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Chinese Medicine

What is Chinese Medicine?

Chinese herbal medicine is one of the great herbal systems of the world, with an unbroken tradition going back to the 3rd century BC. Yet throughout its history it has continually developed in response to changing clinical conditions, and has been sustained by research into every aspect of its use. This process continues today with the development of modern medical diagnostic techniques and knowledge. 

Because of its systematic approach and clinical effectiveness it has for centuries had a very great influence on the theory and practice of medicine in the East, and more recently has grown rapidly in popularity in the West. It still forms a major part of healthcare provision in China, and is provided in state hospitals alongside western medicine. 

Chinese medicine includes all oriental traditions emerging from Southeast Asia that have their origins in China. Practitioners may work within a tradition that comes from Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan or Korea. It is a complete medical system that is capable of treating a very wide range of conditions. It includes herbal therapy, acupuncture, dietary therapy, and exercises in breathing and movement (tai chi and qi gong). Some or several of these may be employed in the course of treatment

Chinese herbal medicine, along with the other components of Chinese medicine, is based on the concepts of Yin and Yang. It aims to understand and treat the many ways in which the fundamental balance and harmony between the two may be undermined and the ways in which a person's Qi or vitality may be depleted or blocked. Clinical strategies are based upon diagnosis of patterns of signs and symptoms that reflect an imbalance. 

However, the tradition as a whole places great emphasis on lifestyle management in order to prevent disease before it occurs. Chinese medicine recognizes that health is more than just the absence of disease and it has a unique capacity to maintain and enhance our capacity for well being and happiness.

Herbal Medicine and Modern Pharmacology 

There is a growing body of research which indicates that traditional uses of plant remedies and the known pharmacological activity of plant constituents often coincide. However, herbal medicine is distinct from medicine based on pharmaceutical drugs. Firstly, because of the complexity of plant materials it is far more balanced than medicine based on isolated active ingredients and is far less likely to cause side-effects. Secondly, because herbs are typically prescribed in combination, the different components of a formulae balance each other, and they undergo a mutual synergy which increases efficacy and enhances safety. Thirdly, herbal medicine seeks primarily to correct internal imbalances rather than to treat symptoms alone, and therapeutic intervention is designed to encourage this self-healing process.

What can Chinese Medicine treat?

Chinese medicine is successfully used for a very wide range of conditions. Among the more commonly treated disorders are: 

Skin disease, including eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, urticaria 

Gastro-intestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, ulcerative colitis 

Gynaecological conditions, including pre-menstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhoea, endometriosis, infertility

Hepatitis and HIV: some promising results have been obtained for treatment of Hepatitis C, and supportive treatment may be beneficial in the case of HIV 

Chronic fatigue syndromes, whether with a background of viral infection or in other situations 

Respiratory conditions, including asthma, bronchitis, and chronic coughs, allergic and perennial rhinitis and sinusitis 

Rheumatological conditions (e.g. osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis) 

Urinary conditions including chronic cystitis

Diabetes, including treatment and prevention

Psychological problems (e.g. depression, anxiety) 

Are herbs safe?

Chinese herbal medicines are very safe when prescribed correctly by a properly trained practitioner. Over the centuries doctors have compiled detailed information about the pharmacopoiea and placed great emphasis on the protection of the patient. Allergic type reactions are rare, and will cause no lasting damage if treatment is stopped as soon as symptoms appear. 

Articles About Chinese Medicine

Eastern Promise -- Traditional Chinese Medicine gains popularity in the West (Economist, Nov. 5, 1998)

Top 25 Supplements in the United States in 2004:
1. Policosanol 6. Liver 11. Pau d'arco 16. Potassium 21. 5-HTP
2. Bone Meal 7. Lutein 12. Coenzyme Q10 17. Elderberry 22. Magnesium
3. Wheat Germ 8. Green tea 13. SAM-e 18. Horny goat weed 23. Calcium
4. Lycopene 9. Black cohosh root 14. Royal Jelly 19. Spirulina 24. Cranberry
5. Essential Fatty Acids 10. Silicea 15. Alpha-Lipoic Acid 20. Chlorophyll 25. Evening primrose

(Source: American Top 25: Supplements Climbing the Charts by Vicky Uhland, Kristen Lewis, Christine Spehar.  July, 2004. Natural Foods Merchandiser)

Diabetes and Chinese Medicine

Articles about Alternative Medicine

Alternative Medicine - Why so popular?

Other Information about Alternative Medicine and Health in General

Foot Massage in Los Angeles - Introducing Oriental Natural Treatment, a foot massage spa in San Gabriel

Chong's Health Care, a company that specializes in the research and development of alternative medicines for diabetes, herbal supplement for impotence with animal experiment, also natural health supplements for weight loss, allergy relief, kidney problems, heart problems, eye bags, etc.

Alternative Medicine in Los Angeles and New York, etc. - Engages in research and investigation of alternative treatments for various diseases.

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