The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), list of what is considered Complementary and Alternative Medicine overall improvements daily. Alternative therapies like acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have become the norm. Many Western traditionally trained medical practitioners are also trained in the ancient medicine.
Today, that person can be as close as your family doctor or chiropractor. American Holistic Medical Association, American Academy of Medical Acupuncture for Physicians, and the American Chiropractic Association have specialty councils such as ACA College of Chiropractic Acupuncture (ACACCA). Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAORM) and National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) are few readily available resources. In major cities, acupuncture is getting mainstream attention, like the top-rated acupuncture clinic in NYC – where famous celebrities are getting consultations.
TCM in a Nutshell
According to Dr. Kenneth Chao, Chinese Medicine is more than 3000 years old. Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment is based on the holistic understanding found in Daoism. Each human is seen as a world in miniature, a garden in which doctor and patient together strive to cultivate health. Every person has a unique terrain to be mapped, as poetically described by Harriet Beinfield L.Ac. The Chinese Medicine approach treats zang-fu organs, the visible internal organs of the body, as the core of the human body. Tissue and organs are connected through a network of channels and blood vessels inside the human body.
The zang organs are of paramount importance in the body. They coordinate with the fu organs and connect with the five tissues (channels, jin muscles, skin-hair, bones), and the nine openings (eyes, nose, ears, mouth, tongue, anus and external genitalia), to form the system of the Five Zang. Qi (or Chi) acts as some kind of carrier of information that is expressed externally through the jingluo system.
Popular Forms of TCM
Acupuncture and Chinese herbology are the most popular treatment forms in the United States. Other therapies include tai qi and qi gong (physical exercise), and tui’na (manual therapies), among others. The clinical diagnosis and treatment in Chinese Medicine are mainly based on the yin-yang and five elements theories. These theories apply the phenomena and laws of nature to the study of the physiological activities and pathological changes of the human body and its interrelationships.
With acupuncture, treatment is accomplished by stimulating specific areas of the external body. These therapies appear very different in approach yet they all share the same underlying sets of assumptions and insights like the human body and its place in the universe.