Herbalogy & Acupuncture
· Chinese Herbal Medicine
Herbal medicine is the main modality or treatment method within Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. TCM is the world's oldest, continually practiced professional medicine. Its written history stretcches back not less than 2.500 years and its practice is undoubtedly much older than that.
Although acupuncture was the first Chinese modality to gain wide acceptance in the west, Chinese herbal medicine is quickly establishing itself as one of the most popular and essective alternative therapies in the west.
Western folk herbalism primarily treats diseases or symptoms, such as headaches, runny nose, menstrual pain, etc. Chinese herbal medicine, when practiced as part of TCM, is based on an individualized pattern diagnosis as well as a disease diagnosis. This means the TCM patient receives a custom written herbal prescription designed to treat both the symptom or disease and also their individual pattern. Such a TCM pattern is made up of a person's signs and symptoms as well as their emotional temperament and bodily constitution.
Western folk herbalism primarily uses single herbs or groups of herbs which treat the same symptom or disease. TCM formulas include from 7-20 herbs. They are carefully crafted to include herbs addressing a person's main symptoms as well as the their entire pattern
Although called Chinese herbal medicine, TCM practitioners use ingredients from all three kingdoms -vegetable, animal, and mineral . However, the majority of these are from vegetable sources. Leaves, flowers , twigs , stems, roots, tubers, rhizomes, and barks are some of the vegetable parts used.
In acute conditions, results can be expected in a matter of minutes. In chronic conditions, some results should be seen within two weeks, Although chronic conditions may require taking Chinese Herbal medicine for a long time, nonetheless, signs that the medicine is working should be apparent to patient and practitioner alike almost from the very start.
The most common method of taking Chinese herbal medicine is as a decoction. This means that the herbs are cooked at a low boil for an minute, an hour or more and then strained and drunk 2-3 times per day. However, there are also herbal pill, tinctures and powdered extracts for those who do not have the time or taste for drinking traditional decoctions.
The benefits of drinking Chinese herbs in decoction method allows the practitioner maximum flexibility in writing a prescription. They can put in just what is necessary in just the right amounts. The formula can be changed even an a daily basis if necessary and decoctions tend to be more potent then other means of administration.
Chinese herbal teas tend to taste very bitter because they are made mostly from roots and barks where the strongest medicinal ingredient are found. If the formuls is correctly written , the bad taste should go away after 1-2 days. After that time, the patient may even come to crave the taste. This shows that the medicine is working.
Pills and powders are good for prolonged administration in the case of chronic disease where formulas do not have to be very potent or changed on a frequent basis. Pills and powders also commomly used to consolidate therapeutic results after a successful course of therapy with decoction.
Chinese herbal medicine treats the full range of human disease. It treats acute diseases, like intestinal flu and the common cold , as well as chronic diseases, such as allergies, gynecological disorder, autoimmune diseases, chronic viral disease and degenerative diseases due to aging.
In particular, Chinese herbal medicine is especilly good for promoting the body's ability to heal and recuperate.
Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the body at specific points which have been empirically proven effective in the treatment of specific disorders. These points have been mapped by the Chinese over a period of 2000 years.
Recently there location has been confirmed by electromagnetic research.Traditionally, acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of Qi(energy) and Xue(blood) through discrete channels or meridians which traverse the body similar but not identical to the nervous and blood circulatory system.
According to this theory, acupuncture regulates thisflow of Qi shunting it to those areas where it is Deficient and draining it from where it is Excess. Thus acupuncture regulates and restores the harmonious energetic balance of the body. In Chinese there is a famous dictum, "There is no pain if there is free flow;if there is pain, there is no free flow."
Essentially acupuncture promotes the free and balanced flow of Qi and Blood. As an integral part of what in English is called acupunture , most practitioners are also trained to use a number of adjunctive therapies. These typically include moxibustion, which is the burning of the herb Artemisia vulgaris sinensis over the affected area to warm it, cupping, electronic stimulation, such as acupressure, Shiatsu, Jin.Shin Jyutsu, and/or Tuina Chinese remedial massage.
The World Health Organization has publicly announced that acupuncture is for treating the following:
1. Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders: Toothaches, pain after tooth extraction,gingivitis, acute or chronic otitis, acute sinusitis, acute rhinitis, nasal catarrh, and acute tonsillitis.
2. Respiratory Disorders: Bronchial asthma (in children or adults When uncomplicated)
3. Gastrointestinal Disorders: Esophageal and cardio spasm, hiccup, gastroptosis, acute or chronic gastritis, sour stomach, chronic duodenal ulcers, acute or chronic colonitis, acute bacillary dysentery, constipation, diarrhea, and paralytic ileus.
4. Eye Disorders: Acute conjunctivitis, central retinitis, nearsightedness(In children), and cataracts without commplications.
5. Neurological and Muscular Disorders: Headaches, migraines, trigeminal neuralgis, Facial paralysis(within the first 3-6 months), post-stroke paresis, peripheral neuritis, intercostal neuralgia, cervical syndrome, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, sciatica, low back pain, and osteoarthritis. In addition, acupuncture has been used for centuries in China to treat a host of other problems, such as knee pain, sprains and most gynecological complaints.
Most acupuncturists in America today use presterilized, individually packaged, disposable needles thus absolutely assuring that there is no transmission communicable disease from patient to patient due to contaminated needles. The National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) does include a Clean Needle Test (CNT) as part of every national board exam for acupuncturists in America.
Acupuncture analgesia is an analgesic method built on the basis of relieving pain and regulating the physiological function of the human body by needling. The procedure produces an absence of pain by stimulating certain points when the patient undergoes an operation in full consciousness. It is considered an important achievement in the successful integration of traditional Chinese and Western medicine.
As acupuncture functions to regulate the physiological condition of the human body, doctors are able to take immediate measures with acupuncture according to the subjective signs of the patient to avoid the physiological disturbance caused by severe pain. Blood pressure, pulse and respiration rates during the operation remain relatively stable in most cases. After the operation, patient's physiological state remain relatively stable in mosst cases. After the operation, patients physiological state remain normal, as manifested in early regaining of appetite and ambulatory activities, and satisfactory healing of wound. All these conducive to an early recovery.
Clinical practice and scientific experiments with acupuncture analgesia show that the nervous system is involved in pain suppression and physiological regulation of acupuncture analgesia. In other words, the functional integrity of nervous system is a prerequisite to produce needling sensation and analgesic effect. commonly used in acupuncture analgesia are selecting Auricular points, Electric stimulation, Hand manipulatin, Induction and Retaining of the Needle.