Oriental medicine is a system of natural health care that is the oldest, continually practiced form of medicine in the world. It consists of a complex system of diagnostic & treatment strategies that are as valuable today as ever.
Oriental medicine emphasizes the re-establishment of natural balance (homeostasis) and utilizes the body’s innate healing wisdom to safely address the underlying causes of diseases. It includes modalities such as acupuncture, bodywork, gentle exercise, relaxation techniques, nutrition, and the use of non-pharmaceutical herbal medicines.
Most Oriental medicine modalities may be combined with other forms of medicine or treatment, depending on your condition and preference.
How does Oriental medicine work?
Oriental medicine is based on the idea that humans are not just a collection of physical molecules and individual parts, but we are also complexes of interrelated and interconnected energetic systems and functions. That is to say, we contain Life Energy, which in China, is known as Qi (“chee”). One is said to be in perfect health when this Qi energy is flowing unimpeded, and in an adequate amount throughout the body. Proper Qi flow is the foundation for the proper functioning and smooth interaction of all of our organs and physiological processes: it provides structural integrity and stability, physiological efficiency, and the potential for life, health and healing in general.
It is when this energy becomes imbalanced, blocked or deficient that we experience pain, discomfort and disease. The type of illness that occurs depends on how the energy is out of balance or disrupted, and can include symptoms on physical, mental and emotional levels. Energy becomes imbalanced due to a number of possible factors, including poor nutrition, genetic predisposition, lack of exercise, poor lifestyle choices, injuries, chronically poor posture, environmental toxicity, dietary & pharmaceutical chemicals, intense emotional situations, overwork, stress, lack of rest and outside pathogenic influences, such as viruses, bacteria and parasites.
Oriental medicine considers you as a whole picture. Your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being are all equally important pieces of your health, and they cannot be separated. Your sleep patterns, physical activities, digestion, cravings and even your mental outlook, among other factors, are all integral to the overall diagnosis of your condition in Oriental medicine.
Once an Oriental medical diagnosis is made, the modalities of Oriental medicine (acupuncture, nutrition, Chinese herbal medicine, manual therapies, gentle exercise) are used to directly access and regulate the flow of Qi. The goal is to encourage the Qi to flow into areas where it is deficient, and break through areas where it is stagnant. By adjusting and managing the flow of Qi, Oriental medicine addresses the underlying cause of illness, promoting the body’s own healing functions, and creating the favorable circumstances for health and harmony in the body.