What does Chinese Medicine Include?
Carlos Durana Ph.D., M.Ac. practices acupuncture in Washington D.C., Reston, Virginia, and in Bethesda, Maryland.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a set of ancient Chinese medical practices, which got its foundation from Taoist beliefs that were established over 4,000 years ago. Those that practiced TCM were focused on the interrelated processes of the human body, operating under the conviction that all illnesses are manifestations of underlying imbalances and disharmonies in the body’s energy, or Qi (pronounced ‘chee’). Those that use TCM as a treatment for illness today usually use it in conjunction with more traditional Western treatments, such as medication, physical therapy, and surgery. Traditional Chinese Medicine has been refined and adapted, but many practices are still used as treatments in their original forms, and Chinese medicine Bethesda MD is no exception. Some of the forms of TCM that are in regular use today are acupuncture, Qi Gong and Chinese herbal medicine.
- Qi Gong is a non-competitive, no-contact martial art that is widely practiced due to its health benefits. It is used as a form of exercise, because of its gentle movements and stretches, and has been shown to increase balance control and flexibility, reduce stress and anxiety, decrease joint pain, and treat depression. It promotes serenity and inner peace, similar to the Indian practice of yoga. The founder of Qi Gong is believed to be a Taoist monk named Zhang Sanfeng, who left his monastery to create a form of fighting focused on ‘softness’ and to balance Qi. This is demonstrative of the Taoist belief of Ying/Yang, that light and dark energies need to be balanced in order for there to be peace. Qi Gong is the perfect example of this balance, and helps those that practice it to realize and embrace this balance.
- Acupuncture is the insertion of many small needles into specific centers of the body to encourage the flow of energy and enable balance. Several studies have shown, especially in regard to back pain, that acupuncture therapy can stop or reduce the amount of lower back pain that chronic sufferers experience. Acupuncture treatment has been tried, developed, tested, and refined over thousands of years, and there is real evidence that has been discovered that validates this particular medical practice.
- Herbal therapy is perhaps the most widely practiced facet of TCM and uses natural substances found in plants, minerals, and animals. Most practitioners use two or more substances in medicinal formulations to create a balancing effect that will help balance the Qi of the patient. Chinese herbal medicine is a safe and highly effective form of treatment for a variety of conditions including asthma, depression, and digestive issues.
All practices within traditional Chinese medicine revolve around the same set of beliefs and philosophies. Because it is a holistic, or complete, health care system, it includes practices to govern diet, exercise, and spirituality, along with the more specialized practices of acupuncture, Qi Gong, and Chinese herbal medicine. Why waste time sticking with just one form of treatment, and staying in pain? Chinese Medicine Reston could be the answer that you are searching for in your journey to end your chronic pain.