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About Chinese medicine

About Chinese medicine

A vibrant, evolving medical system
While all ancient cultures have contributed natural healing methods, native herbs, techniques and constructive philosophies to aid healthy living, one of the most complete and well preserved systems is found in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM has been the medical system and main reliable support for the people of China, Japan, Korea & Vietnam from ancient to modern times. It currently serves close to two billion people today in Asia as a vibrant, evolving medical system alongside modern allopathic medicine. It carries a wealth of accumulated experience that through its history has interwoven empirical knowledge and ancient natural science together with the art of natural healing. TCM is our base method of health care.

TCM modalities
TCM includes the modalities of acupuncture, herbal medicine, Qigong, bodywork, and dietary therapy. Acupuncture is the use of tiny, delicate needles at precisely described points along the body’s energy channels applied to balance and regulate the whole body functioning. (see: Conditions for acupuncture). An integration of various types of Oriental bodywork therapies (Anma, Tuina, Shiatsu) may be used either as an adjunctive or stand-alone therapy, especially for musculo-skeletal conditions or for those hyper-sensitive to needling. Herbal medicine is the use of roots, flowers, bark and other natural products for their medicinal property. It is the primary medical vehicle of TCM, especially for internal conditions. Herbs can also be applied externally for traumatic injury and dermatological conditions. Dietary therapy from the Eastern tradition follows the same analysis applied to natural plants as is used with herbal medicine. Its flexible principles adapt to specific constitutional types as well as current or long-term conditions. Qigong is a complete system of meditation, breathing & gentle movement exercise to support and balance our body, mind and spirit. It is either practiced by the individual for self-healing, wellness or personal development or can be applied as a healing method (see: Qigong Therapy).

Integrative medicine
TCM uses an integral approach to healing that addresses the whole internal environment and the inter-related functioning of all body systems that leads to a healthy condition (see: Principles / Health & Healing). It is a fundamentally different medical system from the modern allopathic approach. With proper understanding, the most beneficial results can be obtained by the appropriate application of all useful medical approaches. In China today, both systems work together with new hybrid forms of treatment being born to create an integrated approach. This integration has produced very positive outcomes with fewer side effects, as there is a wider assortment of conservative and aggressive weapons to apply in fighting disease and supporting the individual's normal functioning. For instance, the use of acupuncture for pain conditions can eliminate or reduce the need of some drugs that may have harmful side effects if taken in large dosages or for extended periods. At other times, combining methods will lead to quicker or more long-lasting benefit. There are also times when surgeries can be avoided or possible negative consequences improved when we combine treatments. There are situations where continual use of disease-fighting antibiotics for recurring infections leads to diminishing returns while not touching the underlying cause and including the use of herbal medicine can help dissolve the negative pattern. There are other situations where research suggests that equally good results may be obtained with either approach, but some people may tolerate one approach better.

A team approach
While the detailed knowledge of western science has led to the uncontested technological success of modern allopathic medicine, the inclusive vision of TCM brings benefits that are more and more recognized. TCM forms our fundamental vantage point, but our philosophy is non-discriminatory and leads to cooperation with any constructive medical or healing method in a team approach serving greater health. We encourage referrals to allopathic practitioners and can assist people independently or in cooperation with allopathic care.

For more on TCM, click here.