When it comes to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dr. Josh wants you to know a few things.
What Traditional Chinese Medicine Actually Is
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complete system of diagnosis, analysis, and treatment of virtually any ailment.
What We Treat
Everything. Some have a specialization such as cancer or fertility, others have a more general practice. 4000 odd years of development means that TCM has a remedy for virtually everything.
And How We Treat It
Through the use of acupuncture, herbs, and associated methods such as cupping and guasha. Often, the effects are immediately obvious to the patient during treatment.
Remember, It’s Far more than just Needles
To a classically trained practitioner, “modern” styles of “needling” just look like an attempt to cash in on a trend without actually doing the necessary work. Needles are used to stimulate the certain points on the body which are known to produce a specific therapeutic result. [TCM includes] Modalities such as Gua sha, cupping, herbs, and tuina, a style of Chinese therapeutic massage are all part of the system.
Stick Out Your Tongue
The body is a complete, interconnected system. As a result, stimulus in one part of the body observably influences other parts. A meridian is a route across the surface of the body through which other, more distant tissues and organs can be effected. The tongue serves as a kind of map illustrating pathological changes in the body. The distribution of colors, coating, cracks etc all have diagnostic implications.
Don’t Think East vs. West
In my opinion, you need both, but you should choose each based on their skills, attitude, and ability to work with the rest of your healthcare team.
It’s true that a lot of the language used in TCM is pretty archaic, using terms like wind or fire to describe different ailments, but it’s key to remember that these terms are descriptors, analogies and not meant literally. TCM’s very long and detailed recorded history means that most health problems have been well understood and effectively treated in TCM for literally thousands of years.
Make Sure To Find the Right Doctor For You
My mentor once told me that after I had seen 6000 patients, I would start to understand TCM, and that has proven to be about right. Anyone can stick needles in you, not everyone gets results. These days any healthcare practitioner can get a certificate to needle after a couple of weekends of online training, or maybe have it included as an elective in a broader profession, but the bottom line is that quality treatment is the result of focus and practice over thousands of hours and many years of study.
The CTCMA is the regulating body for acupuncturists and TCM practitioners in British Columbia, their website has a list of registered practitioners with a properly focused education in TCM.
Give it a Try
If you have not had it yet, you may be surprised at how powerful and effective it can be.
Dr. Joshua Lenti-Jones practices at Thunderbird Wellness Centre in Langley, BC.