ORIENTAL MEDICINE Oriental Medicine is really a catch-all for the forms of acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage and exercise that originated in Asia and are now practiced worldwide. It is the most widely integrated form of energy medicine in western cultures. Traditionally used for prevention, it has garnered modern acclaim for successful treatment of a variety of acute and chronic conditions without the adverse side-effects found in western medicine.
The fundamental belief is that we live in a wholly interconnected universe. So, what happens to one part of the body affects every other part of the body - all part of a greater energetic system. To understand this, Oriental Medicine uses the powerful Yin/Yang and Five Elements images and metaphors from nature to describe the processes of health and disease. Many of the concepts used have no counterpart in Western medicine. For example, Qi ("Chi"), is a vital life force or energy. Qi flows through the body along pathways, called meridians, all corresponding to specific organs, systems or functions. Imbalances in the flow of Qi cause illness; correction of this flow restores the body to balance.
There are a host of modalities to help restore a balanced flow, with the most prominent being Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and its component branches of acupuncture, acupressure, Tuina ("twee nah"), massage, moxibustion, herbology, Tai Qi and Qi Gong (breathing exercises.) Acupuncture
The ancient Chinese believed that there is a universal life energy called Qi or Chi present in every living creature. This energy is said to circulate throughout the body along specific pathways that are called meridians. As long as this energy flows freely throughout the meridians, health is maintained, but once the flow of energy is blocked, the system is disrupted and pain and illness occur. Imagine rivers that flood and cause disasters or an electrical grid short-circuiting that causes blackouts. Acupuncture works to "re-program and restore normal functions by stimulating certain points on the meridians in order to free up the Qi