Traditional Chinese Medicine is a Wellness Model of healthcare.
If you are new to natural medicines hopefully the following will help explain why this is so special.
Western Medicine looks to find answers to your health problems on a physical level, this is observable data, if it can be measured and quantified then it is real. The limitation of this is that it doesn’t take into the account that you and your universe are made up of much more then that which current technology can physically measure. Perhaps you have had the experience of feeling lousy and visiting your doctor for a variety of medical tests only to have the results indicate there is nothing wrong with you? You might even have been told that it is ‘in your head’. As a Wellness Model, if your subjective experience of everyday life is that you feel lousy then according to Tradition Chinese Medicine there is something wrong. This is because ‘wellness’ is the goal, rather than just an absence of illness.
Natural medicines such as Traditional Chinese Medicine acknowledge that all existence is energy. When energy starts to form together it becomes dense physical matter that can be measured and observed; however there are less substantial forms of energy that are also part of your life force and your environment. So whilst your Physical Body is part of the sensory experience of being human, you are also made up of various lighter energetic bodies: the Emotional Body, Mental Body and other spiritual bodies.
Good health is the result of abundant energy that is flowing properly through all the energetic bodies. Poor health and dis-ease occur when energy becomes imbalanced, is blocked and stagnates or is insufficient.
Traditional Chinese Medicine involves a diagnosis based on asking a whole lot of questions which helps to assess your energy, known as Qi in the language of Chinese Medicine. Using acupuncture and/or herbs a TCM practitioner then aims to effect changes to your Qi to restore correct and abundant Qi flow, promoting health and a sense of wellbeing.
Acupuncture works using the Meridian system, which is the energetic system through which Qi flows throughout your body. As energy flows along the channels there are potent points, called acupoints, that can be used to effect changes in the body. Acupuncture involves insertion of fine needles at the acupoint. Moxibustion is the application of heat using the herb Mugwort to apply warmth to the acupoints and the body.
Most people are pretty surprised the first time they have acupuncture to find that not only does it NOT hurt, but they can’t feel where the needles are. In fact, they usually feel pretty relaxed and find themselves falling to sleep.
This is because acupuncture aims to restore the proper flow of Qi and when Qi is flowing we are in our natural state of relaxation.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine is traditionally taken as a prescription comprising a strange mix of dried barks and leaves and seeds that you brew into what is called a decoction and drink as a daily tea. This is the most potent form of medicine, but these days we also have the convenience of being able to take herbs in powder forms or capsules which some people find more palatable as the Chinese Herbs are an acquired taste!
Chinese Herbs are powerful and when you take a prescription you have the reassurance of knowing you are taking a natural medicine that has been used continuously and safely for thousands of years.
Whilst most conditions can be treated with either Chinese Herbs or Acupuncture there are certain conditions which respond best to herbs whilst in other cases acupuncture will be more effective, and sometimes a combination of both will be recommended.