3 Symptoms Acupuncture Can Treat
Ryan Law M.Ac.O.M. , EAMP, L.Ac
For over 2000 years Traditional Chinese Medicine was the only organized medical system practiced on the largest part of the worlds population. It has the longest recorded history and was being practiced even before written record. Because of this it has been refined again and again with each successive generation.
In my personal practice I am constantly turning to the classics to more deeply understand the body, the diseases, and symptoms that arise with it. To understand Chinese Medicine it is helpful to consider that unlike our Western understanding of disease; which is pathogen eradication based, Chinese Medicine is based on supporting the bodies natural abilities to heal.
Now in our current model pain or nausea usually will bring people to acupuncture. From here they find out the many different symptoms that can be treated with Traditional Chinese Medicine. There is no doubt that acupuncture is a wonderful treatment for pain and nausea. Being that it is so well documented I would like to share a few of these ‘other’ ailments Chinese Medicine can treat and greatly reduce our suffering.
The top three non pain and nausea concerns Chinese Medicine can help with can be grouped as: 3) Digestive, 2) Women’s Health, and 1) The Common Cold. I will break this down below.
3) Digestive Concerns: In antiquity if there was something wrong with your digestion you were going to be unable to work because your strength would quickly diminish. Because of this there are many texts and discussions on how to treat digestive complaints. So whether you are dealing with sheep like bowel movements, ‘soft serve’ sloppy stools, gnawing stomach pain, or just run of the mill acid reflux Traditional Chinese Medicine has a way to treat it. One of my favorite texts on the subject is the Pi Wei Lun (Treatise on the Spleen and Stomach)
2) Women’s Health: I often like to joke that the Chinese population did not become one of the largest by ignoring women’s health. Early on there was close attention paid to the unique situations that arise from being a women. Whether you are are suffering from irregular periods, PMS, post-partum mastitis, or hot flashes in menopause we can assess why you are having these imbalances and address them with acupuncture and herbal medicine. One of my favorite texts on this subject come from the famous chinese gynecologist Fu Shan who wrote Fu Qing Zhu’s Gynecology.
1) The Common Cold: Over 150 million work days are missed annually because of the common cold. The reason that there is so much fuss about the cold is because of the morbidity rate(think of morbidity rate as amount of suffering caused by the cold). What is special about the way Chinese Medicine treats the cold is in the ability to differentiate what kind of cold you have. The differentiation helps us understand what systems are affected and how to correct them. This can be the type of cold that is all sinus congestion, or sore throat, or body aches, or coughing fits, or alternating fever and chills. Colds become broken down into various subtypes and using our understanding of channel system we can prescribe herbal medicines, apply acupuncture, or use Chinese massage techniques that will help your body clear the cold. My all time favorite text on the subject is the Shang Han Lun ( Treatise on Cold Damage).