Are you tired of seeing doctors and different practitioners that just don't get what you're talking about? No one seems to be able to help and you feel like you're knocking on doors where no one's home? The fact is, we can't compartmentalize our bodies. We are interconnected beings and until we accept this truth and as long as we continue to settle for a medical system that spends only a few minutes to access a problem and medicates to control symptoms, the root cause of the problem will only continue to grow and fester, mostly unnoticed, to the point where eventually we experience a problem so big and beyond symptom control.
Perhaps if our awareness of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and its wide ranging benefits were better understood it could be used to complement the current medical model? What the heck is TCM anyway?
Ever had a debilitating illness or some sort of acute peculiarity to the point of not being able to function? Recently I had a very dear and close friend experience sudden and debilitating vertigo that greatly interfered with his work and basic living. While I feel like I have several stories of others to tell similar but different than this, I actually joined this friend professionally through his personal journey to seek treatment through conventional means first as it seemed as though he needed emergency medicare and pretty immediate attention. Still after seeing his family doctor and then being referred to several different specialists, such as neurologists, cardiologists, endocrinologists and an ENT specialist, all whom didn't collaborate with one another as a team, let alone effectively communicate their findings with one another, four months into his search for help nothing specifically was determined but clearly there was still a real problem.
Not once was he asked about his diet, lifestyle, stress levels, relationships or many other important tenets of health. Two and a half months into the search for answers and feeling rather defeated, he knew he needed to try to seek help from other means and decided he had nothing to lose by incorporating regular TCM therapies (with me) as well as chiropractic treatments in hopes to feel somewhat normal again.
What are TCM therapies? TCM therapies include acupuncture, moxibustion, massage using acupressure points, cupping and guasha (skin scraping with a massage tool to improve your circulation), nutrition therapy, and Qi gong which uses movement, breathing techniques, and meditation.
TCM stands for Traditional Chinese Medicine and is a comprehensive combination of therapies or modalities that have been used for thousands of years to identify, prevent, diagnose and treat disease, illness and disharmony in the body, in addition to optimizing health, wellbeing, and sustainability in our lives. It is based on the belief that Qi, the body's vital energy, flows along meridians or channels in the body and keeps a person's spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health in balance. TCM is a way of looking at ourselves and our world that sees everything as a whole and considers everything in context, not just one system or part separately. It is a system that has mind body spirt and the interconnectedness of it all as the basic perspective to evaluate health and wellbeing.
TCM addresses all aspects of health and wellbeing, is a mindset and a complementary set of tools to use to identify disharmony before more serious problems even present themselves.
Our default western medical model is set up really well to address acute emergency cases and offers medication to treat more chronic disease and illness. It is a system that waits for one to become sick before it kicks into reactive action. For the most part, the current system was not designed to help prevent illness and the onset of disease and so I don't think it's realistic for us to rely on our medical doctors and specialists to keep us healthy.
Our medical system has excelled at providing reactive care in the context of acute illness, and needs to continue providing this but how about a dash of two of some TCM to help complement the current system by offering more proactive preventive actions that can intervene well before the onset of symptoms, let alone illness?
TCM extends beyond preventative therapy. It's comprehensive diagnostic process was able to help my friend make sense of his debilitating vertigo. Equipped with this understanding he was both validated and empowered that his symptoms were real but they could also change once his body was brought back to balance. In his case he personally experienced the repercussions of long-term stress, poor sleep, worry, and toxic relationships. To his pleasant surprise TCM treatments addressed all aspects causing his vertigo and was able to restore his body back to normal health and vibrancy.
So who does this TCM stuff anyways? Where can I sign up to incorporate a dash or a lifestyle of this in my world?
Well, most Licensed or Registered Acupuncturists, such as myself, are well-versed in all things TCM. Acupuncture is probably the most popular of the TCM modalities. May I take this opportunity to stress that acupuncture should be performed by a licensed or registered acupuncturist rather than a physiotherapist, chiropractor or medical doctor that has taken a weekend course that somehow permits them to perform acupuncture!? Acupuncturists go to school for six years to become licensed or registered.
It is my mission to help educate and empower people to incorporate the fundamental and time tested principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) into their daily lives so that they may care for themselves and their families proactively to maintain harmony and balance and limit the need for reactive intervention.
The basic principles of Chinese medicine are not rocket science. We just have to learn them before we can incorporate them. Stay tuned for the greatest gift I feel I can offer to humanity :-)
In the meantime, give yourself permission to ask around and see who might be a good acupuncturist in your area to go see. Sprinkle a little TCM into your TLC. Invest in your health like it's your most valuable asset, because it is and you deserve it!