Chinese Medicine is an ancient system of health care extending back over 5000 years, that includes various forms of treatments – Chinese herbology, acupuncture, massage (tui-na), dietary therapy and Qigong (exercises).
One of the basic tenets of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is that the body’s vital energy (Qi) is circulating through channels, called meridians, that have branches connected to bodily organs and functions. The ancient Chinese believed that we humans are a microcosms of the larger surrounding universe, and are interconnected with nature and subject to its forces. Balance between health and disease is a key concept. TCM treatment seeks to restore this balance through treatment specific to the individual.
In ancient China, one was treated throughout the year and not only during illness, in order to avoid getting sick. The Chinese doctor would teach his patients how to live properly and how to maintain balance throughout the year.
Treatment of Chinese Medicine consists of several steps:
Intake and Diagnosis – In Chinese Medicine we seek to find the root for every problem in the body. Only by treating the root of the problem may you experience improvement. ‘There is no such thing as one medicine for one problem, but one medicine for one person’. Meaning, we must be precise when diagnosing and treating a patient in order to receive quick and efficient results.
Let’s take a ‘headache’ for example. In Western Medicine the range of treatment varies from NSAID’s to muscle relaxants in order to treat the pain. In Chinese Medicine we want to understand what is causing the pain, the cause of a headache may vary between 8 different types of Chinese diagnosis, and therefore each case will be treated differently.
Tongue diagnosis – The tongue is said to be a map of our body, therefore the practitioner will ask you to stick out your tongue in order to examine it. He will pay attention to the color, size, shape, and coating.
Pulse diagnosis – The pulse also serves as a very important diagnostic tool in Chinese Medicine. The practitioner will explore the pulse, focusing on the speed and general quality, and examining the various parts of the body through the pulse.
Diagnosis is done after gathering information from the patient, through questions as well as pulse and tongue.
Chinese Medicine sees the body as one whole unit, therefore even if you come in with stomach pains, the practitioner will examine other areas as well.
Treatment – Once the diagnosis has been figured out the practitioner chooses a treatment method (acupuncture/Chinese herbs), and may recommend dietary and lifestyle changes.
The beauty of Chinese Medicine in my opinion is that our role as practitioners is not to force a change in the body, but suggests that the key to health and harmony lies in each and every one of us. Therefore my role as you practitioner is to help your body get back on track in order to seek balance or harmony.