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Chinese Medicine May Not Be What You Think It Is
Think “Chinese medicine”. What comes to mind right away? Most likely, “acupuncture” is prominent and right at the top of the list. The reason for this, in part, is that acupuncture gets more press and exposure than most other aspects of Chinese medicine practice.
Chinese medicine is obviously more than just the practice of acupuncture. Acupuncture is one very valuable tool in the practitioner’s toolbox, but not the only thing. The fact is, a skilled Chinese medicine practitioner works hard to learn many different disciplines. There is a lot of all around knowledge required. Many people don’t know this, but these specialists will usually complete a four year graduate curriculum that includes study in diverse areas such as:
All of this embraces end embodies a very holistic approach to medicine and healing in general. A good Chinese medicine practitioner will be very pleased if you come to them (often as a last resort unfortunately) to “try acupuncture”. They will be very understanding of your desire to eliminate pain, for example, if that is what you come to them seeking help with.
In addition to using acupuncture to help you find relief, they will also look at your lifestyle and guide you in other areas. They will address and advise about such things as healthier living practices and improved nutritional habits. They may suggest certain herbal supplements to help your body achieve better balance and function more efficiently.
While your acupuncture treatments may well reduce or eliminate your pain, your Chinese medicine specialist will also help you understand the need to consider the big picture, your whole body, in order to create improvements that will help eliminate many of the underlying causes of your pain. They will help you understand how positive lifestyle changes can help you feel better and enjoy life more for the long term.
Here is an excerpt from a letter that was written by a Chinese medicine practitioner to her patients. It does a good job of explaining this “big picture” approach. Please enjoy, and share this story with others!
A good Chinese medicine practitioner will ask you questions about your daily activity such as; how are you breathing? Do you have short breaths or long breaths? How active are you during the day? Do you go on walks, dance, or move at all? Are you at a desk all day? Have you ever tried Qi Gong, Tai Chi, or Yoga? We will take what we have learned from these answers and try to make your daily activity more conducive to what your body needs to be healthy.
Please realize that we are not trying to make your life harder, in fact it’s just the opposite. We are trying to make your life better. We are trying to alleviate your pain symptoms, and prevent you from getting sick too often. We want all of our patients to be healthy and lead fun, fulfilling lives. This might mean that you have to give up some things that you enjoy doing. We might ask you to stop eating gluten if you are suffering from chronic pain, headaches, autoimmune diseases, and stomachaches. There is a chance you will have to stop drinking alcohol especially if that is what triggers your symptoms. Also, obvious health hazards such as soda pop and cigarettes will always be off limits. Remember you are coming to us because you don’t feel good, and that might mean something you are doing in your everyday life could be causing the problem. Let us be your detectives and figure out what it is.
As a Chinese medicine practitioner, we have many tools at our disposal to help you aside from just acupuncture. The utilization of herbal formulas is just one of several examples that your Chinese medicine practitioner might suggest for you to start taking. You see herbs go along with a healthy lifestyle and diet because just like acupuncture, they treat the root of the problem. So don’t be surprised to see us add herbal teas to your diet to help prolong the benefits of whatever treatment we prescribe you.