritate the lining of the food pipe and cause inflammation, and lead to further problems such as ulcers and constricting of the esophagus.

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a sensation of hearing noise when no external sound is present. It is a ringing, buzzing, clicking, whistling, hissing, or roaring sound that can vary in pitch and can come and go or be present all the time. In many cases the sound can be so severe that it can interfere with a person’s daily activities or even sleep. Tinnitus is not a condition itself but a symptom of an underlying condition such as hearing loss, ear injury, or a circulatory disorder. It is a difficult problem to live with and can cause fatigue, stress, sleeping problems, trouble with concentration and memory, and depression, anxiety and irritability.

Cataracts / Vision Problems

The eye is the special sensory organ which in Chinese Medicine is directly connected to the liver. The eyes require nourishment from the liver in order to see properly- if the liver is unable to do its job properly there can be blurred vision, floaters, colour blindness, dryness, soreness, itchiness, and other eye disorders. If problems continue uncorrected over time, they can develop into cataracts, or a clouding of the lens of the eye.

Hair Loss / Alopecia

Hair loss and balding, or alopecia, typically refers to excessive hair loss from the scalp and can be experienced by men, women, and children of any age. There are many types of hair loss and balding, however the focus of this article is health-related hair loss rather than genetic hair loss such as receding hair line and baldness. Health-related hair loss may include patch balding, sudden hair loss, or gradual hair thinning over time.

Eczema

Eczema is an itchy eruption of the skin that is usually more common in children but can appear in adulthood. Eczema symptoms include discoloured patches of skin, itching which may be worse at night and can be quite severe, small, raised bumps that may leak fluid and crust over when scratched, and thickened, cracked, or scaly skin. Patches most often occur on hands, wrists, arms, feet, ankles, face, neck and upper chest, and behind the knees.

High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force of the flowing blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the blood pressure rises and stays high over a period of time, causing damage to blood vessel walls. Hypertension is a dangerous condition because it often shows no symptoms, which means that a person can have it for many years before realizing it. If left uncontrolled, hypertension can lead to serious health problems including heart attack, stroke, brain damage, kidney damage, and blindness.

Teeth Grinding / Bruxism

Teeth grinding is a condition of clenching, grinding, or gnashing the teeth either unconsciously during the day, or at night while sleeping. The medical term for teeth grinding is bruxism, and nighttime teeth grinding is called sleep bruxism. Bruxism, if severe enough, can cause headaches, tooth damage and jaw problems or disorders, but it may often go undiagnosed, especially with sleep bruxism.

Sinusitis

Sinusitis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the mucus membranes that line the sinus cavities, causing the sinus membranes to secrete excessive mucus. Acute sinusitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection following an upper respiratory viral infection or an attack of allergic rhinitis (seasonal allergies). Acute sinusitis may also be caused by allergies, pressure or temperature changes, and airborne irritants such as smoke or dust. Chronic sinusitis can be due to incomplete treatment of acute sinusitis or repeated attacks of acute sinusitis.

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is a common complaint that we see often at our clinic. It is most commonly attributed to chronic ligament strain, spinal degeneration or osteoarthritis, or a prolapsed lumbar disc, problems that can be aggravated by a modern lifestyle that may involve a lot of sitting, or heavy strain from physical work or exercise.

Is acupuncture good for children?

We often get the question, "Is acupuncture safe for children?" When parents experience how well acupuncture can benefit their own condition, they wonder whether it might be an option for their child. And parents today are looking for safer alternatives to medications for conditions like asthma, allergies, insomnia, digestive ailments, anxiety, skin conditions, and more.

The great news is that acupuncture is an excellent option for children. Children are ideal acupuncture patients because they respond quickly to treatment and because of their youth and overall good health, they recover from ailments very quickly. Children typically require fewer treatments than adults. We also use extra fine needles and fewer acupuncture points in pediatric treatments, to ensure a comfortable experience.

We suggest that children be 7 years of age or older to be considered for acupuncture. You should also discuss the idea of acupuncture treatment with your child, to ensure that they are open to receiving treatment. Because children are generally quite inquisitive by nature, they generally do very well in treatment and in fact usually find the acupuncture to be quite fascinating, providing that they are open to trying the treatment.

Acupuncture is a positive option for many childhood ailments, including allergies, asthma, ear infections, digestive ailments, skin conditions, anxiety, and injuries. Please explore our articles to learn more about how acupuncture can help with these specific conditions.

If you are interested in acupuncture for your child, please call our office to discuss treatment.

PMS

Pre-menstrual syndrome or PMS, as it is often called, is the term used to describe the various emotional and physical symptoms occurring before the period. Symptoms can include depression and sadness, irritability, anxiety, lethargy, lack of concentration, aggressiveness, changes in libido, changes in bowel habits, skin eruptions, food cravings, crying, outbursts of anger, clumsiness, abdominal and breast distension, pain, water retention, weight gain, and insomnia. Symptoms vary in intensity, from mild to extremely serious, and duration, from one day to two weeks. Surveys estimate that 30-90% of women have experienced PMS at some point in their lives.

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