Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a number of supporting and inter-promoting holistic therapeutic practices such as Acupuncture, Moxibustion, Cupping and Herbal medicine, developed by the Chinese over thousands of years for the treatment and prevention of disease.

 

History

The origins of traditional Chinese Medicine are lost in the expanse of time.

The common age attributed to this science is five thousand years, however it is possible that it pre-dates this estimate.

Its recorded origins date back to the “Internal Classics of the Yellow Emperor and Miraculous Pivot” (Ca. 800-200 B.C.)

In its opening statement; “The sages, they knew the Nature, they followed Yin and Yang”, it is said that this scientific research into health and longevity was a very ancient practice already at that time five thousand years ago.

Written texts dating back thousands of years show medical theories that explain the functioning of the body and provide a framework for diagnosis and holistic treatment of disease.

 

Core Philosophy

The TCM system is founded upon the holistic concept that the body is basically a self-repairing mechanism that always strives to maintain its own unique balance.

People are viewed as an inseparable part of the universe.

The cosmic energy that maintains the sun, the moon and the stars is within the human body as well.

As we are in this world, we are part of it and not a separate entity.

The sages of ancient China encountered already at prehistoric times the problems of mortality and sickness and over thousands of years of research, extensive testing and unceasing observation of the human body the core essence of Traditional Chinese Medicine was formed.

The philosophy and theory, the methods and techniques were all developed to prolong life and enhance health.

 

Present Use

The TCM system is as ancient and effective as any other medical techniques used in the world today. In fact, the World Health Organisation recognises acupuncture as effective in the treatment of more than 300 diseases.

There is an ever increasing percentage of the world’s population that now uses acupuncture and herbs as their main form of health care.

A combination of techniques may be used to address your specific needs including Needling (disposable, sterile, single use needles are used), Massage, Moxibustion and Cupping.

Although acupuncture has been used in England , France , and Germany for few hundred years, only in the past three decades has TCM and acupuncture been more widely recognised in Australia.

 

Differences between TCM and Western Medicine

TCM approaches disease differently from how it is approached in the West.

TCM is based upon the treatment of you as a whole person and the underlying cause of your symptoms rather than solely focusing on the band-aid affect of treating just your symptoms.

 

Dis-ease is not something that happens to us, but something that we create.

 

Illness is a message giving us a chance to look at our behaviour and the patterns in our lives, looking inwardly to see what our feelings are and what we want to do about them.

Recognising the meaning of our symptoms is the beginning of an important journey; the first step towards understanding ourselves more deeply.

 

Wholistic Approach

In TCM each and every sign and symptom is understood and interpreted in relationship to all the others.

Therefore TCM has individualized diagnostic and treatment techniques that are a representation of the body-mind-spirit. In TCM everything about your physical and emotional condition as well as your past health is important in understanding and identifying your underlying pattern of imbalance.

Treatment addresses all areas at once, a practitioner of TCM can see all the symptoms as a single pattern. The prescribed treatment is designed to work effectively with the entire pattern and all its symptoms.

TCM cannot separate a person into segmented parts treating one symptom or part at the expense of another. It is designed to treat the person, not just the disease.

This is why TCM is recognized as being holistic and every thing about you is vitally important for effective treatment.

 

Prevention of Problems

In TCM we have an emphasis is on prevention as all symptoms have great clinical meaning.

They indicate that energetic changes have occurred in the body/mind which, if untreated over a period of time, will lead to actual tissue changes, and therefore, more serious disease.

This is significant because it means that as a practitioner of Chinese TCM I can treat disease at a more fundamental level, which then prevents the onset of more serious diseases.

 

Self-Impowerment

TCM offers self-empowerment as theories are based upon observation of nature and this makes it easier for a patient to grasp an understanding of their disease process as described by Chinese medical theory.

Since explanations and metaphors describing the disease process come from the natural world, most people can easily relate.

Understanding of how one’s disease process has come about allows the possibility for direct intervention and lifestyle changes on the part of the patient.

 

The Human Touch with Plain, Old-fashioned Listening

The TCM practitioner has the important task of analysing the disease so that a right treatment could be applied. The methods of approaching any imbalance are by Observing, Listening, Asking and Feeling.

Observing the Spirit, Body, Demeanour, Head and Face, Skin, and Tongue.

Listening to the Voice, Breath and cough.

Asking is the conversation between the practitioner and the patient.

Its aim is to find out how the problem arose, the living conditions of the patient, the environment, including the emotional environment and family environment.

The goal of this investigation is, ultimately, to find the cause of disease, in order for the patient and practitioner to work together to try and eliminate it or minimize it.

 

Feeling is mainly the palpitation of the pulse, however palpitation of various points are also considered.

Feeling the pulse is an extremely complex subject. It can give the practitioner a great deal of valuable information about the internal condition of the patient.

The general consensus is that there are twenty-eight different kinds of pulse. Each of which can give the practitioner a great insight to the solution of the disease.

 

Causes of Disease

The Causes of Disease are divided into external and internal origins as well as other origins.

Internal Causes are the so called seven emotions. They are…

  • Anger
  • Joy
  • Worry
  • Pensiveness
  • Sadness
  • Fear
  • Shock

Each one of these emotions is normally healthy to our life, yet they effect our health when in excessive form.

 

External Causes are…

  • Wind
  • Cold
  • Heat
  • Dryness
  • Dampness

…which again in an extreme degree will provoke energetic imbalance within our body.

 

Other Causes are…

  • Weak Constitution
  • Over Exertion
  • Excessive Sexual Activity
  • Bad Diet
  • Trauma
  • Parasites
  • Poisons
  • as well as wrong treatment.

 

Main Goal

The ideal of holistic well-being is the realisation of our human potential as total beings, and our desire to live fulfilling and satisfying lives.

The goal is not just to be “well” in the physical body, but also to be in harmony with our environment and ourselves at all levels, body, mind and spirit.

Also diet, exercise, life-style, social responsibility and relationships are taken into consideration when creating the optimum well-being.

 

See also: Acupuncture, How Acupuncture Works