Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Dr. Melissa Dengler, ND
TCM • What does TCM stand for?
TCM • Traditional Chinese Medicine • A complete medical system that has been used to diagnose, treat, and prevent illnesses for more than 2,000 years • Based on a belief in yin and yang • When yin and yang are in balance, you feel relaxed and energized • When yin and yang are out of balance, it can negatively affect your health
Yin and Yang • What are yin and yang? • What do they represent?
Yin and Yang • Natural process of continuous change where nothing is of itself but is seen as aspects of the whole . • Two opposite, yet complementary, aspects of existence.
Yin and Yang Yin Yang • Dark or night • Low (Lower body) • Cold • Inside (Inner body) • Contracting • Underactive • Deficient/ Weak • Passive • Front of the body • Feminine • Light or day • High (Upper body) • Hot • Outside (Outer body) • Expanding • Active/ Overactive • Excessive • Forceful • Back of body • Masculine
Yin and Yang • Even though they are opposed, one has no meaning without the other. • When yin and yang are in balance, there is harmony and well-being. • Long-term disharmony = disease • A severe imbalance = DEATH
5 Element Theory • Theory helps people understand how natural changes within body and outside environment affect people’s health. • Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood • Everything is created from one or more of these elements. • Humans are a combination of all five.
5 Element Theory • The arrows in the center (star) depict the ko cycle (control cycle). • Wood controls earth by covering it or holding it in place with roots. • Earth control water by damming it or containing it. • Water controls fire by dousing or extinguishing it. • Fire controls metal by melting it. • Metal controls wood by cutting it.
5 Element Theory • The arrows that form a pentagon on the outside depict the shen (creative) cycle. • Water engenders wood. • Wood fuels fire. • Fire creates earth (ashes). • Earth engenders metal. • Metal engenders water.
5 Element Theory • The two rings indicate the solid (yin) and hollow (yang) organs that are associated with the elements.
Qi • Pronounced “chee” • What it qi? • How does it work?
Qi • TCM practitioners believe that there is a life force or energy, known as qi, in every body. • For yin and yang to be balanced and for the body to be healthy, qi must be balanced and flowing freely. • When there is too little or too much qi in one of the body's energy pathways (called meridians), or when the flow of qi is blocked, illness results.
Meridians • Channels that correspond to organs or functions on which they appear to act. • 12 main meridians (bilateral) • 2 midline meridians (anterior and posterior midline) • Extra meridians that relate to organs and functions of the body.
Meridians and Qi • Meridians provide a path for qi to travel throughout the body. • It moves through the pairs of Yin and Yang channels. • The flow of qi is traditionally described as beginning with the Lung Channel since it is the lungs where qi is formed. • The path ends with the Liver channel where qi rejoins the lung channel and the cycle begins again.
Meridians and Qi • Each Yin Channel connects with its Yang counterpart on either the hand or the foot, where the change in polarity reverses the flow. • The paired pathways occupy corresponding positions along the inner and outer aspects of the limbs. • Yin channels join each other on the chest. • Yang channels join each other on the hand or face.
Meridians and Qi • The ultimate goal of TCM treatment is to balance the yin and yang in our lives by promoting the natural flow of qi. • Analogy: Qi is described as the wind in a sail -- we do not see the wind directly, but we are aware of its presence as it fills the sail.
Meridians • Zang Organs • Yin Meridians • Interior • Lung • Spleen • Heart • Kidney • Pericardium • Liver • Fu Organs • Yang Meridians • Exterior • Large Intestine • Stomach • Small Intestine • Bladder • Triple Heater • Gallbladder
How does TCM work? • Disease (alterations in the normal flow of qi such that yin and yang are imbalanced) is thought to have three major causes: • External or environmental factors • Internal emotions • Lifestyle factors such as diet. Through the use of its therapeutic modalities • TCM stimulates the body's own healing mechanisms.
Practices of TCM • What are some of the practices/ modalities of traditional Chinese Medicine?
Practices of TCM • Acupuncture and acupressure • Moxibustion (burning an herb near the skin) • Herbal medicine • Nutrition • Chinese massage (called tui na) • Exercise (such as tai chi and qi gong which combine movement with meditation)
Acupuncture • Originated in China more than 2000 years ago. • Skin is punctured with very small needles at specific points along meridians for therapeutic purposes. • These acupuncture points are places where the energy pathway is close to the surface of the skin. • Must have a license to practice acupuncture
History of Acupuncture • The earliest recorded use of acupuncture dates from 200 BCE. • Until the early 1970s, most Americans had never heard of acupuncture. • Acupuncture gained attention in the United States when President Nixon visited China in 1972. Traveling with Nixon was New York Times reporter James Reston, who received acupuncture in China after undergoing an emergency appendectomy. Reston was so impressed with the post-operative pain relief he experienced from the procedure that he wrote about acupuncture upon returning to the United States.
History of Acupuncture • In 1997, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognized acupuncture as a mainstream medicine healing option with a statement documenting the procedure’s safety and efficacy for treating a range of health conditions. • There are now hundreds of clinical studies on the benefits of acupuncture now.
Procedure for Acupuncture • You will lie down on a padded examining table, and the acupuncturist will insert the needles, twirling or gently jiggling each as it goes in. • You may not feel the needles at all, or you may feel a twitch or a quick twinge of pain that disappears when the needle is completely inserted. • Once the needles are all in place, you rest for 15 - 60 minutes. During this time, you'll probably feel relaxed and sleepy and may even doze off. • At the end of the session, the acupuncturist quickly and painlessly removes the needles.
How does acupuncture work? • Research suggests that it may produce a variety of effects in the body and the brain. • Stimulated nerve fibers transmit signals to the spinal cord and brain, activating the CNS which release shormones responsible for making us feel less pain while improving overall health. • Acupuncture may also increase blood circulation and body temperature, affect white blood cell activity (responsible for our immune function), reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and regulate blood sugar levels.
What is TCM good for? • Obesity • Diabetes and its complications, such as retinopathy (damage to the retina located in the back of the eye) • High cholesterol • Depression • Arthritis • Back pain • Male and female fertility disorders • Alzheimer's disease • Parkinson's disease • Digestive disorders (such as irritable bowel syndrome) • Recurrent cystitis (inflammation of the bladder) • Nausea and vomiting
TCM May be Helpful for: • Allergies • Asthma • Cancer, especially colorectal cancer • Stroke • Sinusitis • Addictions • Pain (including childbirth and abdominal) • Menopausal symptoms • Osteoporosis • Infections (respiratory, bladder, vaginal) • Sleep disorders • Stress • Constipation • Diabetic neuropathy • Epilepsy
What to Expect with TCM • A TCM practitioner will ask you questions about your medical history and conduct a physical exam to look for signs of imbalance. • Exam may include: skin, tongue, and hair, as well as other parts of your body (from the brightness of your eyes to the color of your nails), six pulses on each of your wrists and listening to your voice to assess your shen (spirit), and will determine if one or more of your organ networks are affected. • The practitioner will then try to correct any imbalances in your body by providing a combination of the therapies.
How to find a TCM practitioner? • The American Association of Oriental Medicine, www.aaom.org • The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, www.nccaom.org • The National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance, www.acuall.org • The Institute of Traditional Medicine, www.itmonline.org
Questions? • Any questions on this week’s seminar about TCM and acupuncture. • Next week we will discuss Whole Medical Systems as categorized by NCCAM. • Thank you for your participation! • Have a great week!