The Healthy Hub

Health News

News

What Does an Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Practitioner Do?

Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner

What Does an Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Practitioner Do?

A traditional Chinese medicine practitioner or TCM practitioner is trained in a specific form of traditional medicinal (TCM) practice. They are trained from an early age to diagnose, treat and prevent a number of medical conditions. Medical forms of Chinese medicine used and taught by some TCM schools include Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Chinese Moxibustion, Chinese Opera, and other forms. These schools seek to instruct their practitioners with the best available information on how to cure and prevent a wide array of ailments and diseases. Treatment methods include herbal treatments, acupuncture, nutritional therapy, environmental therapy, massage and exercise.

An important aspect of traditional Chinese medicine is acupuncture. Acupuncture is used to relieve pain, treat inflammation, remove toxins from the body, stabilize the qi or vital energy, and restore function in the body. In the West, an acupuncturist may use traditional needle therapy or energy channels as well as other techniques such as acupressure. In some instances, a TCM medical practitioner and/or acupuncturist may also refer to themselves as a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner or TCM herbalist.

Nov. 9 was the first day that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published results of a clinical trial involving the use of acupuncture in treating patients with cancer. The study involved a total of sixty-two patients who had varied degrees of cancer. After six months of treatment, the patients who participated in the study showed significantly better overall survival (hazard ratio, 0.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], [0.5-0.7] percent). Of these patients, thirty-one were female and forty-six were male. These results represent a significant advance in the treatment of cancer patients using traditional Chinese medicine.

Two other studies published on the same day signaled the continued progress of the traditional Chinese medicine practitioner and herbalist. In one study, researchers at the Beijing University School of Medicine demonstrated that EGCG, a naturally occurring compound in green tea, is a powerful antioxidant. In another study, scientists at the Beijing University School of Public Health demonstrated that quercetin, a compound found in red grape seeds, prevents oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Oxidation is considered to be a key factor in heart disease. Both compounds are believed to help prevent cancer. While these studies are important, they do not answer the important question: How effective are they?

Based on research, there is no uniform agreement on the safety of TCM. However, there are a number of commonalities between Chinese medicine and western conventional medicine. Both refer to a person’s “medical history” or overall state of health. The methods of treating illnesses using the traditional Chinese medicine practitioner and herbalist are also quite similar to those used by western medical doctors. Some differences do exist, but the two cultures do not have qualms about using herbal remedies when it comes to cancer. For example, both cultures believe that acupuncture can treat certain cancers and other diseases.

Based on reports from various authoritative Chinese websites, the ingredients of a typical traditional Chinese medicine practitioner’s prescription include a total of eighteen herbs including an antiseptic (Xu Yi), anti-inflammatory (Ceylon Ma Huang) and antimicrobial (Rheumatisma). The herbs are usually presented in order from highest to lowest rank. Most TCM books explain that the use of herbs is intended for improving the person’s “life force.” The herbs work together to restore the original hormonal balance and to remove blockages in the Qi channels that have contributed to a person’s illness.

The herbalist or the traditional Chinese medicine practitioner will then examine your body with his or her hands. They will look for abnormalities in the structure as well as the functions of the different organs or systems of the body and then they will diagnose your condition. Once the diagnosis has been made, your prescription may come in the form of either a written prescription or a TCM herbal formulae. The formulae are divided into three: the external form or Kung Fu, the internal form or Xian fu and the silent form or Shiatsu.

When you go to a Chinese herbal medicine practitioner, remember to ask lots of questions. You want to make sure that he or she really does understand the principles behind traditional Chinese medicine. It is important to have an understanding of how the different forms of medication differ so that you can choose the most effective treatment for your ailment. You should also inquire about the qualifications, or years of experience, of the person who will be giving you care. Experience in acupuncture and Chinese medicines is definitely very helpful but it is not necessary if you can find someone who has been trained in traditional Chinese medicine.