Traditional Chinese medicine is one of the oldest treatment systems in the world, its history goes back over three thousand years. But only in the last 60–70 years the Western world become interested in the scientific substantiation of the effectiveness of its methods. Many of the treatment principles used by Chinese medicine are recognized as effective and are being actively introduced into the practice of Western doctors.
Table of contents:
- What is Chinese medicine based on?
- Diagnosis according to the rules of Eastern medicine
- What are the treatments for traditional Chinese medicine?
Traditional Chinese medicine is not just a collection of roots and herbs that are believed to have healing power. According to the ideas of Chinese religious philosophy, all things on our planet and in the whole universe are interconnected. Traditional Chinese medicine covers a wide range of different concepts related to human health.
What is Chinese medicine based on?
The approach used by Eastern medicine is fundamentally different from Western ideas about health. While doctors in Europe have been treating the disease and its manifestations, the Oriental healers for thousands of years considered the human body as a single system in which everything is interconnected. According to Chinese doctors, our well-being depends on the circulation of vital energy – Qi, as well as on the balance of female energy Yin and male Yang. And if the energy exchange is disturbed, it will definitely manifest by illnesses and ailments. Therefore, the patient should not treat the symptom, but the cause, restoring the harmony of the body.
Such an unusual approach gives its results. Methods of Chinese medicine, according to the WHO, really help in the treatment of more than 40 different diseases, from asthma to ulcers. However, a practical study of the effectiveness of Chinese traditional medicine began relatively recently. Most likely this list will be updated.
Diagnosis according to the rules of Eastern medicine
Western doctors in the diagnosis rely on the results of tests, hardware research and physical examination of the patient. But in traditional Chinese medicine, the rules and methods of diagnosis are different. Eastern doctors use the following methods for determining the patient’s disease:
- Examination of the patient. Checking the patient’s condition, the Chinese doctor looks not only at the manifestations of a particular disease but at the general appearance, assessing the color of the skin, nails, tongue, eye proteins, nails, etc. Since the disease is the result of an imbalance, it necessarily manifests itself by changes in appearance that may seem unrelated to patient complaints.
- Listening. Chinese doctors can identify the disease literally by hearing, assessing the sound of breathing, the pace, and the sound of speech.
- Poll. Do not be surprised if the doctor starts asking you not only about your state of health but also about your state of mind, desires, and aspirations, attitude towards your close ones. When choosing a Chinese traditional medicine treatment method, the temperament and character of the patient are no less important than his physical condition.
- Pulse Check. Pulse rhythm can tell a lot about the condition of the patient. Chinese traditional medicine distinguishes between 30 pulse scenarios corresponding to various disorders.
Palpation. Chinese doctors check the condition of muscles and joints. They assess the condition of the skin and check whether there are swelling or muscle blocks.
Based on the data obtained, the doctor understands what went wrong. The specialist prescribes treatment, which is intended to affect not the disease, but the whole organism.
What are the treatments for traditional Chinese medicine?
The attending physician always selects the course of treatment individually. This is due to the fact that you cannot find two similar people. Moreover, an individual approach is the basis of Chinese traditional medicine. The doctor chooses a set of methods that are suitable not for the disease, but for the person, and even herbal preparations that are actively used in Chinese medicine are made for each patient individually.
Chinese traditional medicine has dozens of techniques. Consider the most popular and effective ones.
Acupuncture in Chinese medicine
Chinese traditional medicine is primarily associated with acupuncture. Acupuncture is the effect on active points by very thin needles. There are more than 300 such points, and each one is associated with any organ or system. Needles are so tiny and are inserted so shallowly that there are no unpleasant feelings during acupuncture. On the contrary, acupuncture helps to cope with pain. It is also indicated for many diseases of the internal organs, metabolic disorders, reduced immunity, insomnia, and some nervous diseases.
The course of treatment consists of 10–20 procedures, repeated if necessary after two to three weeks. A specific course is prescribed only by a doctor and depends on the diagnosis, the severity of the disease and the characteristics of its course.
The list of diseases for which acupuncture is shown is very impressive:
- endocrine and hormonal system diseases
- infertility (in men and women)
- violation of the menstrual cycle
- erectile dysfunction
- diseases of the spine and musculoskeletal system
- diseases of the cardiovascular system
- ENT diseases
- facial paralysis, paresis, diseases of the central nervous system
In addition, acupuncture has been successfully used for getting rid of smoking addiction, as well as in cosmetology to slow down the aging process. But do not assume that needles are a panacea for all diseases. Acupuncture, like any treatment method, has its own contraindications, and before deciding on a procedure, you must clearly understand that it will not harm you.
