Acupuncture & Asian Medicine
Asian Medicine includes eastern botanicals/herbs and acupuncture. Acupuncture is one of the most widespread forms of complimentary medicine.1 The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical concerns including:
- Digestive disorders: gastritis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea
- Respiratory disorders: allergies, sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections.
- Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendonitis, low back pain , sciatica, osteoarthritis.
- Urinary, menstrual and reproductive concerns including fertility
- Stress management
What is the history of acupuncture?
Acupuncture has been around for at least 5,000 years, with its roots in Chinese medicine. Acupuncture is one of the most widespread forms of complementary medicine.
What is the philosophy of acupuncture?
In Chinese medicine there are 12 main meridians which represent different organ systems. When there is an obstruction in one of these meridians health patterns may change potentially leading to pain or disease. By optimizing the regulation of the body’s energy which is known as Qi ( pronounced “chee”) along these meridians the obstructions are reduced and the body hence rebalanced.
Does Health Insurance Cover Acupuncture?
When acupuncture is done by a Registered Acupuncturist, the treatment is covered by many individual third party insurance companies that cover Acupuncture. OHIP does not cover acupuncture at this time. It is important to check your individual coverage. In some cases injuries sustained while on the job or in a motor vehicle accident may be covered for acupuncture care under workers compensation or automobile insurance policies.
How are people who practice Acupuncture Trained?
Acupuncture is a Regulated Profession in Ontario. Any Registered Acupuncturist, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Practitioner, or licensed Naturopathic Doctor has received their Acupuncture Training through their accredited school. They must then sit for their regulatory board exams which are governed by The College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario.
Nationally, Acupuncturists may be certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, (NCCAOM), a national organization established to regulate the practice of acupuncture. After passing national examinations, these acupuncturists are designated as board certified in acupuncture or diplomats of the NCCAOM. (Dipl.Ac.) The NCCAOM maintains a directory of certified practitioners on their web site, www.NCCAOM.org. Some physicians offer treatment known as medical acupuncture, a kind of mini acupuncture based on a much shorter course of study. While an accredited masters level program in acupuncture includes about 2500 hours or more of study, some of the programs for physicians offer about 200 hours. Acupuncturists who graduate from accredited programs have completed an extensive course of study of Oriental Medicine as well as of Western biomedical approaches to illness. Contemporary acupuncturists are prepared to work with physicians and other health care providers to bring the most effective aspects of Oriental Medicine into the conventional medical clinic.
My doctor does not believe in acupuncture. Do I have to believe in order to obtain results?
Acupuncture works very well for many animals such as: horses, dogs, oxen, and cats, most of who probably don’t “believe” in acupuncture, either. It is always beneficial to have confidence in your physician, but faith in a particular technique is not required to obtain results.
Is All Acupuncture the Same?
Acupuncture commonly refers to the needling technique that is used most often. There are a few other specialized techniques such as moxibustion (the use of herbs that are lit to enhance the medicinal properties and are rotated over acupuncture point locations), electro dermal acupuncture (the use of an electrical device to either stimulate or sedate a point or enhance traditional needles.
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- Ernst E. Prevalence of use of complementary/alternative medicine
The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including:
Digestive disorders: gastritis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea.
Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections.
Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendinitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis.
Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems.
Stress : The underlying cause of most of the conditions I treat is chronic stress, which affects multiple systems in the body.
Specifically researched ,In 1979, the World Health Organization cited 104 conditions that acupuncture can treat — either alone or in conjunction with contemporary conventional medicine. In 1998 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a Consensus Statement on Acupuncture and cited conditions that acupuncture is effective for.
These conditions that have been well researched on their benefit of acupuncture as effective treatment:
- Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
- Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
- Biliary colic
- Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
- Dysentery, acute bacillary
- Dysmenorrhoea, primary
- Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
- Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
- Hypertension, essential
- Hypotension, primary
- Induction of labour
- Knee pain
- Low back pain
- Malposition of fetus, correction of
- Morning sickness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Neck pain
- Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporo-mandibular dysfunction)
- Periarthritis of shoulder
- Postoperative pain
- Renal colic
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Tennis elbow
Can acupuncture actually be used for Anesthesia or more commonly pain management?
