Acupuncture

Home/Acupuncture
1 06, 2016

Managing Stress with Acupuncture

Whether physical or mental, we all experience stress to varying degrees. Stress plays a huge role in our everyday health and  can aggravate health conditions that we already have. Routine, chronic stress can in the long run lead to serious physical and mental health consequences if not managed properly. Consider these facts: Up to 90%

25 05, 2016

9 Ways Acupuncture Can Improve Your Life

Acupuncture is a simple and useful treatment that can help you sleep better and resolve insomnia.   Acupuncture is probably best-known for relieving aches and pains- it can treat injuries, back pain and discomfort effectively and without medications.   Acupuncture can eliminate fatigue, increase energy and put the spring back in your step.   Lower

6 04, 2016

WHO Official Position on Acupuncture

  In 2003 the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a report called “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials.” The WHO's 87-page report specifically listed 28 diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proven through controlled trials to be an effective treatment. Nearly

28 03, 2014

Acupuncture Kelowna Experts Stimulate Healing Processes of the Body

Acupuncture has been in use for thousands of years and even today it is a widely practiced form of complementary medicine in Kelowna in British Columbia, Canada as well as all parts of the world. Kelowna, the largest city in the Okanagan Valley has its fair share of allergy sufferers who love the beauty of

25 10, 2013

The Amazing Therapy Acupuncture Treats Pain Effectively

Originating from China, acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years and today this therapy is a widely practiced and accepted form of complementary medicine. It was a Dutch doctor who first introduced this kind of treatment in 1683 after he spent a number of years in Nagasaki, Japan, and in fact the first edition

11 10, 2013

How Can Acupuncture Improve Your Health?

Acupuncture is a very old Chinese medical treatment which has been used for more than 2,000 years. Acupuncture therapy today is used by practitioners in mainstream medicine to complement treatment courses for patients who are suffering from over 40 different medical conditions. There are numerous benefits of this type of treatment, enjoyed by many patients

13 07, 2012

Zu San Li

“Why did you use that point?” 
It’s one of the most common questions acupuncturists are asked during an acupuncture treatment.  The answers give insight into the fascinating theory of Chinese medicine and how acupuncture works. 
Zu San Li: A Key Acupuncture Point
Zu San Li (zoo san lee)  is located about three inches below the knee on the outside of the shin bone. Most people who’ve had acupuncture are familiar with this point because it is used to treat so many different conditions. In fact, it is considered one of the most vital acupuncture points because of its wide range of effects on the body.
Zu San Li can help:
  • strengthen the spleen and stomach to treat a wide range of digestive disorders
  • resolve dampness that can cause both digestive problems and mental disorders
  • support and build qi to encourage health and vitality
  • clear fire and calm the spirit to balance emotions, and treat anxiety and mood disorders
  • activate the channels and alleviate pain by encouraging circulation when there are blockages
  • treat digestive problems, emotional disorders, pain and injuries, as well as dizziness, tinnitus, heart palpitations, headaches, and high blood pressure
Why is Zu San Li considered so important?
One reason is its location on the stomach meridian, the meridian with the most qi and blood. Points on the stomach meridian, particularly Zu San Li, can influence the entire body and bolster the effectiveness of a treatment. 
Our ability to process food plays a foundational role in our health and the strength of our digestive system can determine how quickly we recover from an illness or ailment. Indeed this meridian can sustain life. The stomach meridian travels up the chest and through the center of the breast and is the channel that provides nutrients and sustenance during breastfeeding. 
Zu San Li is among the most important acupuncture points because of its ability to support the body’s qi and maintain our health and vitality as we age.  Many classical textbooks of Chinese medicine recommend stimulating this point regularly for health and vitality, particularly after the age of 30. Its profound strengthening effect can help build the body’s qi energy as it declines naturally with age.
Putting Zu San Li to Work for You
You can tap into the benefits of Zu San Li by stimulating the point using daily acupressure. To find it, measure three inches down from the dimple below your kneecap and one finger’s width away from your shin bone to the outside of the leg. Apply firm pressure for one to two minutes. Stimulating this point daily can help to maintain the body's overall health and balance.
Interested in learning more about Chinese medicine and acupuncture? Visit Okanagan Acupuncture Centre at our downtown Kelowna location, or contact us for more info!

21 06, 2012

How Does Acupuncture Work?

An acupuncturist looks at the health of the body as a whole, diagnosing which areas are not functioning at a normal, healthy state and how this influences the health of the rest of the body. Typically an acupuncturist will talk in terms of imbalances or blockages in the body’s normal flow of energy, and uses acupuncture to influence this flow of energy in order to promote healing and resolve the problem.