Another relative of acupuncture is the method of moxotherapy. Moxotherapy consists of warming up all the same active points with the help of a glowing cigar from wormwood. The cigar does not touch the patient’s body. He feels only warm. The smoldering cigar is mounted in a special wooden “house” installed on the patient’s body, it activates the bloodstream, heats the entire body. The cigar’s smoke has a tonic effect.
The moxotherapy is usually used in complex treatment, in combination with massage and acupuncture. However, solitary use also has a good effect. The thermal effect on the so-called longevity point is especially effective. For several sessions, the body’s defenses are enhanced.
Therapy is indicated for the prevention of influenza and SARS, increasing general immunity. Experts use this method to treat the following disorders:
- diseases of the musculoskeletal system
- ENT diseases
- diseases of the genitourinary and reproductive systems
- neurological diseases
- digestive problems
Today, vacuum massage is actively used in Western medicine and cosmetology. However, its foundations came to us from ancient China. The specialist used banks of different diameters for massage. He performs an active message, moving the banks around the body and acting on the active points. In terms of oriental medicine, this massage improves the movement of energy flows. At the same time, Western doctors say that vacuum therapy strengthens the capillaries, improves microcirculation, helping the body to get rid of decomposition products, and cellular respiration. It speeds up recovery. Indications for vacuum massage:
- diseases of the musculoskeletal system
- facial paresis
- inflammation of the trigeminal nerve
- diseases of the respiratory system
- gastrointestinal tract diseases
- skin diseases
Do not practice massage during pregnancy, acute infectious diseases, in the presence of skin injuries, with tumors, neurosis and varicose veins.
Proper nutrition is one of the most important health conditions, according to Chinese medical treatises of antiquity. If Western medicine mainly takes into account the ratio of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, as well as vitamins and minerals, Eastern uses a different approach. The main thing in nutrition is the balance of tastes – salty, sweet, bitter, sour and spicy. In drawing up the diet, Chinese doctors take into account not only the state of health of the patient but also his gender, age, and lifestyle.
These are exercises that help to get rid of stress. It increases concentration and restores energy. Respiratory gymnastics is a traditional method of treatment in China. It is based on a combination of meditation, movement, and proper breathing. Exercise activates the circulation of Qi energy through the body.
The main principle of qigong is the sequence of muscle load and movement from the legs to the head and in the opposite direction. It is necessary to work with all parts of the body with the same intensity, special attention is paid to the hip joint and the spine. In total there are three steps of qigong. For the general improvement of the body, it is enough to master the first step. The second and third stages are more focused on the active work of consciousness and the achievement of emotional stability. But even the initial Qigong technique not only strengthens the body physically but also makes it possible to withstand the effects of stressful situations.
Eastern doctors are actively using herbal therapy for a variety of diseases. The popularity of herbal medicine in Western medicine has been actively increasing in recent years. Chinese doctors have achieved true perfection in combining various fees to increase their effectiveness. Eastern herbal medicine has a long history and includes thousands of formulas that are useful both for specific diseases and for general strengthening of the body. A Chinese herbal medicine recipe usually includes herbs that can vary greatly in properties and effects. Many herbs that form the basis of herbal medicine are adaptogens that help the body cope with environmental exposure. They strengthen the immune system, regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels, strengthen the defenses and normalize metabolism. Herbal therapy in Chinese traditional medicine uses such vegetable components as ginseng, lemongrass, motherwort, ginger, goji berries, and many others. A universal method or formula does not exist, for each person. It must be selected individually. With the right approach, Chinese herbal medicine is safe and rarely causes allergies.
In China, the share of traditional medicine accounts for 40% of all medical procedures. Chinese traditional medicine is extremely popular not only in its homeland. In recent decades, the Western world is also interested in ancient methods of treatment. Almost all methods of Chinese medicine are non-invasive and non-traumatic. They have a small list of contraindications and side effects. However, they really have a healing effect.
Chinese medicine uses complex methods of treatment, not highlighting any one of them. Eastern doctors believe that this approach gives the maximum effect in the improvement of the body. Therefore, you should not get carried away, for example, only acupuncture or herbal medicine. The patient will not receive what he expects. It is worth remembering that only an experienced doctor can prescribe the correct complex treatment.