Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM )dates back nearly five thousand years and is often defined as an ancient healing system that sees the relationship between body and mind as a whole, integrated process. In TCM, different aspects of life including:
- our mental and emotional state,
- our diet and lifestyle,
- and our environment are considered equally important for a person’s well being.
When all these elements are balanced, we experience steady health and wellness, both physical and emotional. According to TCM, all our organs and vital body functions interact in a single continuum, each one influencing, restraining and controlling each other. This means that harmony (which here means the healthy absence of pain and disease) within the whole body depends on the good functioning and interactions between all the vital systems and organs. If even one element is not fully functioning as it should, our entire organism will suffer for it.
The difference between the TCM holistic approach and that of western medicine is evident: while modern Western medicine views body and mind as separate entities (therefore treating particular diseases with specific drugs, and searching to eliminate offending micro-organisms from our bodies), Chinese medicine uses natural approaches to rebalance our whole being, never separating out the mind and/or body from the environment. Where western medicine frequently neglects and even denies the reciprocal interactions of body and mind, TCM aims to restore the balance between the physical and the metaphysical.
We are all familiar with the specialized fields into which western medicine has divided itself in recent decades. It is common now to have different doctors, cures, prescriptions and therapies for every last individual body part and system. For every health issue we experience, we are advised to consult a different specialist and are frequently prescribed drugs and medications that when combined create adverse and unhelpful reactions between each other. In historical terms, this approach has evolved from the West’s 17th and 18th Century concept of the body as a machine from which single components could be removed, analyzed, repaired and reinstalled to ensure the good functioning of the whole system.
On the other hand, we start from an alternative philosophy that there is no other way to restore health except by treating the body as a whole entity. This intimate and mutually dependent interaction between all body parts is crucial to understanding why TCM works and why it is so different from western medicine.
TCM also takes a different approach to the treatment of pain. Many modern medicines simply block off the pain and so offer a temporary reprieve from discomfort. However, modern medicines do not always address the root cause of the pain which consequently may remain untreated in the body. In TCM philosophy, pain is seen as a clear indication of a blockage of energy (in other words, an impediment to the natural flow of our body energy), and treats it directly. In TCM terms, ignoring the pain, or simply numbing it, wouldn’t produce any real benefit. TCM herbalist therapies and holistic treatments aim to heal the whole person, not just the pain, disease or a single aspect of it. TCM’s focus is on prevention rather than letting problems arise and then having to find a cure.
A health assessment in Traditional Chinese Medical can detect subtle imbalances in the body before they develop into diseases, and much earlier than regular Western medical tests can detect any abnormalities. Check below to see a list of symptoms and conditions that acupuncture can treat, and give us a call or contact us online to make your appointment at our Wortley Village clinic in London Ontario.
Symptoms & Conditions
Below you will find a list of the most common conditions and symptoms that we treat in our clinic. If you are suffering from some of these conditions yourself, please know that acupuncture can offer an alternative form of safe healing that will relieve your discomfort without damaging side effects.
eczema, psoriasis, acne, herpes zoster, alopecia, urticiaria, hives, allergic skin rashes.
anxiety, depression, nervousness, neurosisInsomnia.
Poor vision, cataracts, gingivitis, toothache
Abdominal pain, hiccups, irritable bowel syndrowme, diarrhea, constipation, chronic colitis, hyperacidity, ulcers, indigestion, nausea, vomiting and crohn’s
pre-menstrual syndrome, menstrual irregularities, pre & post partum care, infertility, symptoms of menopause
Addiction control, immune system, tonification, stress reduction, chronic fatigue, weight management, blood pressure regualtin, athletic performance.
arthritis, rheumatism, sciatica, cervical spondylosis, injuries, sprains/over strains, chronic/acute pain, muscle pain/weakness/cramping, tennis elbow
headaches, migraines, post operative pain, hemiplegia, parkinson’s disease, MS, facial paralysis, post stroke rehabilitation
the common cold, allergies, bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, rhinitis
Other Common Conditions and Symptoms that Acupuncture can Treat:
- Ankle Swelling
- Attention Deficit
- Bed Wetting (Enuresis)
- Bronchial Conditions
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Chronic Cough
- Chemical Intoxication
- Colon Spasms
- Disc (Spinal) Problems
- Dizziness (vertigo)
- Down Syndrome
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does a TCM practitioner determine what’s wrong with me?
Your practitioner will employ several diagnostic tools to determine what is out of balance. This begins with questioning the patient about their various signs and symptoms, previous medical history, and course of illness. Next is a physical inspection of one’s face, body, posture, and in particular the tongue and its coating. The practitioner will also palpate various body areas, and the pulse at both wrists. Finally, the sound of one’s voice, breathing, and any smells or odors will also form part of the picture. By using the combined information obtained from these diagnostic methods, the practitioner will be able to determine what is out of balance, and the appropriate treatment method(s) will be selected.
Can TCM help me?
It is estimated that 25% of the world’s population makes use of TCM therapies. In fact, traditional Chinese medicine and modern Western medicine are the two dominant medical systems in the world today. Chinese medicine is a complete medical system, with methods and treatments that can address the full range of disease: acute and chronic, traumatic, infectious, and internally generated. However, there are some cases where Chinese medicine may not be powerful enough. Conditions that are particularly far advanced or virulent, or cases of emergency or acute trauma may not be ideal for TCM. On the other hand, Chinese medicine is an ideal choice at the early stages of any disease, or for cases where modern medicine has no effective treatment.
How long will it take?
There are many factors that determine how long a person will require treatment. Generally speaking, newer or more recent problems will require fewer treatments, and chronic or older conditions will take more time. Acute injuries or conditions of acute pain will be treated with greater frequency (2-3 times per week), and chronic conditions are treated less frequently.
Do I have to keep coming back for treatment?
This is a common question, and the answer is not simple. It is recommended that you return for periodic treatments, much the same as you see your dentist. This allows your practitioner to help you maintain a desired state of health. This notion of preventative medical care is one that we at North Shore Wellness Centre consider extremely important, and we try to educate all of our patients as to the importance of regular care.
Is Chinese medicine safe?
In Ontario, practitioners are governed the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario. This is the regulating body of TCM in the province, and it is your assurance of competent, quality practitioners. When practiced correctly, TCM will have no side effects, and is extremely safe. The Heaven Scent clinic uses individually packaged, sterile, disposable needles so there is virtually no chance of infection.
Is acupuncture painful?
An acupuncture needle is extremely thin, and their insertion is virtually painless. Some needling sites will produce very little sensation, and you may not even know the needles are in place. Other sites may produce a sensation of tingling, electricity, heat, cold, heaviness, or an achy sensation. There may also be a sensation of qi (energy) moving up or down the channels. The vast majority of people find acupuncture to be extremely relaxing, and many will even fall asleep during treatment.
“Chinese medicine is a system of folk healing.”
Not true. Chinese medicine has been developed by some of the sharpest minds in Chinese history, and there are more than 40,000 books and pieces of literature on Chinese medicine. Studies are routinely conducted in Mainland China, and new developments in the field of Chinese medicine are common.
The practice of traditional Chinese medicine is extremely safe when performed by a competent, registered practitioner.