An increasing number of people in Manitoba are turning to alternative and complementary medicine as a trusted form of pain relief. Specialists of acupuncture in Winnipeg are therefore becoming more and more important especially considering the immense benefits this form of treatment offers. The treatment option offers solutions to a wide range of medical conditions and the good news is, there is a good number of leading experts practicing in the city of Winnipeg.
What is acupuncture?
In essence, acupuncture works by stimulating specific acupoints on the skin using a host of methods including penetration via thin needles, pressure, laser light and application of heat. Stimulating the various acupoints in the body helps to correct bodily imbalances and enhance proper flow of blood through channels in the body known to acupuncture specialists as meridians. Despite the method used, all acupuncture methods used in Winnipeg are designed to stimulate the body’s acupoints.
History of acupuncture
Acupuncture basically is needle puncture. The Chinese describe it using the character ‘chen’ which loosely translates to ‘pricking with a needle’. It is generally believed to have originated in mainland China some few hundred years before the Common Era. However, unequivocal evidence from documents that describe acupuncture as it is currently known are found in the Yellow Emperor’s internal medicine classic dating from 100 BCE or there about. This text, comprised of questions and answers is believed to be a compilation of medicinal practices and traditions handed down over centuries. In this text, the basic concepts of acupuncture that focus on the channels and conduits referred to as meridians as well as the ‘Qi’ which is life’s vital force are very well documented. The acupuncture points and their precise anatomical points as they are known currently were however developed much later.
This text also describes this alternative medical practice employing bian stones. Advancements that came in the later stages of development brought about the use of needles made of stones and pottery. Most of the ancient tools of the acupunctural trade have been replaced by very sophisticated surgical tools and instruments.
The term acupuncture is associated with a Dutch physician Willem Ten Rhyne who visited the Orient in the early seventeenth century. During Ten’s tenure with the East India Company in Japan, he witnessed a lot of acupuncture practiced and coined the current name. His documents about the practice which were also the first by a European physician were done in 1680. The early nineteenth century brought with it a flurry of interest in acupuncture from both sides of the Atlantic. A good number of scientific publications by both European and American practitioners appeared in renowned journals like Lancet as a result. Interest in the practice did however experience a dip until the dramatic success of back pain treatment by hat-pins was documented in one of Osler’s textbooks.
Acupuncture Certification Process
Practicing acupuncture in Canada is currently regulated in three provinces; British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec. Regulation in Ontario is still pending although it has already been initiated following the enactment of a bill seeking to establish the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO). Other provinces that don’t enforce regulation allow any one with some level of training and knowledge in traditional acupuncture and other forms of traditional Chinese medicine to practice. In these provinces, it is the responsibility of the patient to be informed of the practitioners’ level of training as the term ‘acupuncturist’ does not offer any form of protection.
Medical doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, and registered nurses are allowed to use acupuncture in their practice. However, in Quebec medical doctors and dentists are required to put in over 300 hours of training in acupuncture before seeking authority to use the medical practice in therapy. The province also restricts the other medical practitioners listed above from using any form of acupuncture on patients. Naturopathic doctors are licensed to use acupuncture in their scope of work in all the regulated provinces. In British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, their licensing is regulated.
The requisite training required for practitioners to be licensed is the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute’s Certificate in Anatomical Acupuncture. This course provides regulated health professionals the proficiency to perform highly effective treatments.
Symptoms and Conditions that Acupuncture Can Cure
World Health Organization (WHO), an international authority of matters of health has produced a list of syndromes, symptoms, pathologies, traumas, conditions and disease processes that can effectively be treated by acupuncture. In an official report reviewing clinical trials of acupuncture, the United Nations affiliated organizations names conditions it believes have shown commendable response to acupuncture therapy through controlled trials. These conditions include several forms of pain including low back, neck, knee, dental and facial pains including craniomandibular disorders. Rheumatoid arthritis, allergies like eczema and hay fever, menstrual and infertility disorders, insomnia, fatigue, renal colic, biliary colic, stroke, morning sickness, essential hypertension, primary dysmenorrhea, acute and chronic gastritis, allergic rhinitis and postoperative pain also made the WHO list. Aside from these conditions, the acupuncture Winnipeg residents have access to can also treat inflammation, infertility, relieve pain, promote proper circulation of blood, regulate the immune system as well as regulate blood pressure.