There are many modern theories about how acupuncture works on the body, but the truth is that it is still not fully understood. Research shows that acupuncture has various physiological effects on the body, including:

  • stimulating the secretion of neurotransmitters such as endorphins to influence the immune system
  • normalizing the autonomic nervous system and reducing pain
  • influencing the electrical system of the body to facilitate healing between normal and injured tissues
  • affecting the blood concentration of blood components such as cholesterol and triglycerides, to promote homeostasis

Okanagan Acupuncture Centre is located downtown Kelowna at 1625 Ellis St.

21 06, 2012

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Acupuncture usually doesn't hurt much at all. Acupuncture needles are very small and fine- about the thickness of a cat’s whisker and typically you will not notice the needles being inserted. Depending on the area of the body and the person, you may experience minor discomfort when the needle is first inserted, a feeling like a bee sting or a pinch. However, a skilled acupuncturist is very good at gentle insertion and minimizing discomfort. Acupuncture can be a deeply relaxing, pleasant experience and some of us even use the treatment time as an opportunity for napping!

Okanagan Acupuncture Centre is located downtown Kelowna at 1625 Ellis St.

 

21 06, 2012

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine, sterile, disposable needles into various points on the body. Acupuncturists do this to influence the flow of energy, stimulate the body’s healing response, and restore normal functions of the body. Acupuncture is based on the premise that our bodies have a self-healing ability- acupuncture reminds the body of what it already knows but has forgotten: how to heal itself. Today, acupuncture is receiving wide acceptance as a respected, valid, and effective form of health care because of one fact- it works!

Okanagan Acupuncture Centre is located downtown Kelowna at 1625 Ellis St.

10 04, 2012

Getting Help for Allergies with Acupuncture

Rick is an active 42-year-old-man who came to us a few years ago complaining of allergy symptoms that kept him from enjoying the outdoor activities he loved. Rick was using over-the-counter medication to treat his symptoms, but found they were ineffective or produced side effects that were nearly as bad as the allergy symptoms themselves.

Digging Deeper

When we first saw Rick, we noticed his energy was low. Digging deeper, we discovered he often woke up tired and had trouble falling and staying asleep at night. He also complained of lower back pain in spite of being in great shape.

Rick’s symptoms indicated he had a lung and kidney qi-energy deficiency. We knew Rick’s kidneys were deficient because of his lower back pain and because his pulse was weak in the kidney position. The kidneys help keep the lungs strong and healthy so weak lung qi-energy can also be a sign of weak kidney qi-energy.

man enjoying outdoors allergy free

A Plan for Treatment

Allergies often develop in the sinuses after repeated colds and flu that can weaken the sinuses to the point where they may never fully recover.

To remedy this, we focused Rick’s acupuncture treatment on the sinus points as well as the lung and kidney points. This opened, cleared, and stimulated the sinuses so they would function properly and be strong enough to withstand environmental aggravators such as allergens, wind, colds and flus, and cold weather.  

Because the lungs are associated with sinus health and the kidneys support the lungs, we targeted both organs in acupuncture treatment to help promote sinus and respiratory health. By doing this, we were able to treat Rick’s allergy symptoms and address the underlying internal conditions that were contributing to his allergies.

Rick’s allergies improved immediately and became less severe over the course of treatments. After 10 treatments, his symptoms resolved and we recommended he return for treatment before the start of the next allergy season.

Today, Rick’s symptoms are mild and infrequent and we are able to focus on other ailments and to strengthen his overall health and body balance. He continues to come in regularly before allergy season, but needs only a few treatments to keep his symptoms in check.  Rick is doing great and is able to enjoy his time in the outdoors year round, thanks to the benefits of acupuncture and Chinese medicine (TCM) for seasonal allergies.

Wondering if acupuncture can help with your condition? Contact Okanagan Acupuncture Centre at our downtown Kelowna location.

10 04, 2012

Back Pain Successfully Resolved

Read how one of our patients successfully resolved back pain with acupuncture!

Back pain and sciatica are painful conditions we see often at the Okanagan Acupuncture Centre and thankfully have remarkable success treating. In some cases, pain results from sitting at a desk for extended periods or from physically demanding work. In others, it may be caused by an old injury or a degenerative condition like arthritis.

Frank is a 45-year-old patient of ours who recently came in for sciatica problems so severe he was bedridden, barely able to walk, and taking Tylenol 3s for the pain. No specific injury had occurred to trigger the condition, however Frank said he’d experienced back pain on and off for nine years. This recent flare up had gone on for two weeks and showed no signs of improving.

man enjoying skiing

Patient History

Frank is physically fit, however he has a tendency to burn the candle at both ends and has recently noticed a decline in his energy level. He works hard during the week and spends much of his time on his feet completing repetitive tasks. On the weekends, he enjoys skiing, hiking, and climbing.

