Although Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is common medical care throughout Eastern Asia, it is certainly not considered a “traditional” medicine in more Western societies. TCM is typically considered an alternative medicine, or alternative therapy, despite its long history of proven healing techniques.
Chinese herbal medicine is a major aspect of TCM, focusing on restoring, treating and preventing imbalances within the body. Believing that the body, mind and universe are interconnected, Chinese herbal medicine seeks to keep the body balanced and in a state of harmony. It embraces the concept of wellness and seeks to restore the body to its natural state and attain complete wellness. It is a completely holistic approach to healing.
Practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine focus on maintaining health through restoration of a balance among body, spirit and energy, rather than treating a specific disease, ailment or condition. Herbs are a major aspect of Chinese herbal medicine, nourishing the body as part of the balance restoration process. As opposed to traditional medicine, Chinese herbal medicine treats patterns of symptoms and complaints expressed by the patient rather than diagnosing what is believed to be the cause. What we may consider a cause in Western thinking, is merely a symptom according to Chinese medicine. Chinese herbal medicine is also used to prevent diseases from occurring, by treating certain inconveniences one may feel, yet can’t be measured by conventional medicine, before a full on disease results.
Chinese herbal medicine uses a specially formulated combination of different herbs and plant extracts to return the body to a state of balance. Some common herbs are becoming more well-known, such as Ginkgo, Green Tea and Ginseng; yet the healing power behind these herbs remain under-acknowledged. Herbal formulas are claimed to treat and prevent infections, hormone imbalances and other diseases, while some practitioners have even claimed to be able to treat and prevent certain life threatening diseases when used in combination with more traditional treatment.
Those in the Western World have really underestimated the power of Chinese herbal medicine for far too long. As a result, so many today continue to struggle with common ailments, failing health and an ongoing pursuit of wellness. Fortunately, researchers and scientists are finally beginning to give some proper attention to Chinese herbal medicine and reconsider their original views on its healing power. All Chinese herbal remedies used in the Western World have shown positive results in clinical trials. Isn’t it time that modern medicine do what is truly in the best interest of its patients? Wellness can be achieved. Balance can be restored. Health can be achieved and diseases prevented. Conventional medicine needs a change. Perhaps it should look in the mirror and see that, as Chinese herbal medicine knows, a body imbalanced in spirit, energy and body will result in nothing less than disease and poor health not curable by prescriptions, painkillers and medical drugs.
By: Jeremy Speiser, L.Ac.
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