Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oriental Medicine: the Basics

According to A User’s Guide to Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine published by CSOMA, Oriental Medicine has “gained worldwide acceptance and recognition as effective medical treatment.” Substantial research proves that Oriental Medicine is a valid and valuable alternative when considering a treatment protocol. Acupuncture, acupressure, Chinese herbal medicine, and Tai Chi are a few of the better known modalities. However, Oriental Medicine is comprised of so much more.

The California State Oriental Medical Association (CSOMA), according to their website, is “a professional organization of licensed acupuncturists and supporters of Oriental medicine dedicated to the preservation and advancement of the art, science, and practice of oriental medicine.” Oriental medicine encompasses the techniques being used in China, Korea, Tibet, Japan, Viet Nam, Thailand, and even India for over 2,500 years.

Acupuncture has gone from bamboo needles to disposable, stainless steel needles that are so fine they can be placed in the end of a hypodermic needle. Acupressure is a technique that uses pressure from the practitioner’s fingers and hands on acupoints and painful, or hard spots. Both forms of stimulating the points are techniques to chase chi within the body, to adjust a deficiency, or to clear a blockage.

Chinese herbs are minerals, objects from the animal kingdom, and hundreds of individual plant parts, each with a particular action to perform on a person in order to establish balance. Tai Chi and Qi Gong are two forms of martial arts meditative movements, each able to bring about balance, strength, and focused energy (Qi) in order to create a particular goal.

An Oriental Medicine practitioner may use a variety of techniques, adjusted to meet the individual needs of each client. Diet and nutritional strategies appropriate on an individual level, differ from western nutritional support. For example, calories and ingredients are not the concern of the Oriental medicine practitioner and diet counseling goes beyond recommendations against diet sodas, coffee, and sugar in general. The temperature, taste, combination, and preparation of foods are of concern and are considered against the person’s constitution and symptoms.

A little zing may be required, and the practitioner may choose electroacupuncture. Once the needles have been inserted into the client, the practitioner hooks the needles up to wires that lead to a small machine. A gentle microcurrent travels to the acupoint for a desired result. The client may feel a gentle, relaxing pulsing or pulling sensation at the acupoint.

Cupping is a suction device used on the back of the client to stimulate blood and qi circulation, and to disperse certain pathogenic factors. Truly, each acupuncturist has a plethora of techniques to offer clients individualized treatments.

For more information about CSOMA, please visit their website at
www.csomaonline.org, and visit Debbie Allsup’s profile by clicking on “Find a Practitioner.”
Find Debbie Allsup on her AuthenticSelf Acupuncture & Beyond Facebook page.

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