“The major difference between Eastern perspective and Western perspective is that the people of the East perceive everything as alive where as the people of the West perceive everything as dead”~ Anonymou
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient system of medicine originating from China around 5000 years ago. It is a complete system of medicine using unique ways such as observing the tongue and pulse for diagnosis. Once understanding the imbalance in the body, the practitioner is able to choose the right points and pathways to help restore equilibrium and therefore allow the body to heal itself.
TCM is a holistic medicine and views all the parts as one picture. For instance, it sees how everything works together. In TCM we have 12 major organs, each having a pathway and a specific type of Qi/energy that it controls. Along the pathway are the acupuncture points. These points have specific qualities related to the organ, such as warming, cooling, drying, moving, draining or strengthening. Each organ is responsible for not only physical functions, but also emotional and spiritual qualities. Therefore, acupuncture can be used to treat not only the physical body but can also help to regulate the emotional and spiritual aspects of our being.
Acupuncture is just one of the therapies used in TCM, the others being cupping, gua sha, moxabustion,Qi Gong, nutrition and herbal medicine and even acupuncture injections.
The true beauty and art of Chinese Medicine is it’s ability to make connections and see patterns in a patient. These patterns are often related to Yin and Yang, the balance between dark and light and the Five Elements; Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. Just like the seasons, the human body should always be changing to stay balanced.
Many people are apprehensive about needles, with uncomfortable memories of having bloodwork or surgeries. However, acupuncture needles are a fraction of medical needles and create minimal sensation. Most people find it a gentle and relaxing experience. For instance, they fall asleep or daydream.
From a Western perspective, acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system, relaxes muscles, restores blood flow, and affects the glands and hormones to create change in the body. It is generally a very safe treatment with minimal negative side effects and is appropriate for people of all ages.
Be educated in the difference between Registered and Non-Registered Practitioners click here to read more.
For more information read my Acupuncture Q & A, page 7 in OHW: