What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) means a complementary health approach informed by modern medicine, but built on a foundation of more than 3,000 years of Chinese medical practice. TCM treatments can include acupuncture, cupping, tui-na (traditional Chinese therapeutic massage, akin to acupressure), qi gong, traditional Chinese herbal supplements, and traditional Chinese dietary principles. It is primarily used as a integrative medicine approach.
TCM is widely used in China, and is becoming increasingly available in Europe and North America.
Benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine
🌼 Releases pain naturally
🌼 Safe, and almost no side effects
🌼 Cost effective – lower cost compared to other treatment options
🌼 Effective for a variety of conditions
🌼 Can treat multiple conditions at the same time; no need to schedule appointments with multiple specialists
(for example, it is common practice to treat a patient’s knee pain and low back pain during the same treatment).
A Centers for Disease Control study in 2008 showed that approximately 40% of the U.S. population has used some form of alternative medicine, with 629 million visits to those providers annually.
How Does Traditional Chinese Medicine Work?
🌼 Instead of placing emphasis on anatomical structures, TCM is mainly concerned with the identification of functional entities (which regulate such processes as digestion, breathing, or aging).
🌼 If “good health” is perceived as the harmonious interaction between these entities and the outside world, disease is perceived as a person’s natural processes being in disharmony with their environment.
🌼 When making a diagnosis, a TCM doctor’s goal is to trace the patient’s symptoms to patterns of an underlying disharmony. This will be done by measuring your pulse, discussing your eating and sleeping habits in detail, and inspecting your tongue, skin, and eyes, in addition to other diagnostic modalities.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Services
Acupuncture, is the insertion of needles into superficial structures of the body (skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscles); usually at acupuncture points (acupoints) and their subsequent manipulation; aiming at influencing the flow of qi.
Electrical Stimulation (Electroacupuncture)
Electroacupuncture, is quite similar to traditional acupuncture in that the same points are stimulated during treatment. As with traditional acupuncture, needles are inserted on specific points along the body. The needles are then attached to a device that generates continuous electric pulses using small clips. These devices are used to adjust the frequency and intensity of the impulse being delivered, depending on the condition being treated. Electroacupuncture uses two needles at time so that the impulses can pass from one needle to the other.
Tui-Na (Chinese Massage), is one of the oldest forms of treatment within Traditional Chinese Medicine; and has been used in China for more than 5,000 years.
Na, or tuina, is defined as “a therapeutic form of massage”; “the ancient healing art of fingers and strength”. It utilizes the energetics of acupuncture points, and the flow of energy along meridian pathways, to ease the flow of Qì (氣) and blood through the body.
Cupping Therapy, is a type of Chinese massage, consisting of placing several suction “cups” on the body. The effect is similar to deep-tissue massage, but with negative pressure (i.e., a suction or pulling effect).
Herbal medicines / Moxibustion-heat Therapy
Including herbs, herbal materials, herbal preparations and finished herbal products, that contain as active ingredients; parts of plants, or other plant materials, or combinations.
Moxibustion, is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy using the herb, Mugwort. Due to its yang energy (warming and moving effects), it has been known for centuries as one of women’s greatest allies in regulating menstruation and easing the transition to menopause. For the same reasons, it is extremely useful in treating stagnation in muscle tissue that causes pain; much in the same way a blacksmith heats metal, to make it softer and more malleable. Where there is pain, there is stagnation. When moxibustion is applied, it effectively moves stagnation, which leads to a decrease (and possible elimination) of pain.
Conditions Treated by Acupuncture
Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to have a role in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems.
The NIH-recognized list of conditions treated, includes:
Addictions: Tobacco / cigarette smoking, narcotics, alcohol
Arthritis and Orthopedics: Muscle, bone and nerve pain and diseases
Digestive: Disorders including reflux, hyperacidity, diarrhea, constipation, nausea and vomiting, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Heart and Vascular: Diseases of the heart and blood vessels including angina and hypertension.
Nervous system: Stroke, neuralgia, stress, anxiety, depression and other nervous disorders.
Obesity and Weight Gain
Obstetrics and Gynecology: Menstrual pain and cramping, PMS, menopausal symptoms, infertility, and fetal malposition.
Respiratory: Allergies, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis.
Other conditions: Headaches / migraines, sexual dysfunction, asthma, allergies, tinnitus, high blood pressure and more.
Pain management: pain management, including pain management for cancer patients.