East meets West
Over the past few decades, the gap between the east and west has narrowed substantially. Perhaps as a result of this, millions of Americans are seeking out eastern medical treatment and looking to supplement prescribed western medical therapy.The National Institute of Health, widely considered to be the caretaker of western medicine, spends millions of dollars every year in research on alternative medicine. The NIH has published numerous favorable studies on both acupuncture and Chinese herbs. The World Health Organization embraces eastern medicine and it’s integration into current medical therapy around the globe.
Eastern medicine protects health, anticipates problems, helps to preserve balance and renew internal resources; the fundamental goals of western medicine are much the same. These two philosophies are not substitutes for one another; in fact, they can be synergistic. By combining the strengths of eastern and western medicine, many diseases can be treated more rapidly and thoroughly than ever before. Eastern medicine meets western medicine. Harmony and health are restored.
Acupuncture is an integral part of traditional Oriental medicine, a vast system of health care with an unbroken clinical history extending over 3000 years. Oriental medicine includes acupuncture, Chinese herbology, tui na - Asian bodywork, mental-emotional work, dietary therapy and exercise based on Eastern medical principles. These therapies work with the chi or vital energy inherent within all living things to facilitate the body's ability to heal itself. Acupuncture and Eastern medicine is used extensively by more than one-quarter of the world's population and is rapidly growing in popularity in the West.
How does it work?
Oriental medicine is based on an energetic model rather than the biochemical model of Western medicine. The ancient Chinese recognized a vital energy behind all life forms and life processes. They called this energy Qi (pronounced "chee"). In developing an understanding of the prevention and cure of disease, practitioners discovered that this energy flows along specific pathways called 'meridians'. Each pathway is associated with a particular physiologic system and internal organ. Disease is considered to arise due to an imbalance of energy in the meridians and their related physiological systems. Acupuncture points are specific locations along the meridians where the vital energy surfaces. Each point has a well known effect. Modern science has been able to measure a special electrical charge at these points, thus validating the locations of the meridians mapped so many centuries ago. Traditional Eastern medicine utilizes an intricate system of diagnosis paying special attention to the pulse and tongue, palpation of points and meridians, medical history and other signs and symptoms. The goal is to create a composite diagnosis based on the functioning of every system of the body. A treatment plan is then formulated to aid the body In recovering balanced state of health.
What can I expect?
Many ailments can be alleviated rapidly by acupuncture and Oriental medicine. However, some chronic conditions that have arisen over many years can be rebalanced only with regular steady progress. As in any form of healing, the patient's attitude, eating habits, determination and overall lifestyle will affect the outcome of the treatment. Patients are encouraged to participate in their healing process. Although Oriental medicine can help most conditions, there are circumstances dealt with more effectively by Western medicine. In such cases, you will be recommended to contact a Western medical doctor. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine should be seen as complementary to Western medicine. Be smart- get the best of both worlds!
Is Acupuncture safe?
In the hands of a trained and licensed acupuncturist it is very safe. Throughout their education, Licensed Acupuncturists are trained extensively and tested on Clean Needle Technique (CNT) and all safety precautions surrounding acupuncture.
Is Acupuncture painful?
Acupuncture bears no resemblance to the feeling of receiving an injection. Acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible, about the diameter of a human hair. In most cases, insertion by a skilled practitioner is performed without discomfort. You may experience a sense of heaviness or electricity in the area of insertion. Most patients find the treatments very relaxing and many fall asleep during treatment.
What does Acupuncture treat?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture and traditional Oriental medicine's ability to treat over 43 common disorders including:
Gastrointestinal Disorders, such as food allergies, peptic ulcer, chronic diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, gastrointestinal weakness, anorexia and gastritis
Urogenital Disorders, including stress incontinence, urinary tract infections, and sexual dysfunction
Gynecological Disorders, such as irregular, heavy, or painful menstruation, infertility in women and men, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Respiratory Disorders, such as emphysema, sinusitis, asthma, allergies and bronchitis
Disorders of the Bones, Muscles, Joints and Nervous System, such as arthritis, migraine headaches, neuralgia, insomnia, dizziness and low back, neck and shoulder pain
Circulatory Disorders, such as hypertension, angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis and anemia
Emotional and Psychological Disorders, such as depression and anxiety
Addictions, such as alcohol, nicotine and drugs
Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders
Supportive therapy for other chronic, painful, debilitating disorders
How can I find an Acupuncturist for my pet?
In many states, the practice of Veterinary Acupuncture is not within the scope of practice of a Licensed Acupuncturist. In Los Angeles we highly recommend Dr Howie Baker DVM who practices at TLC Pet Medical Centers, (310) 859-4852.
What do some of the acronyms stand for?
Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM) = Diplomate in Acupuncture by the National Certification Commission for Acu and Oriental Medicine
L.Ac. = Licensed Acupuncturist (a licensure title used in most states)
MTOM = Masters Degree In Traditional Oriental Medicine