By Shihan Mary Bolz
Master of Science Oriental Medicine
Doctoral Fellow, FBU
Master Martial Arts Instructor
Natural medicine, like natural foods, does not come in a box or in a bottle. Truly natural medicine, or wholistic medicine, is people treating people to enhance the body’s own natural healing power. After all, nature heals, not the physician. Physicians are guides and teachers; at least that is what they are in Traditional Chinese Medicine. If you have not experienced being treated by a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and/or acupuncture, you may want to consider it. When you not only are in real pain or have some serious health problem, but beforehand, for a consultation and exam. The method used is very different from that of allopathic (Western, conventional) medicine.
When you go visit a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), you will spend some time with them. They will ask you many questions about your bodily functions, look at your tongue, read your pulses, look at your skin, hair, nails, and eyes and palpate areas of your body.
The treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine truly is wholistic. Acupuncture is a complete medical system that has been practiced for thousands of years in China and other Asian countries. It is a very simple procedure administered by inserting very fine needles into the acupoints along the different pathways of energy in the body, called meridians. This energy is called “Qi” in Chinese and “ki” in Japanese. The insertion of these needles stimulates your body’s energy (Qi, Ki) and unblocks any obstruction of the Qi, strengthens your body, helps you to heal from acute or chronic problems and it balances both the body and mind.
TCM is general medicine that is effective in healing a wide range of problems and diseases without side effects. Any condition that you would to an M.D. for you may go to a TCM doctor for. After all, this has been the method of doctoring for centuries long before allopathic medicine has existed. TCM treats diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and back pain, any of the old or “modern” diseases. In general, acupuncture gets the body to heal itself by bringing up the body’s natural healing ability, improving the immune system, and moving the blood and energy in the body. Many diseases are a result of poor circulation and stagnate energy. Probably now more than ever, this is a major factor, due to the modern lifestyle and eating habits of people. Even though TCM is a very old system, it definitely keeps up with modern times. For example, we now have very refined needles and even electro acupuncture. However, the principle of diagnosis and treatment has not changed, because it is based on the way nature behaves.
Another and perhaps one of the main modalities of TCM is the Traditional Chinese Herbal medicine, which is the world’s oldest continually practiced, professional pharmacology. Chinese herbal medicine or pharmacology is based on an individualized pattern diagnosis as well as a disease diagnosis. This means the TCM patient receives a custom written herbal prescription designed to treat the symptoms, the disease, and the cause of the disease, or each person’s own individual pattern of imbalance. Chinese Herbal medicine treats the full range of human disease, acute and chronic, from allergies to gynecological disorders, autoimmune disease, pain, degenerative disease, etc. In particular, Chinese herbal medicine is especially good for promoting the body’s ability to heal and recuperate.
The herbs in a TCM pharmacy are whole herbs. You will see the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, shells, etc. in their whole form. That is because there are no ill side effects this way. Drugs, whether extracted from natural sources or synthetic, are not natural. Once certain active ingredients have been extracted from a plant and made into a drug, it is no longer natural. This is also true of vitamins. Nature does not come in a bottle or a box.