The anesthesia like effects of acupuncture have been studied extensively. Acupuncture needles stimulate muscle afferents innervating ergo receptors, which leads to increased B- endorphin concentration in the cerebrospinal fluid. The hypothalamic B-endorphinergic system has inhibitory effects on the vasomotor centre, thereby reducing sympathetic activity. This central mechanism, which involves the hypothalamic and brainstem systems, controls many major organ systems in the body. In addition to central sympathetic inhibition by the endorphin system, acupuncture stimulation of the sensory nerve fibers may inhibit the sympathetic outflow at the spinal level.
How should I prepare for treatment sessions?
It is important to arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment to allow for relaxation before the treatment. Vigorous exercise or sexual activity in the hour before treatment is not recommended. It is best to not to have recently eaten a large meal, nor should you be fasting for more than 6 hours before your appointment. The use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs is also not recommended prior to or just following a treatment. Comfortable, loose clothing should be worn, and, if possible, you should not wear any metallic jewelry, watches, or earrings. Makeup and nail polish should be minimized or eliminated. Please also avoid the use of perfumes, colognes or strongly scented cosmetics.
What happens during the treatment?
Depending on the areas to be treated, you may be positioned on your back, your stomach, your side, or sitting. Be certain that you can remain relaxed in this position, as you may not wish to move for the duration of the treatment, usually 15 to 25 minutes. You will be left a bell in case you require attention. During some procedures you may feel the urge to sneeze or find your sinus clearing, in this case do so and ring the bell if any needles are disturbed. It is best to practice a slow and relaxed abdominal breathing during treatment, and to avoid trying to do any mental work. Abdominal breathing means allowing your abdomen to expand as you inhale, and to contract as you exhale. In some treatment sessions a heat lamp may be placed over the body as a method of further assisting the treatment.
What sensations will I experience during treatment?
Usually, there is a pleasant state of calm, which develops during the treatment and may persist for some time. You may even fall nearly asleep during the session. In areas that have been treated, a red discolouration may appear and a sensation of heaviness or swelling may persist for up to an hour or so after treatment. You may find that the pain or discomfort of the condition may be reduced by 20 or 30% or even completely eliminated. Frequently, the relief will persist, though in some situations the pain will return after a few hours or days to its former level. In certain conditions, a worsening of pain is to be expected before improvement is seen. For some disorders, no effect is noticed immediately and the condition takes a few days or a series of treatments to respond. Be sure to tell us of the response to treatment at the next appointment so that necessary changes can be made to your treatment.
How are the points selected?
Prior to the treatment, a proper assessment will be performed. This is based on one’s history, health concerns, lab work, and Chinese physical exam. The Chinese physical portion of the exam will take look at an individual’s tongue and wrist pulses. The tongue is divided into sections that represent areas of the body: the posterior portion- the kidney and bladder, the lateral edges- the liver and gallbladder, The middle the spleen and stomach, the inner tip- the lungs and the outer tip- the heart. The pulses are divided into three locations of each side of the wrist. The right distal –lungs, right middle-spleen & stomach, the right proximal-kidney yang. The left distal- heart, the left middle- liver and the left proximal- kidney yin. This information above will thus coordinate the organ systems and where external environmental factors may invade the body, such as cold, wind, damp and heat, allowing for proper combination of point selection.
What are the risks of acupuncture? Is it uncomfortable?
At Revivelife™ Clinic, the use of sterile, disposable, single use needles ensures that there is no risk of disease transmission. The needles are normally as thin as a human hair and are much smaller than the needles used in the familiar hypodermic injections. The acupuncturist will insert them to a depth of anywhere from a quarter of an inch to 3 inches, depending on the amount of subcutaneous fat that the needles need to penetrate. Most people enjoy treatment and find it very comfortable, restful, and relaxing. Sometimes the needle insertion feels like a pinch sensation that rapidly subsides. Some people report a mild tingling, heaviness, warmth, or a dull ache at the acupuncture point, which is a sensation of Qi moving. Generally sessions last about a half an hour, in which the patient rests or naps. After treatment, you can expect to feel less pain, more energy, and a heightened sense of well-being.