Pains and sprains: In everyday life, pains and sprains present one of the most common health challenges. There are many forms of pains that Winnipeg acupuncture specialists can take care of. These include low back pains, facial and dental pains, periathritis around the shoulders, headaches as well postoperative pains. Patients with these conditions in the wider Manitoba area can seek acupuncture in Winnipeg as one of the most effective treatment options available.
Nausea and vomiting: Nausea and vomiting may occur either together or separately and could be caused by a host of reasons. The most common causative factors include chemotherapy, improper functioning of the gastrointestinal muscles (gastro paresis), motion sickness, migraines, rotavirus, vertigo, viral infections and abuse of alcohol and illicit substances just to name but a few. The acupuncture Winnipeg residents have at their disposal has the ability to take care of all forms of nausea and vomiting regardless of the above listed causative factors.
Morning Sickness: Morning sickness, also called vomiting of pregnancy is a discomfort associated with pregnancy and affects more than fifty percent of all women who get pregnant. While more than 95% of the cases normally subside, between 2 and 5% of the cases may degenerate into hyperemesis gravidarium. A condition that leads to dehydration, loss of weight and even extended periods of hospitalization. Winnipeg acupuncture has a clinically useful effect in combating not only nausea and vomiting but conditions that degenerate into hyperemesis gravidarium.
Stroke: Stroke occurs when there is an extended disruption of flow of blood to the brain. The resulting conditions usually are paralysis, depression and swallowing and speech problems. Acupuncture can help patients get better especially if therapy is administered one to two weeks after the fact. This is because acupuncture opens up arteries and veins enhancing better flow of blood. For bleeding related stroke especially, the one to two week wait helps ensure that the blood in the vessels has clotted thus ensuring no further bleeding takes place. Practitioners offering acupuncture in Winnipeg have the right skills to help patients come out of life threatening conditions by applying timely remedies.
Depression: Clinical depression is a medical illness characterized by an overwhelming feeling of sadness as well as loss of interest in things one generally enjoys. This condition affects about one in every five Canadians at least once in their lifetime. While the common treatments for clinical depression have been psychological methods, antidepressant medications or a combination of both, acupuncture is proving to be a legitimate treatment option as well. Some Winnipeg acupuncture specialists use the four gates acupuncture treatment method which stimulates the source points on the index finger and thumb of both hands as well as between the second and big toes of both legs. The use of acupuncture and complimentary therapies like yoga, exercise and meditation is in fact encouraged for patients suffering chronic clinical depression.
The Most Common Acupuncture Treatments
The training and certification process ensures that Winnipeg acupuncture therapists have the right understanding of your body and how best to employ their skills to treat your ailments. The common acupuncture treatment methods used by practitioners in Winnipeg include:
- Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) based acupuncture. This makes use of the known complimentary opposites to create a sense of balance in the body. This form of acupuncture is based on the traditional understandings of the medical practice. It uses yin and yang, hot and cold, internal and external as well as excess and deficiency complimentary opposites.
- French energetic acupuncture which is commonly applied by MD acupuncturists. It focuses on the meridian patterns especially the yin and yang pair of primary complimenting meridians.
- Korean hand acupuncture is also used by Winnipeg acupuncture experts. This treatment method concentrates more on the feet and the legs. This is because of the belief that these body parts have a substantial concentration of Qi, as such applying needles in the said areas brings immense benefit to the entire body.
- Myofascially-based acupuncture involves massaging and feeling the meridian lines before applying any needles. This method seeks out only tender points so the needles can be used only in points experiencing abdominal energy flows. It is an acupuncture treatment method preferred by physiotherapists.
- Auricular acupuncture treatment concentrates on the ear. This is so because proponents of traditional Chinese medicine believe that the ear is a key microcosm of the body. It is mainly used to treat addiction exacerbated disorders.
- Meridian therapy which is a Japanese acupuncture therapy method stresses on the use of needles as well as meridians while conducting diagnosis. It therefore has little needling in the treatment phases of therapy.
Top Benefits of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a legitimate treatment method of several conditions and as such is a very important therapy option. It allows patients to gain a pain-free life in easy steps that in most situations do not include use of medicinal drugs. Some of the outstanding benefits acupuncture provides include:
1. Provision of energy – Acupuncture as a treatment method, is designed to invigorate the patient by providing strength. This means that patients are usually left energetic at the end of therapy.
2. Provides a drug-free healing process – Acupuncture does not use any form of drugs in the healing process. This drug-free approach in ridding the body of ailments therefore treats the body while at the same time helping patients fend off harmful chemicals contained in drugs. Such chemicals may have damaging effects to the body.
3. Improves blood circulation – Acupuncture works by opening veins and arteries to enhance blood circulation to all parts of the human body. As a result, patients who opt for acupuncture therapy have the opportunity of having a much healthier life with minimal attacks from fatal conditions like heart failure.
4. Boosts immunity – Acupuncture is believed to have immune system boosting properties. This may be related to the improved blood circulation that the therapy offers. As a result of this boosted immunity, patients come out of their treatment stronger and less susceptible to attacks especially if this kind of therapy is done regularly.
5. Acupuncture therapy works at a quicker pace – Acupuncture heals many complicated conditions after just a few sessions and keeps the body protected from the damaging effects these conditions may afflict on the body if they stay unchecked for long. The ability to get well quickly is great news to patients as they are able to save on medical bills.
Why Winnipeg is a Good Destination for Acupuncture
Winnipeg is the largest city in Manitoba and provides a wide range of acupuncture practices. Patients seeking therapy will be happy to learn that there is a good number of acupuncture clinics to choose from. The popular clinics are:
Ankang Acupuncture Healing Center: Has a leading Winnipeg acupuncture specialist with more than 20 years of experience in traditional Chinese medicine. The clinic offers the best in cupping, traditional Chinese bloodletting therapy and moxibustion among many others.
Eastern Healing Center (EHC): Has skilled acupuncture experts working in the tutelage of an experienced Chinese acupuncture specialist with over 20 years of experience in the practice. The clinic offers services in acupuncture, Chinese Massage, acufacial, acupressure, craniosacral therapy, therapeutic massage, ear candling, cupping as well as Chinese Gua Sha. EHC is open Monday through Saturday.
Equilibrium: Is managed by a registered massage therapist and offers services in traditional Chinese medicine, massage therapy as well as general and women’s health.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medical Center: Is headed by an expert in traditional Chines medicine with over 30 years of experience in the practice. ACMS specializes in acupuncture, allergy elimination, facial acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition therapy as well as healing massage.
Nan Acupuncture Therapy Center: Boasting over 20 years of experience in traditional Chinese medicine, this expert and her team provide the best in Chinese acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology, cupping, moxibustion, Chinese herbal therapy as well as infant massage.
Prairie Medical Acupuncture Clinic: Is run by a family physician with postgraduate training in traditional Chinese medicine. PMAC specializes in acupuncture for infertility, fibromyalgia as well as weight loss. The clinic is authorized to treat patients covered by Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI).
The Bottom Line
Winnipeg offers an amazing collection of reliable, efficient and knowledgeable acupuncture specialists. Residents of rural Manitoba as well as Canadians residing in Northern Communities therefore have access to this awesome resource and have no reason to look elsewhere when in need of acupuncture.