Traditional Chinese medicine has been around for thousands of years. There are many elements to traditional Chinese medicine. Some of the most well-known aspects of these ancient practices include acupuncture, tai chi, and herbal tinctures.
Today, many western societies are turning to these ancient practices to help heal a variety of issues. The National Institute of Health Medicine recognizes the need for traditional Chinese medicine and has published a fact sheet about its various types.
Used to alleviate pain and treat other medical conditions, acupuncture is a great source of complementary medicine. Acupuncture involves stimulating different points on the body to treat different conditions. Sometimes the stimulation of these spots on the body involves sticking small needles into the skin.
Live Science notes that there are many well-conducted studies that show acupuncture is effective at treating chronic pain. Acupuncture is often used in Europe and the United States to treat both chronic pain and nausea.
Acupuncturists believe that the effectiveness of treatment comes from unblocking the flow of energy (qi) through the body. The acupressure and acupuncture points release the blocked flow of energy allowing the healing process to take place.
Western scientists believe that neurohormonal pathways stimulated during acupuncture allow the release of specific hormones, which produces a euphoric feeling.
Descended from Qigong, Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that uses movement to help with healing. Medicine Net notes that some records of Tai Chi date back 2500 years. This series of slow, methodical movements can help align the body’s energy and help alleviate stress.
While Tai Chi can be used for martial arts, it is also used to help bring into line the energy of the body. Tai Chi can strengthen the body as well as increase flexibility; it is also helpful in treating heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, depression, and even digestive disorders.
One of the greatest benefits of Tai Chi is fall prevention through muscular training and balance. Repeated studies show that people who have just eight weeks of Tai Chi had improved function and balance tests.
Traditional Chinese herbal medicine has been used to treat everything from the common cold to reproductive health. The Institute for Traditional Medicine notes that many western remedies for conditions like hepatitis have come from the study of traditional medicines from China.
Traditional methods for taking herbal medicines were teas and honey bound pills. Today many herbalists use extracts or gel capsules filled with ground herbs. Herbal medicines are quite effective for the conditions they treat. Many thousands of people across the globe rely on these forms of medicine daily.
Herbal medicines are just that, medicine. If you are seeing an herbalist, you should let your doctor know about any medications you are taking along with herbs and supplements. Sometimes the traditional herbal medicines can have serious interactions with western medications. These interactions range from mild stomach upset, all the way to death.
In the United States, herbal medicines are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is important to know the source of your traditional Chinese herbs is reliable and reputable.
Traditional Chinese Treatments
Traditional Chinese medicine is used throughout the world to treat a variety of conditions. Whether using Tai Chi to build balance and stamina or acupuncture to treat chronic pain, Chinese medicine has earned its right to stand beside western treatments. Many people prefer to seek out complementary medicines like traditional Chinese herbs before they seek western medicine.
While not everyone will benefit from traditional Chinese medicine, like all medicine, it is a great resource for those struggling to overcome chronic conditions. The benefits of Chinese medicine have been seen for centuries. Now, with open trade and dialogue, western culture is beginning to reap the benefits of these sacred and traditional treatments.