Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which includes Acupuncture, Herbs, Tuina, and many other modalities, offers an entire theoretical and scientific system. It is not simply a gathering of pieces of experience, remedies, and knowledge, it is a medicine with its own theory of the body that underpins explanations of how and why certain treatments are used and how and why sickness originates and resolves. Excellent medicines have emerged from many ancient civilizations. China is unique in that, for a number of social, cultural, political, and economic reasons, its medicine experienced a relatively continuous development. Generations have continued to refine and develop the rich medical traditions that can be traced to classic ancient texts, many of which are thousands of years old.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has its own medical schools, clinics, and hospitals. Half-a-million TCM doctors in China and thousands of acupuncturists and herbalists outside of China treat billions of people internationally. Hundreds of medical journals record and assess clinical results. More and more TCM practitioners and researchers are using modern research techniques to conduct systematic and extensive research. When herbal formulas are used properly, practitioners have found time and again that they offer reliable clinical results.
A growing number of medical consumers are interested in natural medical treatments. They want herbal remedies with few side effects. Chinese herbal formulas are powerful yet gentle treatments that offer patients natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals. Even when consumed in dosages five times that of what is recommended, most herbal formulas are safe and non-toxic.
Some people radiate health. Their hair, skin, and nails shine. Their eyes are clear. They have a good energy level combined with an even emotional state. Others don’t radiate health. They may catch colds frequently or have a hard time getting through a day because of poor energy. They may have chronic pain or poor digestion. If this kind of person goes to an allopathic physician (a Western-trained M.D.), the physician will probably run a number of blood tests, do a thorough physical, and occasionally will find that “nothing is wrong.” The state of health of the person who does not look or feel well is considered the same as that of the person who clearly looks and feels healthy. Many people who seek out “alternative medicine” have had this experience. Others have been diagnosed as having illnesses that have limited treatments according to allopathic medicine or whose treatments consist of continuous medicating with drugs that may have short-term or long-term side effects.
Many Western herbal and allopathic treatments are aimed at treating symptoms. In order to maintain a relief from symptoms, the treatment must be continued indefinitely. Chinese herbal formulas target the underlying conditions that lead to symptoms. Once the underlying condition is treated, the symptoms will subside, and treatment can be stopped.
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