Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Although the goals of TCM and Western medicine are the same, their ideas about
what causes a disease, the nature of the disease itself, and the process used to
regain health are very different. The physician learns that disease must be cured by
prescribing medicine or by surgery. There is nothing inherently wrong with this
approach. It often works. But why does TCM succeed where western medicine fails
in some of cases? What is it about acupuncture and herbal medicine that can result in relief
of symptoms or even a cure that is lacking in western medicine for some of cases?
Although the goal of TCM is to cure a patient, the doctor of TCM attempts to do this by treating the whole person, taking into
account the various attributes of an individual that, when combined, account for an person being sick or healthy. People are not,
according to TCM, represented solely by their illness, but by the accumulation of every human interaction engaged in from the
moment of their birth and by the culture they are exposed to. The emotional experiences, eating habits, work habits, work and
living environment, personal habits, and social network all contribute to their disease and are factors that, when changed
appropriately, may lead to regained health.
Western treatment typically interfere with disease process to stop it or interfere with physiological process to mask symptoms.
In the end, the body must heal from the treatment as well as the illness.
The power and effectiveness of TCM is evidenced by its long history of continued success. More than a quarter of the world’s
population regularly uses TCM including acupuncture and Chinese herbal remedies as part of their health care regimen. Chinese
medicine is the only form of classical medicine that is regularly and continuously used outside of its country of origin.
Diagnosis with TCM
The only diagnostic tools used by doctors of Chinese medicine are the “Four Examinations”:
This method of diagnosis dates back over 3,000 years, and although it may seem quite simple, is far from simplistic. Each of the
Four Examinations can take years to master, and the practitioner uses them to arrive at a differential diagnosis. With the advent of
technology—as amazing, necessary, and beneficial as can be—there seems to be a direct correlation between advances in technology
and a decline in doctor sensitivity to the patient, and thus, misdiagnoses.
The experienced doctor must use his or her own interpretive skills and consider not only what the patient reports to them about their
condition, but also what they reveal without meaning too and what they don’t express.
A great doctor is one who can process a mix of medical knowledge with a personal sensitivity based on experience. The doctor of
TCM specializes not just in inserting needles or prescribing herbal remedies, but in being able to see “hidden” or subtle conditions that
may not been seen or understood by practitioners of other types of medicine. This ability to see these hidden elements is difficult to
master, and is done without the benefit of modern technology.
Proper treatment in TCM is more than the elimination of the disease processes. In addition to attacking a factor that is contributing to
the disease process, it is the responsibility of the doctor of TCM to support the individual in his or her goal of achieving overall total
health, which includes the physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual aspects of health. This multidimensional approach is
crucial to the process of healing. Without it, doctors are merely “chasing” the sickness and forgetting that the patient is much more
than their disease. They are a whole person—the sum of a lifetime of experiences.
TCM first is concerned with strengthening the immune function, which includes balancing the physical, emotional, and spiritual
attributes of the patient, so as to be able to assist the patient in his or her endeavor to do battle and destroy the “enemy at the gates
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbal medicine has been used successfully to treat diseases and promote healthy life for thousands of years.
Practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine rarely use a single herb in treatment. Chinese herbs are formula based; many herbs are mixed
together to create the perfect “decoction” specifically designed for the individual patient. Some formulas contain two herbs and some
thirty or more herbs. Each herb has many functions. Each herb has its own flavour, nature, temperature and trophism. Prescribing
the correct herbal remedies requires extensive training and clinical experience.
Self-medicating with herbal medicine presents a dual dilemma. At best the herbs will be useless, as the key to correct formula
prescription is an accurate differential diagnosis that can only be rendered by a licensed, highly educated, experienced practitioner.
In the worst case, self-prescribing of herbal medicine may prove harmful or fatal. A good example of this is Ma Huang/Ephedra. Ma
Huang is an herb safely prescribed on a daily basis by hundreds of alternative medicine practitioners to thousands of patients. That
several people have died as a result of taking Ma Huang has very little to do with the dangerous properties of the herb inasmuch as it
has to do with the fact that in all cases of fatalities the individuals were self-medicating. Aspirin can prove fatal if taken by a
haemophiliac, and this is not an indication that aspirin should be banned or that it is a dangerous drug. Like herbal medicines, it is
totally safe if used appropriately.
One should take herbs only when they’re prescribed by a highly educated and experienced herbalist. Not only is herbal medicine safe,
it is highly effective and free of concomitant harmful side effects that often accompany pharmaceutical drugs. There are more than
one million hospitalizations per year as a result of drug-induced side effects; not so with herbal medicine.
We use about 500 kinds of fresh, dried herbs including
flowers, seeds, fruit, leaves, roots and bark to prepare hundreds
of formulated herbal remedies in our clinic. Our highly experienced
practitioners will prescribe a combination of these natural products in the
form of pills, tablets, powder, capsules, cream or lotion, or original tea etc.
Herbal medicine will be specially prescribed and prepared for you
according to the individual conditions.