What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a whole, unique system of medicine that was and has a very different perspective than what we know in Western culture. However, this medical system has been around for about 4,000 years, in comparison to the Western medical system, which has been around since the 19th
century. One of the concepts of TCM is that of the meridian or energetic pathways.
Usually the first thing people think about when considering Chinese medicine is acupuncture. But TCM is an entire system of health care that includes acupuncture, but is not limited to it. Traditional Chinese Medicine is an “umbrella” under which several modalities fall:
- Herbal Medicine (the oldest & most sophisticated herbal system in the world)
- Qi Gong
- Tui Na or Massage (with or without tools)
To put it simply, TCM is a way of looking at ourselves and our world that sees everything as a whole and considers everything in context. It operates under the belief that all of the processes
of the human body are interrelated and treats the body as a whole system. TCM focuses on helping the body achieve balance.
The strength of traditional Chinese Medicine theories is that we look at every case individually and identify the underlying cause of the conditions due to imbalances from either constitution or post-natal environment. Two people both have similar symptoms of acid reflux. One person is possibly due to the inherent cold condition in the digestive system while the other person is due to excess heat in the stomach. These two people are told to have different body types.
The United States accredits schools in traditional Chinese medicine, so a practitioner certified by an accredited school has had extensive training in traditional Chinese medicine. The National Institutes of Health, through the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and other institutes, funds ongoing research of many complementary therapies to determine their benefits and risks. In general, acupuncture is safe when done by a certified acupuncturist. https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/kbase/topic.jhtml?docId=aa140227spec
If You’re Considering TCM
- Look for a practitioner who has formal training, national certification, and an active license to practice.
- If you’re considering herbal remedies, seek guidance from someone who is certified in this field. You’ll also want to ensure that any herbs you’re prescribed are compatible with current treatments or other medications you might be taking.
- Be sure to inform your primary care provider of all of your alternative health care and health management practices. This will help ensure that you receive safe, coordinated, and optimal care for achieving your health goals.
- If you’re pregnant, nursing, or considering TCM to treat a child, consult your primary health care provider before beginning any treatment.
A TCM doctor can determine whether a disease is light or severe; they can decide on the treatment method, the combination of the herbal decoction and estimate the length of the therapy. Depending on the individual diagnosis, TCM doctors prescribe the required treatment to heal and rebalance the body. Treatment therapies include herbal medicine, acupuncture, nutrition advice, cupping and Tuina massage. TCM is an excellent option for people seeking an efficient way to heal their symptoms naturally, on the long term and with fewer side effects.
To find out more about TCM and acupuncture,
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. Eastern Wellness Acupuncture can provide the services you need to improve your health and wellbeing.