Find an Acupuncturist in Kelowna

How do you go about finding an acupuncturist if you've never had acupuncture before? Good question. Whether you are looking for a Kelowna acupuncturist or elsewhere, we've put together this article to help you with the process. 1. See an acupuncture expert. Many different types of health practitioners offer acupuncture today:

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

What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?

While acupuncture usually does not hurt, it can cause other sensations. Usually these sensations are a sign that the acupuncture is working and that we are activating the point to produce a healing effect. These sensations are typically very mild. So what does acupuncture feel like? Here are 5 common

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

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.

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.


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.

What are tune up or maintenance treatments?

Our bodies are in a constant state of change. Sometimes small problems can develop, and if left unchecked, over time they can become major concerns or leave you susceptible to injury. Just as your dentist recommends periodic checkups to help detect tooth decay before it leads to serious problems, regular acupuncture checkups can help identify and correct small problems before they become bigger ones. This is the idea behind maintenance or “tune-up” treatments, which are periodic treatments to help maintain good health. Visits may be monthly, every other month, or seasonally.

For example, someone with a history of a “bad back” may consider returning once every month or few months for acupuncture to keep the back strong and help prevent re-injury. Another patient going through menopause may come every so few months or so for a series of treatments when she is experiencing symptoms and feels her body needs some rebalancing.

In the interest of your own best health, we encourage our patients to be proactive about wellness. If you feel that something is out of balance, address the problem however you feel is appropriate- whether through acupuncture, other therapies, exercise, or lifestyle changes. Tuning into our bodies in this way can help us to become aware of problems as they first develop, and resolve them early so that they do not develop into bigger problems down the road.

How many treatments do I need?

Acupuncture typically takes a series of treatments to resolve a problem, regardless of what condition it is that we are treating. 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 and how you respond to acupuncture. The longer a problem has been present, usually the more treatments it takes to resolve the problem. 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, anywhere from 3-10 treatments on average.

Our 3-treatment starter package is designed to get you acquainted with acupuncture and give you a sense of how acupuncture works but 3 treatments often may not fully resolve a problem. As a general guideline, if after 3 treatments your condition is not fully resolved, consider continuing with acupuncture treatments for best results. Stopping care early can disrupt the progress you have already achieved or cause a relapse.

Even though you may no longer be experiencing symptoms, continuing treatment can help you to further strengthen, build and support your body in order to prevent future problems of the same nature. Acupuncture enables your body’s own healing processes and the goal is to allow your body to regain a balanced state so that it is able to maintain its own health and you are not dependent on any treatment.

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).

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 can direct bill most insurance companies.

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.

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.