Traditional Eastern Medicine
Chinese medicine has been used for thousands of years as a complete medical system which has been used to prevent, diagnose and treat illness. Since the early 1970s, Oriental Medicine has grown in popularity in the United States. According to a 1998 Harvard University more than five million visits per year were made to Acupunture Specilists by Americans per year. Traditional Chinese medicine encompasses many different treatments including acupuncture and acupressure, traditional Chinese herbal medicine, tui na (Chinese medical massage), moxibustion (applying heat from the slow-burning herb mugwort), nutrition and food therapy, and qi gong (movement and breathing exercises). All of these modalities are effective ways for treating a wide variety of illness with minimal side effects.
The various modalities of traditional Chinese medicine lead qi, or energy of life, to areas where qi is insufficient and drain qi from areas where qi is stuck. If left untreated, these areas of insufficient qi and blood flow or areas of stagnant qi and blood lead to pain and disease. Traditional Chinese medicine promotes the normal balanced flow of qi through the body and restores health, through nourishing undernourished areas and clearing out stagnant areas. It can be used to treat a variety of chronic, acute, and degenerative diseases and conditions. Traditional Chinese medicine is commonly used as a method of disease prevention and can correct small imbalances in qi flow before they become large imbalances characteristic of a disease state.
Why Use Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine?
The most important reason to choose acupuncture and Oriental medicine is to treat the underlying causes of an illness while controlling or alleviating its symptoms, to increase the ability to function, and to attempt to bring the entire body back into balance. Because acupunture heals the whole body, it is "holistic." In Oriental medicine, usually herbal products and acupunture needles are used in combination. Compared with conventional medicine, acupuncture is natural and safe. It can treat many conditions other medical therapies may not be able to help. It is effective not only in treatment of disease, but also in maintaining good health and preventing illness.
Chinese medicine (including acupuncture) has been around for 3-5 thousand years. The NIH and FDA acknowledge Chinese medicine to belong to whole medical systems. Chinese medicine is an individual scientific system similar to conventional medicine (western medicine), involving a complete system of theory and practice, rather than simply a complementary or alternative choice to conventional medicine. The existence of Western medicine and Eastern medicine is not a coincidence. It is just like eastern world and western world, capitalism and socialism, or man and woman, representing how the world is made. There are two aspects, according to the Chinese philosophical concept of Yin and Yang.
Western medicine has been developed based on mechanics and laboratory experiment, while Chinese medicine has been developed primarily by long time clinical practice on the human body. This is similar to how a kid masters a game through trial and error, practice. Kids do not know how a game is made and programmed, until they try it multiple times, learning its strategies and tricks.
What is Chinese Herbal Medicine or Oriental Herbal Medicine?
Chinese herbal medicine is a traditional medicine that is based on ancient Chinese philosophy. For more than 4,000 years, herbal therapy has been used in the process of defending against disease. Herbal medicine has been developed and systemized based upon theoretical principles as a means to both prevent and treat illness and disease.
The restoration of harmony is integral to Chinese herbal medicine. Harmonious balance is expressed in terms of the two complementary forces; yin and yang; and the five elements: fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. The five elements are of particular importance to Chinese herbalists; they give rise to the five tastes by which all medicinal plants are evaluated. Fire gives rise to bitterness; earth gives sweetness, metal gives acridity, water to saltiness, and wood gives to sourness. Each taste is said to have a particular medicinal action. The taste of a plant can also indicate the organ to which it has a natural affinity. Practitioners ascribe different temperatures to herbs, such as, hot, warm, neutral, cool, and cold. When the herbs are combined, through mutual harmony, the treatment effect is increased and the side effects reduced. The herbs may be in granules, powder, pills, capsules, tinctures, or bags to be boiled as tea. Most herb formulas consist of a mix of herbs and treat a wide variety of symptoms, while stimulating the body's natural healing process.