The most common complication of treatment is a small bruise or a drop of blood when the needle is removed.
Any medical technique involves some risk. Properly performed, acupuncture presents minimal hazard when compared to drug regimens or surgical techniques.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments required depends on the severity and duration of the symptoms to be addressed. For a cold, flu or sinusitis, one or two treatments can be very helpful. It is most often recommended to do a set of 3 treatments one week apart and then do a reassessment. Within the first 3-6 sessions, the effectiveness of the treatment is often evident and clear treatment goals can be established. Once a person achieves Wellness , the frequency of the treatments is reduced to often once per 4-6 weeks and then to Wellness Programs of one treatment cycle ( 3 treatments every 6 months) preventively.
What should I do after treatment?
It is often helpful to sit quietly following a treatment, and relax. A gentle walk or very mild exercise can also be helpful. Large meals, vigorous exercise, alcohol or excessive aggravation should be avoided.
Will any other Remedies be Recommended to further help me?
Most physicians trained in Oriental medicine or Naturopathic Doctors will prescribe dietary supplements or Chinese Medicinal Herbs derived from plants and minerals, though animal products are sometimes used. Sometimes these may be part of the initial treatment, or they may be used after a series of acupuncture sessions has clarified the diagnosis. Patients should expect that any recommendations will need to be continued to maintain the benefit of the Oriental approach.
What about the Research?
In the last 20 years a very significant amount of clinical research published in may leading Western journals have revealed the reductionistic, causal mechanisms for many of the acupuncture effects such as the release of endorphins, serotonin and cortisol.2
Acupuncture is one of the most widespread forms of complementary medicine. Particularly, it is often used for treatment of chronic pain, including headaches.3
The following are a few of the many studies done on acupuncture.
In 52.6% of patients headache frequency decreased by at least 50% compared to baseline. In this epidemiological study, headache patients reported clinically relevant improvements after receiving acupuncture. Acupuncture for Chronic Headaches—An Epidemiological Study Conclusions: In this epidemiological study, headache patients reported clinically relevant improvements after receiving acupuncture. .. www.medscape.com/viewarticle/530485
March 15, 2004 — Acupuncture may provide lasting relief from the pain of chronic headaches, such as migraines, according to a new study. Researchers found that compared with standard medical care, acupuncture offers substantial benefits in preventing headaches and improving the quality of life for people who suffer from frequent headaches, especially migraines. Acupuncture is commonly used to treat other types of chronic pain, but researchers say this is the first large-scale study to examine the effectiveness of acupuncture under real-life conditions. They say the results indicate that health insurance coverage of acupuncture services should be expanded to include the treatment of chronic headaches and migraine. One group received up to 12 acupuncture sessions during a three-month period in addition to standard medical care, and the other group received standard care alone. A year later, researchers found those who received acupuncture: Experienced 22 fewer days with migraines Used 15% less medication Made 25% fewer visits to their doctor Took 15% fewer days off sick from work than the control group : Vickers, A. British Medical Journal, March 15, 2004; vol 328
Acupuncture has been used to treat sinusitis, as have a variety of dietary supplements including vitamins A, C, and E, and the mineral zinc. Hot and cold compresses (3 minutes hot, 30 seconds cold, repeated 3 times always ending with cold) can be applied directly over the sinuses to relieve pressure and enhance healing. Inhaling essential oils (2 drops of oil to 2 cups of water) using thyme, rosemary, and lavender can help open the sinuses and kill bacteria that cause infection.
In April 2002, German researchers reported that they had increased the success rate by nearly 50% in women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) using acupuncture. Their results are quite impressive especially when considering that they had administered only two short acupuncture treatments. It is important to remember that the results obtained by the German group are only applicable to a very limited patient population under very restricted circumstances as in the research study.
