Chinese Medicine as the Bridge
How can Chinese Medicine assist the community with healthy living? For starters, it has a rich 5,000 year-old history. Typically things don’t last long if they’re not working. Chinese Medicine takes a systematic approach to finding a healthy balance with the use of acupuncture, herbs, exercise, nutrition, and mindfulness/meditation, to name a few. Acupuncture techniques include the use of acupuncture needles, cupping, scrapping, massage, moxibustion, electrical stimulation therapy and much more.
The treatment and management of pain is what makes acupuncture popular in America and there is a lot of new and exciting research in this area. We now know that acupuncture releases nitric oxide and that excess amounts of nitric oxide contribute to acute and chronic pain and inflammation. If there is a logjam crossing a stream, then the water isn’t flowing naturally. In the body, when nitric oxide isn’t flowing smoothly and naturally through the body then pain will arise either at the blockage or somewhere downstream. The American College of Physicians set new guidelines for the treatment of low back pain earlier this year in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Acupuncture is now considered one of the top non-pharmacologic therapies for low back pain. This is really big news for our profession!
Chinese Medicine looks at the body like a living ecosystem. The body suffers when balance has been lost. It’s like cultivating a garden. For the garden to yield a healthy harvest, several steps need to be taken. The soil needs to be tended to, the seeds planted, the weeds plucked, the insects managed, plenty of water and sunshine, and time to mature. Believe it or not, we aren’t much different.
The theories and concepts of Chinese Medicine have been cultivated and developed over thousands of years by close observation and connection to the natural environment and its cycles. The human being is merely an expression of its environment, as above, so below. Scientific research is now saying that only 3-5% of disease is caused by genetics. If this is true, then we potentially have a lot more control over our health than we might expect. It really comes down to tending our inner garden with practices like Chinese Medicine. It may seem difficult to do with our modern stressors and busy schedules, but it’s never too late to start. Being healthy is a journey not a destination. It’s about being resilient in the face of adversity and taking ownership of our wellbeing.
There is growing uncertainty in the future of our health care system and rising health care costs. Now, more that ever, we need to take our health into our own hands. Preventative medicine is an important concept for living a long and healthy life. Unfortunately, we aren’t taught how to do this in school. Chinese Medicine can be a bridge between traditional medicine and modern medicine. It’s not a replacement but rather a compliment to Western Medicine. We look to become allies with our patients and their doctors—to bridge the gaps between what may be missing in their existing health and wellness program.
If you have more questions in regards to Chinese Medicine or would like to experience it yourself, then contact me at Marshall Acupuncture & Herb Clinic in downtown Marshall. You can find me at marshallacupuncture.com, Facebook or 828-649-9601.