Born out of a medical tradition that has accumulated over 4,000 years’ worth of empirical knowledge, Chinese Medicine (CM) is becoming a globally recognised and valued form of healthcare today that is capable of effectively treating a wide range of conditions. It consists of four key areas of skill:
- Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM)
- Tui Na (twee-na) Remedial Massage
- Medical Qigong (chee-gong).
Underpinning diagnosis is the understanding that the human organism operates as a whole and must therefore be treated as a whole. Its view is that we are comprised of interdependent energetic and physical systems that in health are self-balancing and self-regulating.
Illness and disease arises when, for a plethora of reasons, this exquisite balance is lost. The art and skill of the practitioner is to discern just how to restore this finely interwoven balance. This perception of wholism is a fundamental feature of Chinese medicine (CM) and enables the practitioner to make perfect sense of a seemingly unconnected assembly of symptoms and complaints.
Chinese Medicine offers a comprehensive healthcare option for treating a wide spectrum of organ related illness, nervous system conditions, autoimmune disease, musculoskeletal issues as well as benefitting psycho-emotional dimensions of health. It can be used alone or as an adjunct therapy to conventional biomedicine (see Integrative Medicine link) either to help reinforce biomedical treatment or to help counter its side effects.
What to expect in a treatment:
A detailed and thorough initial consultation with the patient is essential regarding their whole experience of their health, physically, mentally and emotionally. The practitioner also relies on both tongue and pulse diagnosis to fully assess a case.
Tongue Diagnosis: In CM, the tongue is seen as an external expression of the internal environment and a veritable map of the body. The quality, texture and colour of both the tongue body and coat will be viewed as this reveals crucial information about the functional condition of all the organ systems, blood and body fluids.
Pulse Diagnosis: Like the tongue, the pulse offers a detailed window into a person’s health. The diagnostic information gathered above is tallied with the pulse, which will either ratify the information gathered thus far or divulge further subtleties for consideration in the diagnostic process.
With all the above information gathered, an optimal treatment strategy can be discussed and agreed, involving most commonly a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.