The May 2006 issue of the journal, Fertility and Sterility, featured series of acupuncture related articles (three original research papers and additional commentary articles). Two of the original articles reported higher pregnancy rates among patients who received acupuncture in conjunction with their IVF cycles versus patients who received “placebo acupuncture” or no treatment. One study found no significant difference in pregnancy rates between the acupuncture group and control (placebo) group. While it is encouraging to see the additional data supporting the efficacy and safety of acupuncture use in conjunction with IVF, some experts have raised a number of issues and questions regarding the somewhat contradictory evidence on acupuncture. They are urging for more rigorous studies.
e. MORNING SICKNESS OF PREGNANCY-
In well controlled studies it was shown that acupuncture administered significantly reduced postoperative sickness for 6-8 hours and is effective for the nausea of morning sickness. (Acupuncture and Electro-Therapeutics Research, 1990, 15(3-4):211-5) (UI: 91188941) Pub type: Journal Article; Review; Review, Tutorial. )AT: UCLA siomed W1 AC999T (PE title: Acupuncture & electro-therapeutics research.)
f. CHRONIC PAIN-
Acupuncture is very effective in treating chronic pain, helping from 55%-85% of patients, which compares favourably with the effects of potent drugs ( i.e. morphine helps in 70% of cases )(Bischko J , 1918 Akupunktur fur Fortgeschrittene.Haug, Heidelberg ) The Textbook of Acupuncture
g. CANCER SUPPORT-
The effect of acupuncture was assessed in 183 patients attending the Pain Clinic in a cancer hospital. Early results were promising with 82% of patients obtaining benefit for hours or days. However, only 52% of patients obtained significant help and multiple treatments were often necessary. Acupuncture was most helpful for vascular problems, muscle spasm and dyaesthetic problems. Acupuncture was significantly helpful for a number of patients with malignant pain problems. (Dept. of Anesthetics, Royal Marsden Hospital, London, England). International Medical Acupuncture Conference, London, England, May 4-8, 1986)
h. EDEMA SUPPORT POST CHEMOTHERAPY-
Upper limb oedema (bloating from retention of water) occurs following surgery for breast cancer in approximately 8-30% of the cases. Complete recovery from oedemas was obtained in 33% of the cases, while partial recovery was seen in 43% of the cases.( C. Moldovan, et al. (Institute of Oncology, Bucharest, Romania).( International Medical Acupuncture Conference, London, England, May 4-8, 1986)
i. CANCER AND IMMUNITY-
Findings suggest that acupuncture and moxibustion may raise the levels of the white blood cells .(Chung Hsi i Chieh Ho Tsa Chih Chinese Journal of Modern Developments in Traditional Medicine, 1991 Jun, 11(6):350-2, 325. Language: Chinese. ) (UI: 91364197) (Requested library location(s) not linked. Try F PE .)
In a study patients with continuous and severe tinnitus were treated with acupuncture ( 10t treatments over 20 days). Twenty-one percent of the patients reported transient intensity reductions lasting for hours/days.(Scandinavian Audiology, 1992, 21(4):245-51. (UI: 93141943) AT: UCLA Biomed W1 SC131 (PE title: Scandinavian audiology.) AT: UCLA Biomed W1 SC131A (PE title: Scandinavian audiology. Supplementum.)
Results from a study on the relationship of allergies and acupuncture showed that acupuncture therapy had an extensive and remarkable action against type I allergic reaction. (Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1993 Dec, 13(4):243-8. )(UI: 94187357) AT: UCLA Biomed W1 J0922R (PE title: Journal of traditional Chinese medicine = Chung i tsa chih / sponsored by A11-china Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine.)
l. CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH-
A Study of the acupuncture points Bai Hui (GV 20) is the sea of yang and Zu San Li (St 36) with the use of moxa show promising results. Blood pressures were invariably lowered immediately after treatment. In 231 cases (72.6%), blood pressures normalized within a week. In 60 cases (18.9%), blood pressures normalized within two weeks. In 27 cases (8.5%), there was no improvement in blood pressure after two weeks. There was an overall amelioration rate of 91.5% ( Chen Quan, translated by Charles Chace [The Journal of Chinese Medicine (Zhong Yi Za Zhi), Vol 34, #10, 1993]
Twenty-one percent of the patients reported transient intensity reductions lasting for hours/days. Estimated ’substantial’ improvement rate by VAS, consistent for all three parameters involved (intensity, annoyance, awareness), was 20%,
m. COMMON COLD-
In a study on acupuncture and the common cold, It was shown that acupuncture significantly improved the symptoms associated and the speed at which healing took place. (Kawakita K, et al Japan Acupuncture and Moxibustion Center, 3-44-14 Minami otsuka, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170-0005)
n. OSTEOARTHRITIS OF THE KNEE-
A randomized and controlled study was performed in order to determine whether acupuncture provides greater pain relief and improved function. The primary outcomes were changes in the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain and function scores at 8 and 26 weeks. The secondary outcomes were patient global assessment, 6-minute walk distance, and physical health scores of the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). In conclusion, acupuncture may provide improvement in function and pain relief as an adjunctive therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee. (Berman BM, et al. University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21207, USA)
o. Other ongoing areas of health conditions research and acupuncture include:
HIV/aids Cancer Cardiovascular Dermatology HEENT- Tinnitus Endocrine Immune Gastrointestinal Musculoskeletal Pain Management and Nervous System Psychological Respiratory Substance Abuse/Trauma Veterinary Medicine Woman’s and Men’s Health
Links and Websites:
www.acupuncture.com Research articles on acupuncture and health conditions “An Overview of Medical Acupuncture” by Dr. J.M. Helms. or the Acupuncture Information and Resource Package from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
- A systematic review. Bull World Health Organ. 2000;78: 252-257.)(Fisher P, Ward A. Complementary medicine in Europe. BMJ. 1994;309: 107-111)
- Pomeranz, Bruce: The Basics of Acupuncture, Springer-Verlag, 1991)
- Woollam CHM, Jackson AO. Acupuncture in the management of chronic pain. Anaesthesia. 1998;53: 589-603.
What is Community Acupuncture?
Many people who receive acupuncture are treated in private rooms by their health care practitioner. The Community Acupuncture model is different, because treatments are done in a group setting or semi-private setting. Tables and/or chairs are set up in a large room where multiple patients can receive acupuncture at the same time in a quiet peaceful atmosphere. You are encouraged to bring friends or family members with you, but keep in mind that a quiet, soothing environment is maintained at all times.
Why Community Acupuncture?
Effective: Acupuncture is cumulative, meaning the more you get the stronger the effect. Therefore, community acupuncture makes it easier to receive treatments more often at a reasonable price.
Natural: acupuncture is a safe and natural approach to addressing your health concerns. Side effects may include relaxation, elevated mood, decreased stress and better sleep.
Community oriented: Bring your friends, family, co-workers or anyone else you think could benefit from acupuncture. We’re all in this together!
How do I Start?
We start with a 30 minute consultation with a Naturopathic doctor to get to know you and understand your health goals. You may be asked a wide range of questions about your symptoms, eating, exercise, sleep habits, emotional states and anything that may offer insight into your health. This initial consultation, is scheduled on a day prior to your first community acupuncture. The Naturopathic Doctor will work with you to establish a recommended treatment and follow-up schedule that is right for you.
Please Note: 30 minute follow-ups are recommended periodically during the course of the treatment plan and are determined on a case-by-case basis. The Naturopathic doctor will work with you to establish an appropriate follow-up timeline. Usually, follow-ups will occur at one or two month intervals.
When is Community Acupuncture Offered?
We offer private acupuncture sessions with our Naturopathic Doctors at all times during practitioner hours. For your convenience, we offer community or semi-private acupuncture two days per week on Tuesday and Thursday Afternoons in 1-hour time slots. You are encouraged to reserve your spot in advance by calling the clinic at 613-829-7100 although drop-ins are welcome once the initial consultation has been completed. Drop-ins are on a first come, first serve basis.
Every Monday and Thursday(except Holidays): 1:30PM-4PM
Every Wednesday (except Holidays): 8:30AM-11:30PM
*Since we treat in an open space, we ask that speaking be done in a low tone of voice or whisper. Feel free to use earplugs or an iPod, bring your favourite pillow, eye mask, and dress is comfy un-restrictive clothing.
Before Your First Treatment
If you are not a current patient, you are required to have a 25 min consult with our treating naturopathic doctor prior to your first acupuncture session.
Please bring the completed intake form to your consult.
Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing and make sure you are well hydrated. We recommend that you eat a light snack before acupuncture but no heavy meals or strenuous physical activity.
For more information or to Book an appointment click here or Call 613-829-7100
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