How Is Traditional Chinese Medicine a Unique Approach to Health and Healing? Part II

woman meditatingFrom its inception in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture has been used traditionally to diagnose, treat and prevent disease, as well as to improve general health. The key thing that makes traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) unique is how we diagnose, treat and prevent disease.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Is the Fun Medicine!

First things first. Traditional Chinese medicine is fun. It’s fun for so many reasons, but mainly, because you get to learn new and natural things about your body. You get to learn how your body functions in a more circular pattern rather than a straight line.

Western Medicine VS Traditional Chinese Medicine

The Western medicine approach that you grew up with says; if you have a symptom then we treat the symptom. Straight line.

Traditional Chinese medicine says, you have a symptom, you probably have other symptoms that are related, and there is a root cause of those related symptoms. Circular.

Firing Up Your Intuition and Coming Full Circle

Traditional Chinese medicine also says you have intuition when it comes to your body; a deeper understanding than anyone. Perhaps, you feel something’s wrong, and some part of you thinks that maybe it’s related to something else. Yet, doctors keep telling you they can’t find anything wrong, and/or one thing is not related to the other.

In Traditional Chinese medicine, we believe symptoms are related. In fact, there are several different ways symptoms can be related. For example, symptoms are related via organ systems or channels of energy or the five elements (earth, metal, water, wood, fire). We can use any of these relationships, or several others, to diagnose the pattern(s) of function that are causing your symptoms and keeping you from feeling good and doing the things you love.

How can organ imbalance can cause symptoms in the rest of my body?

When we talk about organ imbalance, it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your organs, per se. It means the energy of the organ is not functioning as efficiently as possible. For example, as the function of the spleen energy slows down, the function of the liver energy can overreact to manage the spleen’s functions. When this imbalance occurs, you may have symptoms like fatigue, abdominal bloating, nausea, headache, sleep disturbance, stress, loss of focus, or menstrual issues, like cramps and irregular bleeding. As the spleen function becomes deficient, other organ systems, like the liver, pitch in, thus becoming imbalanced. Think of how efficient and productive you are when you’re tired. Now think about working that way for many months and even years. That’s how your organs can start to feel and perform. Once we differentiate the pattern that’s causing your fatigue and overwhelm, we can customize a treatment plan specifically for you.

One of my favorite things about this medicine is watching you experience the “I knew it,” moment; that moment when everything in you says, “That’s it! I knew it. No one believed me. Now, I know I was right.” From here, you have even deeper understanding of your body, and you begin to trust your intuition. Fun, right?

Then, we talk about how to shift the pathological patterns of function and return your body to a state of balance. In traditional Chinese medicine, when everything is in balance, there are no symptoms. Symptoms only arise when there is imbalance. As imbalance occurs, more symptoms arise bringing more imbalances. This leads to deeper and deeper dysfunction or disease until we shift the pattern of function causing the imbalance. It’s circular. You were right! Nothing happens in a vacuum.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Methods of Treatment

foot-massageTraditional Chinese medicine is a holistic, functional medicine. There are a variety of traditional Chinese medicine modalities, and different practitioners choose certain modalities over others. This means the medicine is what the practitioner makes it. Here are some of the methods I use and/or teach as needed:

  • Acupuncture – Traditional Chinese medicine based acupuncture on the body.
  • Electroacupuncture- Acupuncture needles are attached to a device that generates continuous electric pulses.
  • Ear acupuncture and ear seeds – There are close to 100 points on and around the ears that correspond with and treat the functions of the organs, bones, tissues, muscles of the entire body, and more.
  • Scalp acupuncture – The scalp points treat motor impairment of the limbs, balance issues, stroke and more.
  • Cosmetic acupuncture brings more energy and collagen to the face to reduce specific wrinkles and rejuvenate appearance.
  • Fire Cupping– Suction of the cups on the skin increases blood and fluid flow to help treat many ailments, like local pain and inflammation, carpal tunnel, coughs, phlegm and more.
  • Gua sha – A gua sha tool is used to “scrape” the skin with kindness to relieve throat inflammation and pain as well as pain in the neck, back, muscles and ligaments and more. It also helps with clearing respiratory issues.
  • Qi Gong Exercises – Specific exercises to open acupuncture channels of energy and boost circulation of blood and qi.
  • Nutrition – Traditional Chinese medicine nutrition is about moderation. We discuss foods for the seasons and for supporting your healing based on your traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis.
  • Meditation – Not as scary as it sounds. Fun ways to quiet the mind. Suggestions for audio and/or books that can help.
  • Stress management techniques

Because acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine has so many methods of diagnosis and so many unique methods of treatment, we can help with a wide variety of conditions, such as chronic low back pain, chronic bronchitis and sinus infections, as well as common colds and flus. We can help with depression and anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid conditions, allergies, and migraines. I specialize in helping with infertility as well as conditions that occur during pregnancy and birth. I help with labor induction and post-partum health. I also specialize in menstrual, menopausal and post-menopausal issues. If you’re wondering whether acupuncture can help, contact Day Wellness. We take a holistic approach to natural health care. It’s our intention to help you heal, enhance your vitality and help you truly feel great again!

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