Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been practiced in China for more than three thousand years. For Chinese people this kind of medicine is not “alternative” but the routine to take. In the United States, these practices seem very new. People have lots of questions. We have created this page to answer your questions. Any questions and suggestions regarding acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are always welcomed!
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a very effective therapy for over 450 kind of diseases and conditions. It uses very fine acupuncture needle (like hair), or heat, or cupping etc to stimulate the points to promote the body’s natural healing (rebalancing) and improve the body’s overall functioning. The yin and yang are eventually rebalanced and the patients will be back to normal again.
What is Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM)?
CHM is another major part of Chinese Medicine. It uses Chinese herbs to treat patients. So far in China, we find that it can effect all the diseases and conditions. 99% patients can get very good results.
What is traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?
TCM has been practiced in China for more than three thousand years. It uses unique theories to direct its clinical application effectively. It includes Chinese Herbal medicine (CHM), acupuncture, moxibustion, diseases prevention, personal hygiene, diet therapy, Qigong, Taiji and health preserving etc. It has the same branches as modern western medicine, such as internal medicine, surgery etc.
What is Chinese Medicine (CH)?
CH can be interpreted in two ways. One way is that all the medical approaches used in China nowadays include modern western medicine, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or the combination of these two because for many diseases it is much more effective if both approaches are combined. The other interpretation refers to TCM only.
What is the situation of TCM in China now?
TCM in China now is very popular. Practically, every province, city, county have their own TCM hospitals with as many as 1500 beds. Scientically, tremendouse numbers of researches have been conducted annually by institutes, hospitals and universities. Educationally, there are twenty eight formal-full-time-five-year TCM universities with nationally enrollment. If you want, you still have another two three-year programs with different degrees to complete as long as enrolled again nationally.
How can you find a good acupuncturist?
Medicine is more or less a science of experience. So is the TCM (acupuncture). In China ten years experience will be good enough because one doctor can see as many as 30 to 50 even 100 patients a day. If it is ten year experience, that means he or she has seen as many as 80,000 patients times already provided 40 patients per day. A good TCM doctor including acupuncturist should check your tongue, feel your pulses (both sides), ask your questions about your disease’s history, related situation etc every time. Accordingly, the acupuncture points and herbs used should not be cxactly the same because your situation is almost always changing. He/she should give your a good explaination about your situation and why he/she dose that. In Chinese medicine, the communication between the patient and the doctor is very important. He/she should also give you suggestions about your diet on what kind of food is good for you and what kind should be fobidden too because the nature of the food is different.
Why some of my favourite food are forbidden by my TCM doctor or my acupuncturist?
In TCM, food are divided into different natures: cold, cool, warm, hot, which can generate sputum, or dryness, or stagnation (obstruction), etc. So if you are a cold type person or your problem is cold by nature, the TCM doctor will suggest you to avoid the cold or cool food but encourage you to eat warm or hot food etc. Generally, spicy food is warm or hot by nature, many vegetebles are cold or cold, some fruits are warm or hot etc.
What is the concept of diseases in TCM?
According to TCM, our human body has three statuses: normal, preabnormal and abnormal. Or normal, predisease and disease statuses, putting into another way. Needless to say, normal is normal, it is healthy situation; and disease is abnomal, it is unhealthy situation. Here we need to talk more about predisease status. Mary Smith, an eighty seven years old lady, suffered a lot from a very ” strange disease ” apart from hypertention. Every day for the last two years, she felt there are warm streams going upwards to her stomach from her lower extremities almost every two to three hours. When it happened, she felt very uneasy and she was going to die. She had poor appetite, and did not like any hot stuffs. She was rushed to the emergency room on the ambulances for several times because she could not stand the suffering. But the doctors there could not find any solid abnormal results. So immediately she was sent back home. After dignosis, we found that she suffers from too much fire in her body. So, after a few treatment, all the sufferings are gone.
Here is another case: He had bad appetite for a long time. He went to many doctors for help but no one found anything wrong with him. We found that he suffered from the yin deficiency. After acupuncture and herbs, his bad appretite went away. There are many more these kinds of cases, some have cold extremities, some have a bad mood, some feel thirsty all the time, some can not sleep well, some get poor memory suddenly etc. etc. And nothing wrong can be found in them according to modern western medical machines such as MRI, CT and US. But, in TCM, these are the signs of the very early stages of the diseases. We treat these symptoms immediately and we get good results. We consider these symptoms as minor diseases. As you can see, in TCM, the diseases include the diseases and prediseases statuses.
Are the concepts of the internal organs as same as those in the modern western medicine?
Yes and no. Yes means, practically, about 30% are the same. No means about 70% are different. In TCM, an organ refers to not only the solid organ itself but also the overall body system. For example, the heart in TCM can not only pump the blood but also control the thinking, mind and the status of the life activity etc.
What is wind, cold, summerheat, dampness, dryness and fire in TCM?
These words are used in TCM to discribe the natural phenomena of the weather and climate. They are called “six qi” if they are normal changes without hurting human body. Like normal four season changes they are cold in the winter, warm in spring, hot (fire and summerheat) in summer, dampness in the time in late summer and early fall, dryness in fall, wind in all seasons but the spring’s wind is the best. All these changes are good for human body.
But if the changes are as abnormal as warm in winter, cold in spring, human body will be hurt. In this case, they are called “six Evils”. For some people, even the six qi is harmful to them, so to these people the six qi are the six evils too.