Asthma and Chinese Medicine

Asthma, fairly recently, has been a disorder that has drastically increased in modern times. A significant amount of the population experiences this stubborn condition from children to adults. Some develop asthma over time and others seem to acquire it from early childhood. Also, not everyones asthma is the same asthma. Some people seem to suffer most from exacerbations caused by allergens, others exercise, others unknown random attacks. Regardless the cause of the attack, this can be experienced from relatively mild discomfort to actual severe acute or ongoing episodes. If there is any question to the severity of the issue, all you need to do is talk with someone who has asthma and they will tell you how dependent they are to their prescribed medications.

So, Chinese Medicine for Asthma? Western conventional medicine does a great job at suppressing the distressing symptoms of asthma in order to enable the person to live a relatively normal life. In general, this is done by QUICK acting steroids and beta adrenergic agonists, usually, and LONG term anti-inflammatory medications. This varies on the severity and takes care of suppressing the symptoms from occurring. However, people do have other avenues and options to approach this breathing disorder as life long therapy of these western agents can have negative side affects on the persons body such as creating a dependence for the medication, tachycardia and insomnia as well as not actually riding the body of asthma. To aid the population in this difficulty it is good to know that the Chinese Medical Practitioner has been treating conditions such as cough, wheeze, and respiratory distress for thousands of years through Acupuncture and Herbal Medicines.

The Chinese Medical Practitioner uses Acupuncture and complex natural Herbal Formulas to “down bear” and “disperse” the Lungs qi (energy) while increasing the lungs functional strength so it does not over-respond to things like allergens and exercise. The Lungs are only one part of asthma according to Chinese Medicine, as the imbalances in the body that can cause asthma can become quite complex. However, the practitioner is to diagnose and treat the individual person as everyone is treated as unique. This treatment can be effective for long term help as to slowly allow the person to decrease medications and dependency on medications, as well as decrease the frequency and severity of each exacerbation or attack.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine is undoubtably growing in the west, in addition to the thousands of years and thousands of hospitals in the east that are practicing this medicine. Look up your local acupuncturist for any inquiry. I am sure they would be more then pleased to speak to you and answer all of your questions.

Valentines Day… Reminders of Our Own Heart

Greeting and Happy Valentines Day,

Chinese Medicine is so Diverse that you can almost talk about any idea and relate it back to health and balance using Chinese medicine Ideals. Today being Valentines Day 2011, I will not speak of this tradition or origins, however I will speak of the concept that is most associated with this day… Love. On this day, advertised everywhere are Hearts and the word Love. Some people embrace this day and some despise it. (This reaction usually has to do with the “Relationship Status” that the person is in.) However, I suggest and strongly believe that we can all appreciate the concept of this day, not on the infatuation of a single other human being, but rather on the universal concept of Love and what it Should represent. In Chinese Medicine the Heart is considered the Emperor. It controls the energy of the chest and cardiovascular system, its positive emotion is Joy and it expresses love. Knowing this, the Heart is the most important organ and spirit of our body. It controls all emotions and all the spirits of the other organs. From a healing sense, healing from the heart is one of the most important places to start Regardless of the location of the disease, as said before the heart is the emperor of all other organs and your being. So on this Valentines Day, regardless of the status of your “Relationships,” make sure you at least take a moment to appreciate your Own Heart for all the endless effort it is providing for you. Appreciate its constant work, and show it Love. In Return, this allows you to appreciate yourself, and love yourself with the knowledge that you are perfect exactly in the current state that you are in physically, emotionally, situationally. From here, once you have shown your Own Heart and Yourself Love, you can now begin to share that same love to other people. For if you are to give love, you must have love in your heart, created by yourself. To yourself, From yourself. There are many people suffering in this world from self image disorders. People believe themselves to be not perfect, not attractive enough, not fit enough, not smart enough, not GOOD enough! In short, this is simply and illusion and one very important way to overcome this is to respect your own inner being by showing yourself love. A common Buddhist image is the love of a person should shine as the sun does, not discriminating who receives this love, including yourself. So Today, appreciate this concept that makes us all human, embrace it for yourself, and for all other sentient being.

Most Common Conditions for Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Statistics

It always seems to be interesting and helpful to look at trends and statistics within certain practices or areas of interest. Therefore, I have reflected upon the last 6 months of my practice to provide 2 lists. The first list is of the Most Common Ailments for which Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is sought and the second list is of Conditions that respond the Fastest or in the shortest time to Acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Now keep in mind this list is completely based ONLY by my own practical experience within the last 6 months and people should know that trends change as well as disease. Also, to reiterate, do not take this list so concretely as Chinese medicine brings about extraordinary results in all areas of health, yet also works at varying rates. For example, if 5 people are treated for low back pain, 1 person is cured in 1 treatment, 3 people are cured in 4 treatments, and 1 person is cured in 3 months. One can see the variations of time and healing depending on the individual condition, chronicity, as well as many other factors. Also, do not forget that there are countless of treatable conditions that did not make this list because I simply decided to choose the most common. OK, so as now this is all well known to the audience, lets take a look at the latest trends in my practice in the last 6 months.