An examination found Frank’s tongue looked normal. His pulse also seemed fine, although a little weak in the kidney and spleen position – likely the result of the natural aging process and his overactive lifestyle.

Because of his low energy, his qi energy (chi) was unable to flow properly through his meridians, resulting in pain. If his kidneys were stronger and his energy levels higher, then it is likely his back would not have been so affected by the demands placed on it.

Our Plan of Action

Our acupuncture treatment plan for Frank consisted of two phases: resolving the acute pain and strengthening the body to prevent future occurrences. During the first treatment, Frank received acupuncture at the point of pain and in other areas that would help strengthen the lower back and address the underlying causes of pain.

Frank experienced mild relief after his first treatment and improved 80 per cent after this third treatment. Regular treatments focused on strengthening the lower back and addressing the underlying cause of pain continued, and by the end of the eighth treatment Frank had recovered fully.

The Future Looks Promising

During treatment, we discussed additional ways Frank could improve his health including making diet changes, resting regularly, and not ‘overdoing’ it. We also discussed the importance of regular monthly acupuncture to maintain optimum health.

After combining acupuncture with lifestyle changes, Frank’s prognosis looks good and today he is happily back skiing and has learned to balance his fast-paced lifestyle in a healthy way so that he can remain pain-free.

Frank is just one example of the many people that have benefited from acupuncture! Wondering if acupuncture can help with your condition? Contact us at our downtown Kelowna location to find out more!

17 12, 2008

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.

Treatment often can include pain medication, chiropractic to realign the vertebrae, massage therapy to relax the muscles, and physiotherapy to correct posture and strengthen the muscles. Surgery may also be considered in severe cases.

Acupuncture can thankfully give very positive results to lower back pain sufferers, in part because Chinese medicine brings quite a different approach to the treatment of lower back pain, and one that is very effective. Back pain in Chinese medicine can be due to a number of factors that either make the back more susceptible to pain or lead to the pain itself, the most common being a weakness of the kidneys, causing a lack of nourishment of the lower back and spine.

The kidneys have a strong influence on the strength and nourishment of the tissue and bones of the lower back area so we always look at the strength of the kidneys when treating back pain, and what may be causing a kidney weakness. It is common for back pain to have a number of causes which create different kinds of pain. The type of pain that is experienced often tells the acupuncturist the underlying cause of the pain and helps point towards the proper diagnosis for treatment.

Invasion of cold and/or damp in the low back area can be a factor. It is usually due to the lower back being exposed during cold and damp weather, which allows the cold and dampness to invade and block the flow of energy and blood circulation.  This type of low back pain usually produces pain that is worse in the morning, better with exercise, better with heat, and worse when weather is cold and damp. 

Back pain due to stagnation of qi-energy and blood is usually caused by an acute sprain or, in chronic conditions, repeated sprain and underlying kidney weakness. Excessive physical work and over-lifting can often lead to this type of pain. Back pain due to qi-energy and blood stagnation is characterized by pain that is severe and stabbing, which gets worse with rest and better with light exercise. The area will be tender to the touch and there will be stiffness of the back muscles and inability to flex, extend or turn the waist.

Because the kidneys have an important function in the creation of energy, general overwork can also lead to chronic pain due to the constant drain on the kidneys’ energy, leading to an overall kidney weakness. Chronic back pain due to kidney weakness is usually dull and comes in bouts. It is better with rest and worse when a person is tired. This type of weakness creates a further vulnerability for an invasion of cold and damp or sprains. 

These are just a few examples of how Chinese Medicine diagnoses lower back pain. Acupuncture is then used to remove blockage in the lower back area which cause pain and weakness, and to stimulate and strengthen weak and depleted kidneys to aid their function of nourishing the tissues of the lower back. Treatment targets many internal factors, the goal being not only to alleviate the pain, but also to effectively resolve chronic conditions and strengthen the body to prevent future pain from arising.

Lower back pain is a common ailment that I see in my practice, and it generally responds very positively to acupuncture, whether it is a recent problem or a chronic problem. A person will usually first notice a reduction in the pain within a few acupuncture treatments, followed by an overall improvement of health, strength, and mobility in the lower back. With additional treatments, many cases of lower back pain can be resolved, allowing a person to resume their former lifestyle free of pain and negative symptoms.

James Kaufman is a Registered Acupuncturist at Okanagan Acupuncture Centre, 1625 Ellis St, Kelowna, BC.

1 12, 2008

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.