Most Common Conditions for which Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is Sought

  1. Neck/Upper Back Pain
  2. Stress/Emotional Relief
  3. Low Back Pain
  4. Headache/Migraine
  5. Fatigue
  6. Nasal Congestion
  7. Sleep Difficulty
  8. Digestive Issues
  9. Menstrual Difficulties
  10. Sciatica
  11. Fertility
  12. Gout

Conditions that are Relieved in the Shortest Time (Quickly) by Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

  1. Neck/Upper Back Pain
  2. Headache
  3. Nasal Congestion
  4. Gout Pain
  5. Sciatica
  6. Acute Cold/Flu
  7. Stress/Emotional Relief
  8. Reflux
  9. Cough
  10. Fatigue

Please enjoy these statistics and notice there are a few conditions that over lap with the Most Commonly Treated and the Respond in the Shortest Time Lists. This information is only for a look into my personal practice and not the Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine community as a whole, as well as these trends can and I am sure will change with time and the seasons. Further Questions about treatable conditions please visit my website at www.acupuncture-alexandria.com or feel free to contact me. Contact information also on the web site.

 

 

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

OK. Lets start this blog out with a question that is inherently basic, potentially complex, yet, nonetheless necessary. So, what is Traditional Chinese Medicine? Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM for short, is one of the names used to distinguish the Chinese Medical Practitioner and his/her methods of medicine from other systems of medicine. Why not call it Medicine then? This is an option, but mostly in western societies when a person says medicine, most people think of Western medicine or “conventional” medicine as known to the public as what is commonly practiced in hospitals. However in China, there ARE entire hospitals dedicated to TCM or even TCM integrated with Western Medicine. So really, this is simply a common term used to distinguish the methods and theories used by this type of medical practitioner.

Chinese Medicine has outlived the trials of time for over 3,000 documented years. Because it is so old the origination or initiation of the methods is not 100% understood as to how people figured out the entire system. Rather, a more rational explanation verse one single event that caused the enlightenment of a medical practitioner is time, trial and error, empirical evidence, study and practice caused for the development of what we now know today as TCM. A very disciplined people physically and spiritually, diligently studied the origins, rules and laws of nature and life. Through this TCM developed based on theories and laws of the nature around us in the universe, on the earth, in nature, as well as within ourselves. Starting with the building blocks of the nature of the Universe, such as Yin Yang, the elements, organ systems, Qi (energy) and blood, a medical system arose. Using universal laws, a highly complex system of the human body began to be understood.

Once nature and the universe began to be understood, practitioners began to realize ways to have an effect on the system using different methods. These methods are not used to force an effect upon the system. Rather, the Chinese medical practitioner brings balance to the body, with the same idea that when everything is in balance in nature, there is harmony and life. The major 3 divisions or methods used in Chinese medicine are Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, and Tui Na Therapeutic massage. However these are the most common methods, as the practitioner looks for any way that will bring balance to the individual physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually. Other methods include dietary therapy, life style changes, exercises, Qi Gong, Tai Chi or activity changes, etc. All of the above methods of Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, and Tui Na massage are based on the wisdom of the body as known to Chinese medicine. In short, this includes the integrated system of the Energetic meridians, Organ systems, Energy and Blood, Yin and Yang, and essential elements of the body. Using this system, the practitioner can treat almost any disease, as this system is all encompassing and truly holistic. Most people know acupuncture is good for pain, but many do not know of the powerful effects it can have on the internal organ systems bringing balance to the entire body.

How Does the Practitioner know where the imbalances are? Aside from the obvious intake and questions asked by the practitioner, he or she will also look at the tongue, feel the pulses, palpate the abdomen, look at the face and body, as well as many other observations such as smell of the person. With years of training and experience, each of these examples gives a huge amount of information as to what is happening in the body. For example, the pulse is not just the one pulse, but it becomes 12, 18, or 30 or more positions within the pulse that tells the practitioner about all of the meridian, organs, energy and blood within the body. Some practitioners focus on only a few of these methods. If a practitioner gets REALLY good at any one observation technique, he or she can rely completely on that one. For example, with just feeling the pulse, or just looking at the face, a highly trained practitioner can know everything needed.

Finally…Treatment. How does the practitioner treat? Once the imbalances within the body are known the practitioner uses acupuncture, herbs and massage as well as other things to restore the proper balance to the meridians and organs. Some people can see amazing relief in just 1 or 2 treatments and others need 8 or 10 or more. This all depends on what is being treated as well as the response to treatment. Some people simply respond quite rapidly, and others slow but steady. However, the practitioner should tell you how many treatments to expect, with room for adjustment after assessment and progression. In the beginning, most treatments in the west are once a week for several weeks at least in the beginning. In China, this is a faster process as the person will get acupuncture every day or every other day for a week or two so results are much faster.

As this topic is dangerously large, to be short I thank you all for reading this overview and I hope to have enlightened some of you as to What is TCM. Even though this medicine is holistic, you can still look at commonly treated conditions and other information on my website at www.acupuncture-alexandria.com. I am always open to and enjoy answering questions so feel free to post any questions you have here or on my facebook at Christopher Grodski, L.Ac., Dipl. OM. In addition to questions I will also offer people with more personal questions a free, 10 minute consultation either over the phone or in person. I will continue to post more basic information in the beginning and then progress to health and life as it relates to everyone based on the wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine.